My Reckless Journey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A life's experience is a better way of describing this short story, in fact a real experience in my earlier
20's. I wanted to tell the world, what it was like and how i
managed to unravel the reason for staying .....

It is a very rational, and sometimes emotional little story..
hope you like it

Submitted: November 27, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 27, 2007





WWhWhoever would have thought or guessed i would do such a thing-take up residence in another part of the country, Australia. Admittedly, it wasn't to the end of the world, or to America or Africa or some eastern place, but just a few thousand kilometres pointing in the other direction, opposite direction of where i was supposed to stay all my life. Now that i think back it was done on impulse, and not much thought into it, but hell you only live once don't you?

I was young and in need of a change, so i began my journey same way anybody else does or did, i headed off for a trip around Australia, via bus-greyhound coach with a friend. It was all organized and paid for, and i was supposed to come back home to queensland, a little over a month. I didn't make it back and here i am still in wa- 30yrs later...

For someone to make a decision and live out their dreams it takes a fair bit of courage & change, and that is something i have had a lot of, how could we humans survive without change. You learn more about yourself that way, nad also about other people and the world at large.

Now, what happened on that journey ? What strange things did i encounter, to make me stay away so long, how it could have been different, but i look back now, and i just know it was meant to be.

It was a normal september morning, somewhere between 8am and 10am. As it was a Sunday morning, when i stood waiting for  the bus to pick me up all my family were there with me including my two sisters, ( at that time we were close) and neices, sadly i would not see them grow up, but at that time i wasn't aware or cared much about that, i can still see them now, all standing together at that spot where the bus would pull in, and take me far away, much further than anyone would ever imagine!! We waved "goodbye" , embracing each other, knowing we would catch up soon.. My friend "Margaret" who came from the city, would ne already on the bus, all i wanted to do was grab a seat next to her. I could see her .....

I settled down right beside her, we said our "hellos" and started talking about our journey, couldn't believe we were already embarking on it. I felt a bit tired, as i had worked the day before, came home packed and repacked my port (this is the term for suitcase in Queensland) those familiar surrounds, buildings, people's faces, was i never going to get them back. Queenslanders sound different as well when they speak, and have a lot of slang, a real aussie state.

I was waiting for this break and was definitely excited about it. Beofre i was to leave, there was something i had to do, pay a little visit before i left. His mother thought we were a good match, so she was in "shock" when i told her i was going away. As he lived upstairs i didn't have to go far, only taking 5 minutes to say our "farewells". Indeed it was a fine parting, it could have been better, if i had really put more effort into relationships, but i wasn't one for anything serious. Needless to say as i said 'goodbye' i thought, wow! if only.

Then i was nudged, Margaret said "look, at those hills!! I was too busy thinking about my last night with Doug.. He had lived in the west, and i always imagined life with him there.

He was always a bit hungover, so i was always careful, as i had wondered if there was more to his character ---on the inside, what he was up to, and how much he drank and if he did any case, i wanted him to remember me, when and if i came back, after all i was only leaving on a short vacation. Yeah, life was sweet, and a bed of roses, when you were young, single and able to take off.. For that matter, take off wherever you wanted to go.

The day passed by along nicely as we coasted along the highways and freeways, travelling sometimes quite fast, as those big buses certainly have to run to a time schedule, a bit like those big trucks that zoom past and too bad if you get stuck behind one, or it gets behind you. You may have to put your foot to the pedal and keep watching in the rear vision mirror in case they may be just about up your "arse". Better to stay cool as a cucumber, as most tragedies on the road come from fatigue and frustration with other big ornate creatures such as trucks and buses.

Well, i was enjoying my trip, no worries as i wasn't the driver, i could just  sit back and relax, as long as i knew i was getting away from t he congested city, and the monotonous routine of work for a while. I  kept daydreaming about my stay in the unknown cities i was going to visit.

We all got off a little over 2 hrs, it was a lunch stop, always stopping at a roadhouse. It was always good to stretch your legs, to eat, drink and change  your clothes if you like, or even to wash your hair, as i encountered one guy did... In the 70's things were a bit different, no big fancy restaurants, just the corrugated iron building that made for a stop over, no i do not mean the "dunny", but the shop, cafe itself. Money is still spent the same, grab and extra bottle of drnk and a few snacks - something to take the boredom away. Endless hours on a bus, can lead to boredom, unless you hve somebody to caht to along the way.

Melbourne was to be our first stopover. That would take about tow days to get there,as we travelled through the night as well, fatigued and swollen ankles were not a nice thing t o deal with, but worth the trip anyway. It was fun though, the lights of cities, and places, you only ever dreamed about. thoughts of people and their families and what they usually got up to were ever present on my mind. As for the bus patrons, we all except a couple would put their lights on above them and read. By this time, we would be beginning to unwind and crack a few jokes and share a few stories about where we were from-likewise people were friendly.. even the drivers enjoyed the regular banter and chatter as it kept him awake no doubt. Some people were sleeping ,  but not for me, i was always wide awake and very much aware of any changes, (hawk eyes they called me) esp. on the open roads,there was always an animal crossing the road, when you least expected it. Some were luck esp. the roos, and the wombats, but most just got splattered usually across the windscreen, if you were the unlucky one or even wipe the whole engine out, some ending up in the front seat etc. Kangaroos are so quick and big, but they get blinded by the lights, risk it and oops too late.

Thoughts of my family, as they would be wondering if the trip was going ok, not many of my family would or ever travel, as the future would reveal this, but for me, i wanted to something more than settle down in Gatton Qld, and live my years out there.. No way, that was not for me... this i was very sure about..

Another small thing on my mind was that of my friend "Margaret" as she had never been on a trip vefore, not like this one. But that wasn't what was on my mind. It was her state of mind perhaps, oh she was a happy girl or more a woman in her 30'sm so for that reason, i was sort of protected being with someone older you would think, but there was an annoying feeling i h ad about her health.

We were only friends for a short while, but she jumped at the chance to go away, i would say "by herself", she did have mild epilepsy, taking medication seemed to be ok for her, and she was alright like that. I used to go to her parent's home, share lunch, stay over, go to church with her folks, she only ever had one attack that i could remember. Her family were the ideal loving and caring type, devoted people, they made you feel part of their family. "Marg" as they called her, was their "gem", their only daughter at that. Her and I got on fine, wer often laughed, watched tv together, talked about music, also about possible relationships- i felt a little bit sorry for ner, as she didn't have any boyfriends, but seemd interested in any case. We worked at the same place, and got on well at work and outside. She was in need of a friend- that was all that mattered to me. Well, we planned this together, we were going through with it, maybe it would give her some of that independence that she so craved!!



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