black cockatoo and rainbow
I’m in Australia
December finds me back in Australia living the life of an unemployed bum, a similar but much less exciting life than my time as an unemployed bum in Japan. I might have a little to say about reverse culture shock later, but my priorities for December are processing my photos for our Flickr stream, writing about the last leg of my walk in Hokkaido, and working out exactly how many thousands of kilometres I actually walked. I just added a few final thoughts about my daily haiku on my personal blog, and have started work on a book about the experience, which I hope to finish by the end of next year.
Now seems like a good time to mention The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Australian charity Ian and I have been raising money for. It’s not something I’ve pushed, mainly because I don’t like pushy charities, and figure people can see the Donate tab for themselves. But if you’ve enjoyed reading about our expedition over the last year, you might consider making a donation. For around $25, the sight we took for granted on our adventure can be restored to someone who suffers cataracts in a developing country.
The month just spent meditating in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland gave me some much-needed time to absorb finishing the walk and being back in Australia. Much of my supposed meditation time consisted of intense flashbacks of moments on the trail in Japan, both the highs and the lows. More about them soon, but in the meantime I’ve jotted down some of the things I’ll miss about walking Japan, and what I’m most looking forward to about being back in Australia, which you can find below.
WHAT I’LL MISS ABOUT WALKING JAPAN:
Being homeless and unemployed.
Hiking through the Japanese landscape.
Feeling like I’m the most dangerous man in town.
Being a stranger in a strange land.
The generosity of complete strangers.
The challenge of finding an awesome campsite every night.
Running through The Check several times a day: watch, hat, solio, internet tablet, hiking sticks, notebook, cactus.
Seeing something truly bizarre on a regular basis.
Takaki Bakery cheesecake sticks.
All the stuff I lost.
A grapefruit chuhi at the end of a miserable day.
WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT BEING BACK IN AUSTRALIA:
Hiking in the Australian landscape.
Not feeling like I’m the most dangerous man in town.
Listening to music, going to the theatre, cinema, book shop, and garden centre.
Seeing family and friends.
Writing a book about walking Japan.
Not having to think about where I’m going to get water, food, and shelter every day.
Going back to university.
Not seeing a haggard Tommy Lee Jones wherever I go.
Getting a bike.
Ginger beer and cheesecake.