By going trucking i have already identified 2.5 massive things about myself that will greatly enrich my character if i persist in seeing through what i have to learn from this experience, much thanks to Mum and my friend Kathy.
It has been hard and it will continue to be challenging, but i am determined to (re)produce evidence for myself that nothing worth doing is ever especially easy. (My whole life i have been over-extending myself in the pursuit of personal growth, and i don’t want to quit now.)
I say 2.5 because i haven’t yet fully unpacked the third and biggest insight, about the importance of relationships, family and community in supporting us through the hard process of becoming the best we can be.
The other two insights will be revealed in my forthcoming adventure-memoir, due for release in 2025—after i execute my first long-distance adventure and wend the story of it with my growing understanding that a sense of adventure is essential in the pursuit of happiness and wellbeing, especially in this fractured modern world where we have to make shit up as we go along all the time.
For now, goodnight or good morning, wherever you are—i must return to my state of tortured sleeplessness in the tee-pee i found on the outskirts of Berri.
I have changed my plans again, this time to stay in Greece for a few more months because i have a sense of home here, now. Something shifted when i decided to stay, which wasn’t as much a decision as it was a relinquishment, a letting go of some idea i had about the future.
I was going to Thailand and India via Australia, China, Laos and a few other places in between: back to Australia to get Mulga Bill Massive, my poor neglected touring bike, so i could cycle around in search of another community.
But around the thought of leaving Greece there was a feeling of an anxiety, which fell away when i knew i wouldn’t yet have to go back through Istanbul, Dubai, Adelaide, just to get my bike and ride to Byron or somewhere. I need community, communion, and here i have it, now, so why leave? Leaving a community in Greece to go in search of a community elsewhere is like going into a shop with a dollar and asking to buy a dollar.
When i realised this, the anxiety fell away and relief emerged, bright and luminous as the stars appear to be when you get out of the city for the first time.
I was excited about riding with F’s friends, because something I really dig about most of the cycling community is they are inclusive. I mean, it’s also a heavily stratified community where as I explained to C today, there are
people like me who spend three hundred bucks on a single-speed commuter and barely do any maintenance on it for two years but who love the shit out of that bike anyway,
and then there are those who spend twelve k on a bike and spend more time maintaining it than they do riding it,
and of course there are what Mum was thrilled to learn are called MAMILs, Middle-age Men in Lycra.
But within your own strata the community members are all generally inclusive, which is maybe a quality of something being a strata.