“you’re on your own. and you know what you know. and you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” -dr. seuss
it is the strangers you meet on the road that you end up falling madly in love with. the likeminded drifters that become darling soul-friends. at least that is what my literary romantic jack kerouac always seemed to make it out to be. while his epic wanderlust took his imagination down the historic route 66 my epoch humanlust lured me down the yellow brick road once again. yes, i have been here before. but for all the familiar people, places and things the emerald city became anew again. parts of my brain, heart and courage remained here. as if waiting for me to return. i didn’t need a pair of ruby reds to discover that home can in fact exist in two hemispheres.
35 days in the lucky country. lucky i was as my travels took me from fitzroy to angelsea to perth to balwyn north to st. kilda to daylesford to sorrento to bondi beach to newcastle and back to fitzroy where this love affair is historically rooted. on my own yes but i didn’t know what i know now until i came back here — to you and this land — and it is only upon my departing that i’ve decided i don’t know where to go. distracted by my curiosity once again.
a trip ends as quickly as it begins. take a breath and you’re already half way there. every yellow brick in some way does define me. and oh with every step how i felt free! how every moment travelled in these precious 35 days became a profound memory. it sounds bold i know, but tis true i assure you: every meal shared and every conversation had imprinted on me. in the little things, happiness i found. like swimming towards tides that then washed over me like a waterfall. or jumping into blow holes only to be spewed back out. beachside bicycle rides reminiscent of my last day of summer as an adolescent. christmastime with a family that has become my own. enduring romances that finally ended with a finale of kisses and an ovation of embraces. a heart whole again with no missing pieces. a tummy so full of smashed avocado, sauerkraut and long blacks. a face glowing from silly banter and ridiculous laughter. feet so tired from city strolling and nature hikes. heart pounding from new year beginnings admist festival horizons. arms tired from euphoric greetings and never-let-you-go goodbyes. gratitude aplenty from an abundance of genuine hosts. overjoyed by the friendships that conquered the distance. adoring kinship never forgotten.
le tour de la route de briques jaunes began with anticipation and ended in jubilation. for in this part of the world surrounded by my kinfolk, how can i, a desperado dreamer, not have found some graceful, peaceful bliss? perhaps andy warhol was right all along, “you can be just as faithful to a place or a thing as you can to a person. a place can really make your heart skip a beat, especially if you have to take a plane to get there.” then again, i reckon it will always be the people — not the places — that ignite the butterflies aflutter.
some advice to you for your travels (whether at home or abroad): don’t blink because you don’t want to miss a thing. yet i know that even with me here and you there, when i close my eyes there you’ll always be. you, dancing in my ever-so-sweet memory.
thank you for making this wildflower’s heart sing. thank you for reminding me that life’s melody is that of a bittersweet symphony; for showing me that i can go back down a road i’ve been down before, the one that takes me back to the place where you and i meet.
sure, there’s no place like home. but there’s no one like you either. i’ll be seeing you again soon then. xo.