37 out of my last 50 weekends in London began with a view that looked something like this:
The natural reaction to such a rate of travel is one of disbelief. Many find travel exhausting, which is perfectly understandable. After all, I don’t enjoy waiting at a dreary departure gate to board a budget airline which was supposed to be in the air an hour ago as much as the next guy.
The first time I was asked “why?” I struggled to explain why I subjected myself to such a relentless travel calendar. “Making the most of my time in Europe” was the obvious logical answer. Classic Asian mentality – you’ve only got London as a base for a finite amount of time, let’s be sure to extract the MAX possible value from this.
Sure, not wanting to waste the opportunity was a part of it but without something more, the Friday nights I spent preparing my upper bunk bed, past midnight, in the dark, after a 5 hour commute, with a best case scenario of 6 hours sleep, would have been unsustainable.
I came to realise that what differentiated me from my other friends in London was that I still had the same sense of wonder and hunger to explore as when I first arrived. That’s what really drove me to keep booking trips in and to keep waking up at the crack of dawn. “Being a tourist” has negative connotations these days but there’s something beautiful about the lens through which a traveller views the foreign land they’re in and the positive attitude and energy that accompanies that.
Being back in Melbourne made me realise that despite having spent 10 years here, I hardly know the state I call home, and a lot of that has to do with mindset. Were I an expat, I’d be scampering down alleyways each week, and booking interstate holidays to see the icons of Australia. And so, in a bid to ensure I don’t lose that sense of wonder, my goal for 2017 is to visit the 8 states and territories of Australia.
And because every project needs a catchy hashtag: #st8ofmind