Two whole weeks and not a peep from me. Such a silence that feels has lasted for way too long. It was a silence I hadn’t planned, I silence I didn’t intend on creating. But somehow the events that occurred and the speed at which each one came about, forced me to be silent..
My last reflection was in Kuala Lumpur.. As I waited to get the bus to the airport. The plane awaited me that evening and was transporting me across many many miles, through a few different time zones, to be in a country I had grown to love but somehow didn’t feel so comfortable returning to.
My month in Malaysia and Thailand had brought about so many different emotions, revelations and adventures into being. My eyes had been opened in ways they had never witnessed either myself, the world and the people in it, before. What am I referring to? Well, for example: The way a person can place themselves in a certain world and the way that certain world can take on that particular person. Everything that has over the years has led me to see the traveling-life so differently. I always knew how amazing it was. But now, I’ve come to realize it even more so, due to the easiness and confidence I felt in being grounded - even when that particular part of the ground I found myself on, wasn’t “my own”. To be “one” with the world and with the souls in it, really does mean that anywhere can feel like home, because there really is no difference. Being one, is being the same. I’d felt this is other countries but never in countries where I’d be in the minority, where I would stick out in the crowd because of my hair and skin color. This time in Asia, I still stuck out in the crowd, but I didn’t feel it - I felt to be the same. I’d heard this expression before and thought it to be a cool way of seeing the world. But it’s not like a switch you can turn on, when trying to get to that mind-set. Something has to have changed within the minds eye to truly not feel or see yourself as being different in a culture so unique. Throughout the past year and a half, something did change in my minds eye and being in Asia I really was able to feel it. It was like I was putting into practice all that I had learnt and discovered within myself. It was truly an amazing feeling and I never realized when I was learning so much over the past year and a half that even my travel experiences would benefit from this adjustment. I’m ever ever so grateful.
So flying back to Melbourne on the evening of the 27th of December, to arrive on the morning of the 28th, was somehow different than I expected it to be. I expected to want to go back, I expected to be happy to set foot on Ozzie soil once again, I expected I’d be excited to be around western people again. Instead, every step of the journey, was one I didn’t want to take. I didn’t dwell on this fact however, as I knew I had to return to Oz - even if it were just for me to figure out that it was time to move on - and I was basically shocked by how I was feeling once I got to the airport in Melbourne. I was feeling how I should have felt when I stepped off the plane in Malaysia. I was feeling like an outsider. I was feeling dumbstruck at the sight and sound of all these Westerners - I know this might sound so silly - and because of the fact that this sounds so silly it’s also why I was shocked by the voice in my head that wasn’t liking the fact that I was blending in with the Westerners and speaking the same English language!! What a strange world.. Or maybe: what a strange way for me to suddenly feel and look at the world. The Australian world..
This feeling didn’t last too long. It didn’t scare me away. Nothing drastic came of it. It was simply whacky to witness it. From the airport in Melbourne, the city centre was the next port of call. Throughout the journey I was adjusting again to the normal buses, the normal speed at which they traveled and the normal road behaviour. Then at the station: the higher prices of food, tea, Internet, train tickets. Wouw! What a difference.. But within an hour all was good. Even though I still longed to be in Asia.
I sat in the food court at the station, as I had the whole day to wait for the bus that was going to be taking me to Jason. This food court sent me into a zone of some sort. At that stage, I had been traveling nearly 48 hours, without having seen a bed, so I was a little delirious too. I was in a zone and often I had to remind myself of what city I was in, or even what country.. And every time..O yeah.. Australia.. Okay..it’s okay Niamh.. This is good.
But really it wasn’t too good. I felt so lost, and sat there for 3 hours solid, writing my heart out and dealing with the situation at hand. Which was: What was I doing for the next week and for new years? Yes, I had booked my ticket to Swan Hill to go to see Jason. But things had changed, I felt they would be different and so we both kept an open mind when it came to us being back together again. It was an afternoon of feeling lost, wrecked but also one of feeling so easy and peaceful.. It was me just sitting and writing and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t want it to end. I was in the zone, my own zone, where I wanted to be. Maybe I didn’t want to deal with the real world as I felt so secure by myself. Maybe I didn’t want to loose the high I was feeling after an amazing month. Maybe I wanted to savor that feeling and share it only with those who wanted to share in my joy and not with those who might resent me for having had that amazing opportunity..(that I created by myself by the way.. so why should I feel guilty? A person makes their own experiences, lives their own life and everyone can make happen anything they really long for). Who was to know why I didn’t want that afternoon to end. It could also have simply been because I was in the food court right beside the sushi, that was coming out of my ears accompanied by green tea.. Hummm..
So I got to Swan Hill at 10pm. Jason was waiting at the station for me. The sight of the van.. White Myvan.. The adventure van.. The van that had been my home, with Jason inside, who had missed me. And there was Niamh: loaded up with a new “tan“, slightly longer hair, new stories to tell and some new inspiration and drive to go for the things she’s been longing to get from life. What a change.. And because of this, we needed to spend proper time together. We needed to reconnect and find common ground once again. A month isn’t a real long time to be apart, but when so much happens and a person starts feeling things that were there all along but had chosen to ignore them for so long, then a month can bring a lifetimes worth of changes with it. In some ways that’s what happened to me. So Jason and I decided at the very last minute to go to a festival near Swan Hill, in Moulemein, called Confest. It would be the perfect environment for us to spend time together, to learn and to grow.
This was on the morning of the 29th. Such a rash decision. And such a dramatic change. Going from Kho Phangang on the 26th, down through Malaysia, onto the plane in Kuala Lumpur, getting off in Melbourne, then hanging out there for a full day, then on to Swan Hill, straight into sorting out the ground on which Jason and I was were trying to walk upon together, and to end up at the hippy Confest, out in the Ozzie bush. All this within 3 days, without any sleep.
How does it all evolve, and does this festival bring out things that I haven’t yet discovered about myself..?? Catch up later for some more..