Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Trip Around The World
Drawing of a trike
maxcelcat
I confess I didn't really feel ready to head off on this trip, despite the fact that I've been planning it since late 2007. And in fact in it's original form it would have taken place in the middle of last year.

I'm not sure why I've never gotten on a big jet (they are quite impressive I must add, there's a lot of power that must go into getting one these things into the air...) and gone overseas before. I think it might partly be a reaction to my jet-setting family, who have a tendency to disappear overseas for years at a time. Witness my sister for example who has lived out of the country for at least the last twelve years.

Back in late 1990, when I was a mere scamp of a youth barely 19 years old, I went on a longish trip to Tasmania, hitch-hiked about, rented a car with some disreputable English people, went to a party that went for three weeks (that's a whole other story). At the time, I sort of saw it as the first of a series of trips - first Tasmania, then the world! But it never quite happened. I remember landing back in Melbourne - or "Australia" as the Tasmanians are want to refer to the mainland - and heading straight to a peace camp that was outside the US consulate. This was literally days before the first gulf war started. And I remember calling up a woman I knew from a phone booth outside a hotel down that way - oddly this all took place near to what is now my office.

The woman I called was named Colleen, and soon afterwards I embarked on five year relationship with her. Well, two two and a half year relationships with a gap of six months in between. That kept me in Melbourne. Then I enrolled in art school then after a couple of years of that computing, then I got a job and by that stage it was 1998 and I'd still never had a passport. I also didn't have a whole lot of money, it must be said. After I crashed my first car in 1993 I didn't own another until early 2000. And indeed I only recently had said car towed away after it died of old age. See posts in this very blog about it!

So now I find myself having worked full time since about October of 1999 and I'm finally on a plane...

There was more to it of course. Organising a trip is complicated, and for some reason it always seemed too complicated. Just getting a passport is not a small amount of work. But I got one, fully two, nearly three years ago now. Not with any grand intentions of going anywhere, I just got in case...

This trip started as a plan to visit all my friends and family overseas. In the last few years, lots of them seem to have fled the country (hello vedmajulia), not to mention my much travelled sister. So whist I was in Sydney in late 2007, sitting reading my email in what I called "smelly nerd internet cafe", I fired off an email to said Julia's mother, who worked part time as a travel agent. I said hey I'd like to go to these places on roughly these dates, what would it cost? And she sent back an itinerary! I never realised it was so easy...

The original version of this trip was going to go Dubai-Switzerland-Berlin-London-New York-Washington. My sister was in Dubai at the time. But in the mean time I acquired a beautiful girlfriend called Deb, who wanted to come for part of the trip. Trouble is she's studying and has an essay due in late May. I'm studying to, or at least I will be in the second semester - if the Chifley business school has gotten my re-enrolment in their MBA course! That starts at the end of June. So there was only a little window when we could both be out of the country. So I decided to go the other way around the world - US first, then Europe then Cambodia, where my sister is now. And so here I am, some six hours of actual travel time into the trip.

I have about ten hours in Los Angeles, then a flight from LAX to Baltimore Washington International Airport, which will get me in at 6AM local time. Eep. I'm going to need a nap by then....

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