Tuesday morning, 6:30 AM. Luggage packed and ready by the door. One last breakfast in your kitchen, one last cup of tea in the garden. One last fur-ruffling for the house rabbit. One last walk to the train station. And off you go.
I would have liked to update more during these past six months in Melbourne, but my life quickly became consumed by work (a lesson learned: no weekends if you freelance), and the free time I had was spent away from the computer. In this city, I found what I was looking: somewhere rife with art, focused on community, peppered with permaculture blitzes and vegan cafes and poetry nights and friends’ gallery shows and crazy lively scenes ’round every corner. But even though I love it here, it’s time to move on.
While working on permaculture farms in Southeast Asia, I was introduced to a lifestyle that I hadn’t realised I’d been craving. To live presently, outside, playing in the dirt, growing your own food, breathing fresh air, striving to be conscious about the resources you use and your impact on the environment, and joining a community of like-minded individuals was eye-opening. But my time was always too short – two weeks here, three there – so I decided, someday, to spend at least three months on a working farm. Enough time to start gardens and see them grow, to learn something new and put it into action.
But just my luck! My Australian work visa requires exactly three months of rural work for an extension! A sign from the universe, maybe?
Thus, with the Melburnian winter looming, I’m jumping ship and moving to a farm up by Byron Bay. I heard about this well-known hippie town on Australia’s east coast before I even got to the country, and a common reaction when I told my Melbourne friends about the move to Byron was, ‘Oh, you’re so lucky, it’s so beautiful up there.’ But where I’m moving ain’t just a farm – it’s an ashram as well. There will be a daily meditation schedule, and a radically different lifestyle than what I’m used to. No, these three months probably won’t be easy, they could be transformative, but despite how challenging I know it will be, I’m ready for it. I’ve been absolutely craving it. And how excited am I to start this new adventure, while living in the countryside with kangaroos and koalas?
So it’s on the road again, my life folded neatly into a suitcase and a backpack, heading north on a two day train ride to the unknown. And after my winter stay on the ashram? Well…both Burning Man and India are in the works, so 2014 is looking to be pretty transformative. But, at this point, I’ve learned to not seriously plan more than a few months in advance. The road twists and turns, after all. Good thing packing has become second nature.
See you on the flipside, Melbourne. Thanks for being a home.