(A paraphrase of a thought, from the novel Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell).
This year I have been to Melbourne twice. I love Melbourne, its theatre and cafes and lane ways . The VGA and Southbank. The museum. The little bars across the city.
I love its warmth in summer but remain ambivalent about its cold-to-me winters.
My recent trip allowed exploration of the wintry Botanic Gardens and War Memorial, followed by a leisurely trek down Brunswick St. in Fitzroy.
It’s those leisurely treks in travelling, those long escapades of wandering without specific intent, that allow us to find ourselves when we travel. Our day to day lives seem to prohibit such meandering but travel? Travel enlarges it, downright demands it.
And in that meandering we discover a little more about who we are and what we want and the life that we wish to live.
Climbing the trails of the Botanic Gardens, autumn coloured leaves scattering with each of my steps, arriving to eat a spicy Indo-Chinese inspired breakfast at Jardin Tan, gave me active pause.
Active pause? Yes, the meditation and reflection that accompanies walking or other physical exercise, and is stimulated by conversation with others over food and drink. Sparkling is best, you know, at breakfast.
I thought about my life and study. Where do I see myself in three years or five years?
Now, I never really plan the future, apart from superannuation. I like to go with the flow. I have a fear of goals. I think my life might collapse (and in the past I have had this creeping fear of life, that when things go good hey must immediately be followed by bad).
I know now that life just is. It is not to be feared.
I know now that the future will come whether I dream of it or not. So better to add some future dreams to my mindful present.
This I discovered on my Melbourne meanderings. To an outsider I was eating and walking and attending a twenty-one gun salute for the Queen’s Birthday and ransacking bookshops and secondhand shops in Brunswick St. While eating frozen custard.
But inside I was scavenging thoughts and emotions. Fossicking to find the me that sometimes gets lost in the busyness of life.
I realise that it is too tempting to live two lives instead of one. Too necessary for me. I cannot give up one interest or life for the other. This is me. The scanner.
I think it’s just too tempting to have two lives rather than one. Some people think that too much travel begets infidelity: Separation and opportunity test the bonds of love. I think it’s more likely that people who hate to make choices to settle on one thing or another are attracted to travel. Travel doesn’t beget a double life. The appeal of the double life begets travel. Elizabeth Eaves, Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents.