On the road in a hippie van

Urunga, Australia.

Right in front of me is a seagull either washing his face or looking for lunch. I have stopped for a break and am overlooking a river. I see mountains and a beautifully clouded sky behind it. As a matter of fact, the same sky is reflected in the almost still water too, as there is no wind.

I am on my way to Byron Bay but have no idea if I will make it or not. And you know what? I don’t care. I feel completely free. Traveling with a backpack sounds like freedom but traveling around in a hippie van is stepping up the ladder of freedom. Best decision ever.

Ok, I had a bit of hassle getting it. I do feel betrayed by the people of Hippie Van Rental but hopefully they will provide me with an elegant solution. The problem with my credit card persisted (unable to pay the full sum in one go) so I opted for a more expensive insurance with a lower bond. That went fine. But the price went up with a whopping $ 324,-. So instead of paying $515 I now had to pay $839,-: quite a big difference. When I drove off it didn’t feel right. Then I wondered: “would it not be against company regulations if I had paid in 2 transactions instead of 1”? I went back and the manager said ‘yes, that is possible’. But now the deal is already closed and they have to contact the head office in Brisbane and lalalala. Annoying.

But being on the road is amazing. I never was into camping so I am completely unexperienced. Yesterday I drove from Sydney to Port Macquarie, some 400 km, of course assisted by the GPS. When I was in Port Macquairie I stopped for food. And I realized I should get ready for sleep. Now what? I certainly did not want to go to a camp ground. Everything is so expensive here and I wasn’t prepared to pay for just parking my van between other vans. So I opened Google Maps on my iPhone and dropped a pin at a little peninsula; the place where the lighthouse turned out to be located.

Driving up to that location, brushing my teeth in the headlights, making my bed with the help of the light my phone produces and going to sleep ‘in the wild’, with the sounds of the waves in the background was one the most exciting things I have ever done. And I slept beautifully. Ok, I kept my clothes on, still alert for thieves, robbers and wild kangaroos but hey, I slept like a baby.

This morning I asked my friends to send me playlists. I felt it would be nice if I could listen to their music if I was alone (and if you feel the call too: email me a zipfile with 700mb of your favorite mp3s via WeTransfer). As I send my friend Bas a message he let me know that his marriage in Las Vegas with the love of his life Karin was up in 15 minutes. I knew he was about to get married but I had expected that it would be quite difficult for me to “be there” for them. Now I jumped out of my bed, took my meditation cushion to the beach and sang sutras and meditated for them. It was a very nice way to start my day. As I went for a bit of a walk and sent them my congratulations I saw penguins in front of me! Penguins!

The lesson I learned from Simon’s story has an effect on me. Every time I am unexpectedly delayed I wonder: “Who will I meet because of this delay?”. What will the Universe bring me today? What will come my way? Rain or shine? i just heard that the weather is bad up North. We will see.

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