Nearly three weeks into my coast to coast Australian motorcycle journey, I woke up at 8:30am to the usual sounds of Oz. Squeaky toy rainbow birds chirping happily away alongside flocks of others birds with all kinds of exotic sounds, with the occasional hurricane of semi-trucks on the Eyre highway near my bush camp. A few hundred miles west of Port Augusta, I woke up feeling content, if not a bit dazed by the sunny white brilliance above.
The father and young son I’d chosen to camp near for safety reasons were long gone, having started their day earlier than I cared to think about. This late in the morning, they’d already be a couple hundred kilometers east, on their own road trip across Australia in the opposite direction.
I packed up as quickly as I could, trying to keep the dust off my feet as I hopped around one-legged into my armored motorcycle pants among the dirt and ants. It had been a chaotic and heartbreaking couple of months leading up to this struggle into my pants in the middle of nowhere. I had decided to leave a beautiful life in Australia after this one last jaunt across the continent, and although it was my own decision, it didn’t make the going any easier. I was leaving a place I adored, and people I loved. Salty tears stained the inside of my helmet, but I had a little nugget of growing peace somewhere deep down.
My own sense of power and self sufficiency was growing steadily, in tiny increments. Life throws terrible times our way, but being out here- being so freaking isolated- was somehow a powerfully soothing force on a heart that was showing significant signs of wear and tear (I imagined my own heart, a pitifully ragged little thing in my chest held on by a few sinewy, bloody strings and duct tape). But it somehow thumped on regardless of the fresh trauma, surprising me with its strength and fortitude.
Packing up my few possessions, strapping the emergency jerry can to the back of my bike, arranging my hydration pack just so- they were all little reminders that I’d get through another day just fine. And by the end of this particular day, I’d finally make it to the Nullarbor Plains, a wild and desolate stretch of land I’d been imagining and fantasizing about for the last couple of years.
Throwing a leg over my bike and heading out West, I wondered what the next few days had in store. And where I’d find a cup of coffee in the middle of the bush.