Following Your Heart to Freedom

Quite frankly, this is starting to depress me. Photo by sideshowmom of morgueFile.

As I sit at my desk, I have to either turn my head or get out of my chair to see sunlight and the beautiful blue sky. I’m surrounded by partitions and can only see the top of my neighbour’s head, and that’s only because he’s tall. What is wrong with this picture?

I long to be out in the world instead of inside this pale and dour office; and in a few short weeks, it will be so. The anticipation of a world trip with my intoxicating wife, Andrea, is unrelenting. All I can think about is roaming the streets in a new land, hand in hand with her, discovering the intricacies of how the natives live, with nothing to consume us except for new experiences. This is what life should be. This is the true meaning of freedom.

We were travellers before we met and nothing has changed since we’ve been together. I have undertaken the longest stint of work (in one place or in total) over the last five years. Sure we’ve had holidays, breaks and even a month trip in the USA last year, but to leave everything behind for over a year is the real kind of travelling.

Back in 2005, we’d only been together for six months when we left Perth, bound for Europe and the possibility of work. We ended up in Paris after spending time in the Netherlands and Belgium first, and it was a great experience. After returning to Perth and moving to Melbourne, I have slaved away at an office job, doing my work and awaiting the next adventure. I knew it would come for us and what better time than as a newly wedded couple? Sure, getting married in Hamilton Island was a blast, but what’s just around the corner will be something to behold.

Taken on our last hike in Cradle Mountain National Park, Tasmania – seems like too long ago.

New Zealand for New Year’s and beyond, and then on to South America: two places neither of us has been to. What excite me most are the scenery, nature and friendly people we will encounter. I love mountains. I love fresh air. I love furry animals. And I love beer. I’ve been a bit of a “diet freak” for the last two years, but there is no such thing on a journey like this. You eat when you eat, you drink on most occasions, but the exercise induced from constant walking whilst lugging backpacks in all conditions renders weight gain an almost impossibility. This is a backpacking trip after all. Of course there’s also Europe and Japan after that and I cannot wait to share some familiar, but mostly new towns with my darling wife.

I am a firm believer in following your heart and going with the flow. In 2002, I decided to leave my hometown of Perth and go to Europe in search of adventure and work. I had a taste of it two years earlier, but that was with my friends and organised tours. I was somewhat disillusioned with my life and quite frankly, bored out of my mind. So off I went on my own, booking a one-way flight to Madrid and knowing I wanted to go to San Sebastian after that. That was the extent of my detailed plans. What unfolded was the best two and a half years of my life, up until that point. I worked for some of the time and it really was a journey for me. And it culminated in meeting Andrea in that wonderful town called Plakias.

Naturally, this time we have more of an agenda, which is necessary as a couple. However, everything that happens in between the places we visit remains unknown and this is what makes me excited. My feet start dancing and my face begins to hurt because I am smiling so much. We will be totally free as soon as we board that first plane, and this comforts me. It makes me realise that life can be amazing, but only if you take control of it.

And that’s exactly what we are doing. Life in Melbourne has become tedious for us. The rigmarole of day-to-day activities has become frustrating and unfulfilling. So rather than staying in a place where our enjoyment has diminished, we are seizing the opportunity to go around the world. For us, the only thing better than travelling is doing it with the one you love. Our passion for each other means that this will truly be the time of our lives.

When was the last time you followed your heart in pursuit of happiness, travelling or otherwise?

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