December 1, 2012

Future Delights

Travel is the best education.  
We shouldn't work so much.

Walden was the most life changing book I have read.  
Gold is hard to chew.
~Old man from Flagstaff 

I met a man in Flagstaff on my last day in Arizona about a year and a half ago during July 2011.  He was old, frail, and white haired.  He was living out of his pickup truck with camper on the bed touring the American west, just him and his dog Rusty.  His official residence is Florida for tax and social security purposes but had not been to that “deplorable” place in 7 years.  July was his month in Flagstaff.  Thankfully, I crossed paths with this grey nomad (I picked that term up on here is OZ).  

To set the context, I had just had my last day on the job the day prior, my Tacoma loaded with every earthly possession I had, and I was on my way back home at the start of a 4000 mile, 2 week road trip back home in PA.  I had a one way ticket to Australia waiting for me.  The only reason I stopped in Flagstaff was to send an email from the public library because I forgot to tie up a few loose ends at the job I just left.  No, I didn't have a smart phone in those days.  I decided for whatever reason I didn't want to leave all the great memories in that town behind just yet, so after I sent the email; I sat on the grass in Wheeler Park daydreaming and started reading Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburnt Country.  An old man walked by allowing his dog to enter into my zone and sniff me thereby giving him a closer look.  He asked what I was reading but it was quite obvious that no matter what I said he was going to teach an unsure 25 year old something about life.  He recognized Bryson and commended my choice.  I told him my story and the next step in life moving to Australia.  He went on a spiel about Abbey and other nature writers like Muir, Thoreau, and Emerson.  And a guy who walked all around the world and said that the American west was without question the most beautiful- the best region in the world.  As we sat there protected from the blazing Arizona sun under the Ponderosa Pines while absorbing the cool mountain air at 7000 feet, I was questioning my decision to move away from it all and to Australia.  So I got a little defensive and said it’s just going to be two years and I’m done.  He then got a little frustrated as if I missed his point and said, “NO.  NO.  NO.  You can’t predict and plan out your future like that down to every detail.  There are just too many variables.  Besides, the American west isn’t going anywhere.”  I started to feel a little bit better about my choice and life in general.

It is so cool that we have no idea what is in store for us.  It makes me live each day with a sense of unrelenting exhilaration.  So for now I don’t know what the future holds and that is exhilarating.

The reason I recounted this story is that I have been asked recently from co-workers, friends and family what my next move is since I have been in Australia about 15 months at this point?  Permanent Residency?  Mining?  Where?  When?  I don’t know.  I don’t even know where I’m sleeping tonight. Despite the additional stress, I’m glad my entire life isn't scripted and planned.  That would be no fun.  The only things I know are as followed:
- At two years in Australia, August 2013
- I will have the option to apply for permanent residency.
- I will be free from that clause in my contract which obliges me to pay back the relocation expenses prorated if I left before two years.
- My verbal commitment to my employer is expired
- June 20th 2015, my visa expires.  This doesn't mean much either since if I wanted to stay my employer would sponsor me or I would have applied for permanent residency by this point. 
- I plan on being in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup

For now I will just keep pushing and keep learning and be excited about the unrevealed journey ahead. 

1 comment:

  1. Those Jungle Gold guys in Ghana sure could use some help!