Originally there was two of us on this journey around the world without flying. We had talked and planed for this “No Air To Everywhere” trip over the last three years.
But just recently, amid a kind of pre-trip trip, some drama unfolded and now consequently (at least for the time being) i’m running solo. This isn’t another heart break story (although when it happened it did feel strangely like being dumped), it wasn’t a relationship with a girl that went sour (well, for me it wasn’t) but a girl did arguably help make the decision for my ex-travel buddy, Luke. So while explaining how I got here, with the decision not to fly and to now be travelling alone, bare in mind it was originally going to be the two of us…Luke and I met while on similar separate trips travelling around Australia. We both had bought campervans and were travelling and working our way around Australia when we crossed paths in beautiful sunny Broome, WA. Luke was going one way, I was going the other.
At the time, it was rare to come across another young Aussie travelling Australia in a van, it was normally left to the foreigners and grey nomads. Needless to say, we hit it off and quickly became good mates. I even ended up ditching my own van in Broome for a while (sorry Grace, Beth and Bri) and joining Luke on his travels for a bit. Road tripping together down through the red centre from Darwin to Melbourne. Which lead to a lot of drunken nights talking about ideas to travel overseas and continue the adventure one day. When one night, while sucking back a few cold frothies in a quiet pub in the middle of the Australian outback, the trip changing event happened…
We were throwing out ideas on where to go next, what countries to fly to, things to see and do etc. When out of the murky shadows at the end of the bar stepped a local witch doctor.
“You boys.. you not leave home” Now I’ve always kinda had long hair myself and at times poorly tried to grow what I call a beard. So I can appreciate a man with a lot of hair. But even for me, this guy was hairy. So hairy I couldn’t even be certain it was defiantly him speaking to us, because this guy no longer had any evidence of a mouth on his face. His face was just two eyes and an extremely big nose embedded into a ball of wiry hair. Much like the childhood character grug. Anyway…
“You boys.. you not leave home or you boys DIE,” he drunkenly blurted out of the overgrown beard that had swallowed up his head. The towns eccentric now had our attention. “What do you mean, kind sir?” I politely replied (well it was a bar, and we were all drunk, so I probably didn’t speak like this but I’m telling the story). It was at this point the old man started convulsing as his eyes rolled back into his head, Luke’s’ quick reflexes reached out and grabbed the man before he was able to fall to the ground. “Quick grab his tongue or something, his having a fit!” Luke instructed to me as the human hair ball was shaking and muttering in his arms. Not convinced this was the case I leant in to try and make sense of the weird guys beard mumbles. Then as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The old guys arms snapped out and grabbed me, pulling me in so our noses were all but touching. His eyes rolled back out of his brain and locked onto mine. And in the calmest, most serious voice ever, he said
“You FLY. You DIE”
Before erupting into another fit, this time a fit of laughter. The girliest, lamest fit of laughter I have ever heard. Luke released the man from his grip, still laughing he stood up, brushed himself off, reached over grabbed our beers from the bar and walked off with them. Never to be seen again. Feeling a bit shocked, a little confused and now beerless, we decided to call it a night.
To this day, I’m not sure if what happened that night was some holy mans vision from god telling us the future or just some drunk eccentric’s brilliant performance to steal our beers. Or maybe, more likely, I made the whole thing up. But at some point, we decided that where ever we did end up going, we were going to get there without flying. Because what we did learn from our trips around aus and all the drunk talks retelling them, was that most of our best stories, had one similar thing in common. They all happened somewhere along the journey, while travelling from one place to the next. Not just at each destination. So it was settled, for the sake of adventure, no flying.
To read about the drama leading up to Luke’s departure and how I ended up solo read these stories, Here.
To skip ahead and read about finally making it out of Australia without flying and sailing to Indonesia, Click Here.