I sit on my computer, listening to soft jazz in my headphones in my local Browns Bay, Auckland coffee shop. My escape from the solitude of home. I am on the cusp of another significant change in my life. Completing my transit Visa forms for Australia. Maybe a quick city tour when I get there. I will pack up what little I have one week from now and depart for Bali.
Unlike many young, handsome, bikini-wearing and confident blogger nomads out there, my story starts off a bit differently. I came to visit my kids, 19 and 16, in Auckland. Their busy teenage and young adult lives have me feeling like a bit of an empty nester. Daily emotional waves hit me, and I have to navigate them.
They include the fear of change. The fear of the unknown. How can this square always study, always prepare for life, guy, pack up everything and go into a vast world without a real plan or ultimate destination? How can the father, above all else guy, say goodbye to his kids again and do something so out of the norm? Above all, how will I deal with the fact that I am doing this alone, with no partner?
Somehow, the beaches and beautiful Bali seem like they need to offer a sweeter attraction to me. But for now, it is only a destination. I cannot help remembering my excitement when I first went to Bali on my honeymoon. My first significant international travel. The excitement was so natural.
At 51, my limbic system has built up such a defence mechanism. I literally need to fight it to see the trip as exciting rather than scary. I guess when you sell most of what you own and decide to live out of two 23kg bags for a while, the system does not know what to do with that. What, you want to go to a strange country where you don’t speak the language and live there for a bit? Are you crazy?
In my mind, the image I have of my journey always relates to the Eat Pray Love movie. I have threatened and threatened and joked, but here I am. By a turn of fate, I have a Travelstart ticket to Bali. One week to departure, I can still not decide where to stay for the first week. Ocean or Ubud.
Well, this blog is the first step. I have a one-way ticket. I have applied for a transit Visa to visit Sydney a little with my 8-hour layover. That is what I know when I write this. The rest is a mystery. I will see.