Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bicycling Australia: part 3 - Homecoming


The plane taking us 12,000km across the Pacific is enormous. It even has an upper deck. Maybe I was projecting, but the take-off seemed sluggish and the overhead bins actually started shaking wildly, straining under the pressure to get this beast off the ground. I was a little freaked out, especially after the constant swirl of news around the crash of Malaysian Flight 370. But there's nothing you can do in this situation, no turning back, no changing your mind. I was on the plane, and that bird was gonna fly. So I forced myself to let go of all the terrible thoughts that fill your mind on a shaky airplane, and turned to the task of picking out a movie to watch with Aims. We've been really looking forward to gorging ourselves on movies, and we did! We watched Dallas Buyers Club, August: Osage County, Blind Side, The Battle of the Sexes, Midnight Cowboy, Annie Hall, and one or two others I can't remember. My mind is currently enshrouded in a weird fog, that singular haze that only sleep deprivation provides. We stayed awake for 34 hours before falling asleep last night for an uneasy, nightmare-filled 13 hours of sleep. It was incredibly hard to get up, even after all that time, but we had a rehearsal to get to! What a gift to be able to jump right back into Seattle with a show at the beautiful Triple Door with our friends Ian McFeron and Alisa Milner.

Humans are such adaptable animals. It's only been 3 months, but I have trained myself to impulsively look to my right before crossing a street. I was really afraid in NZ and Oz of being run over by a car coming from the opposite direction, so I constantly repeated the mantra "look right, look right, look right" as I approached a street. I expected my muscle memory to take over upon my return to the US, but it's a little slow even 2 days later. I'll be extra careful again, as cycling down the right-hand side of the road is what now feels dangerous.

The last 2 weeks of the tour were relaxing and fun-filled, like a proper vacation! We snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, saw a wild koala, a wild platypus, and a wild wallaby with a joey in her pouch. How lucky! We're on this chunk of rock for 2 months, and we see these unique, only-in-Australia wonders in our last week there...amazing.

Great Barrier Reef

It's hard to sum up the experiences of this trip. I'm looking forward to digesting them in pieces over the next few weeks, sharing stories with friends and family and settling back into the life we've built here in Seattle. These months of constant physical exercise have left our bodies feeling strong, and our minds feeling healthy...we''ll try and slow down a bit, and take the opportunity to sort out all the lessons learned. For now, I think the main thing I've taken away with me is a trove of new and beautiful friends. It's the biggest change I notice when I reflect on who I was before we left. My world has expanded, and now I've got Jan, Maurice, Alice, and Sian from Fiji all the way to Frankie, Graham, Jake, Dana, Asa, and Alicia in Brisbane and everyone in between to laugh and share time with during this crazy ol' journey we're on together. I couldn't ask for anything better to have come out of this adventure.
~ Moe

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