Summer Road Trip – Melbourne to Byron Bay

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Adventure starts when the beaten track stops!!!

Whilst we have common friends, and could have met on many occasions throughout 2013, I didn’t meet Mandi until Tribe on NYE. 

Our energies connected the moment she entered the room and we got talking as soon as possible.

She was taken aback and said, ‘Wow, you have beautiful eyes!’. That took me aback! – was a footy player standing right behind me?. It was my turn to be impressed when I heard that she’d been invited to dance with Asanti – I’m yet to pull together a complete run of the Macarena! I gave her a flyer for my META-Health Training and she said that it was her dream to form a hospital/healing centre in her home country of Zimbabwe.

WOW!!!!!! My heart blew open like a mini-volcano.

We had a LOT to discuss!

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Two days later she attended a Bars class and just over 24 hours after that we set off on a spontaneous road trip up the east coast after discovering that we’d ‘independently’ and ‘coincidentally’ had for the previous few weeks the vague intention to “visit Byron”.


View East Coast Road Trip in a larger map

 

The trip was about 3000 k’s, we free-camped at 8 incredible locations by rivers, waterfalls and literally in the mist of cloud on the sides of mountains… as well as indulging in a few hotels along the way… because you’ve gotta shower at some point!

 

In the space of three weeks, we went from having just met to filling the roles of a married couple sorting out the shopping and practical muttering such as “Can you pass the salt?” and “If you cook, I’ll clean” back to friends and future camping buddies.

 

 

It was a whirlwind adventure and the experience, growth, challenge and transformation was worth every moment of the discomfort of expanding our comfort zones.

 

 

We averaged about 5 U-turns a day. But by allowing ourselves to ‘fail’ and just try something without trying to work it out 100% beforehand we ended up camping in breathtaking locations.

 

Forest Camp Fire NSW
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The first place we stayed in the Blue Mountains was on the side of a mountain. It was cold, damp and rained overnight. Mandi’s hands were stone cold as we were packing up to leave the next morning. She still managed to have fun though!

 

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We’d drive along the highway for 3 – 10 hours, get off at an exit with a nice name such as ‘Tranquility Falls’ or ‘Divine Hill’, drive towards a mountain or a sign for a national park, town, river or waterfall and then explore a disused dirt road, at times almost getting stuck or meeting a dead end, until just as we were getting over it and thinking that we should have taken an easier option, we’d stumble upon an incredible spot that money couldn’t buy.

Camping on top of the world

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It was great to get back into my photography as I haven’t done much since doing it professionally whilst I was studying. Funnily enough the batteries died after a few nights and I had ‘forgotten’ to bring a charger. It wasn’t a major concern as the whole trip was about stepping out from behind the camera/mask/persona and living in and creating the moment.

 

Whilst we recognized how incredible the locations were we didn’t stay attached to them, which allowed us to find places even better. Even at Minyon Falls, an incredible space with the amazingly welcome and protective presence of Aboriginal Ancestors, we only stayed for 2 nights. Even though it was possibly the most incredible place we’d ever been, we knew we had to move on. It wasn’t that there was anything wrong with us, it was that we were called to move on as there were others in need of that experience, and having a sacred and highly savored short period of time made sure we were fully present to our surroundings.

 

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The trip also gave me great confidence that I can arrive anywhere in the world and not only thrive but survive. As well as my experience travelling in cheap countries throughout Asia in which one can sleep and eat very well for as little as $5-20/day, I now know that I can travel relatively cheaply, comfortably and very healthily in developed countries such as Australia. We camped and ate with the occasional hotel and restaurant meal every few days for an average of $50 per day including fuel costs. We already had a car and camping equipment.

One of my dreams is to travel through Africa. I’ll probably explore the Pyramids, spend time in Morocco and then fly to Kenya to set up and meander south in a beat up 4WD, possibly travelling all the way to Cape Town in South Africa to view Robben Island and beyond.

It was amazing to get ‘off the grid’ and unplug from our phones, Internet, Facebook, TV, radio and newspaper. We immediately noticed our minds and body relax and a deeper connection to nature, including the trees, animals, sun and moon. As a result we got much more in touch with our intuition. Mandi had vivid and uncannily accurate dreams at night and overall we lived in the flow.

When I returned to Melbourne I felt a much stronger connection to my soul and am inspired to a greater purpose. A friend summed it up when she called me a ‘World Shaman’, a concept which I’m very slowly getting my head around.

 

Things I learned from Mandi;

 

 

We ended up in a laughing fit in Minyon Falls. As mentioned above, it was a breathtaking location. We were sitting around the fire and I was stoking it up with a free local newspaper for the elderly. Absorbed in the expansive and loving beauty of nature and the easy state of being, fun and adventure it creates, the first page I ripped out had an article with a picture of a sheep dressed in a big woolen jumper. What an irony; cut down a forest with a huge diversity of organisms living in an amazing synchronistic and harmonic state to support a few sheep in order to grow wool to be sheared, processed and then hand knitted… to keep them warm… in order to entertain someone for five seconds when flicking through a free newspaper which only really distracts them from the greater reality of life and the deeper connection it can bring.

Once we’d gotten started with that, we couldn’t stop laughing and marveling at the way our society ‘works’. After having such an amazing adventure so rich with real life adventure and the dissolution of most of our normal social boundaries and limitations, we were beginning to see through it all. All these Adds essentially carrying the message; buy this and you’ll be happy. But as the well-earned clique goes, happiness comes from within! It comes from following our heart, living in the moment and letting things go rather than compiling them up.

It showed me once again what I’ve thought for a while; “If you think you’ve found the solution, you’re in a problem set”. Which essentially means that doing something may appear to solve things for the moment, but it will only really be so for a moment because everything is continually changing, fluxing and swinging; once one part of the picture changes, everything changes and any set form will crack. So try the opposite. Savour the fleeting delicateness of each moment and be in the question for what is next to come.

 

The trip allowed us to fill the traditional male and female roles without judgment and doing and saying things based upon external expectation to fit a particular ‘model’.

Upon finding a campsite, I would set up the tent, walk around and check out the ‘territory’ and then go off into the forest with my axe and chop up dead trees to set up a smoky and radiant fire. Mandi would set up a camp kitchen spread over a big wide rock or wooden bench, sit crossed legged and cook a delicately delicious feast as the sky fell to leave us with a dark backdrop against which we could see the 3D depth and wondrous breadth of the stars.

It was extremely liberating to ‘step into’ our more primal selves and it was amazing how natural and empowering it felt for both of us to do and be what we evolutionarily do and be best. Having said that, I have nothing against modern society, which eloquently provides an environment for us to have greater choice and freedom in our experiences.

An important thing we learned from one of many Audiobooks we listened to whilst driving is that typically a females’ top concern is ‘Am I loved?’ and a males top concern is “Am I achieving my goals?”

 

This makes clear evolutionary sense as the male is typically the provider, defender of his territory and conqueror of new lands, and the female is typically the nurturer of the nest, works in community and depends upon a strong, focused and devoted man to stay around and ensure the long term success of her family. As always, both ‘energies’ have their place and are necessary for evolutionary ‘progress’. In modern society we have transcended many of the ‘limitations’ of such scenarios because we have the opportunity to go beyond the survival level (although we can’t ignore it!).

Camping fire Minyon Falls

 

We spent two nights in the free-spirited hippy town of Nimbin.

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When we arrived it was like we had stepped back into the 60’s. Walking down the street we felt happy within 3 minutes from the vibes of the people there.

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The first day I was immediately aware of the pain, grief and loss behind the eyes of the people we met, whilst Mandi was taken with the fun, free-spirit and heart connection. By the end of the second day she had gotten over it and I was finally beginning to ‘get’ the power and relief and liberation of their joyful open state. It was only when we stopped through Sydney and then returned to Melbourne that I realized how profound the experience was. Weeing that it was possible to be so relaxed with so little concern for others’ perceptions of me allowed me to lighten up, joke around more and feel and act more free.

Obviously half the town was assisted to such a great state by certain substances (and of course what goes up may need to come back down) but it gave me an experience of how it would be to live in a society that has let go of a lot of its egoic inhibitions in a ‘conscious’ way.

 

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This photo really caught me. I stared at it for about three minutes and left with a tear rolling down my eye. It reminded me of the three times in which my life collapsed due to illness and I was either confined to bed or needing to sleep all the time.

 

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We stayed at a fun place the second night in Nimbin and I went for a swim in the river the next morning.

It was a beautiful spot but I did have to watch out for the cowes (and their pats!).

 

At the ‘top’ of the trip and after such a whirlwind adventure, it was time for the dynamics to change between Mandi and I. We had an incredibly strong attraction as we connected energetically and for a week or so it was like nothing else existed. But by the end of the trip we had both gotten a lot of what we needed from each other in a fantastic contributory way, and repulsion energy was required for us to move on. Fortunately we were ‘advanced’ enough to allow it to occur consciously and communicate our awareness’s around it. This was so much easier than the usual egoic attachments that keep people acting together when their spirits are not. This was very good for me as I have done the opposite in the past.

Whilst we were 50% exactly the same and on a similar path, we were also 50% totally opposite. She was quite ‘me, me me’ focused and wanting to be the centre of attention. And I am more service focused and happy to observe the show. As you can see from the pictures, my background as a photographer complemented her background as a model. This worked really well when it was just us at the start of the trip, but made things awkward towards the end of the trip when we were meeting people on the streets and preferred to approach things in opposite ways in conflict with the unconscious expectation that we should always be the same.

Overall I feel so much more liberated, just like the video I made for Tribe. Prophetically, what I wanted to help others with is what I ended up experiencing for myself!

 

I realised towards the end of the trip when Mandi and I had grown apart that I had actually dreamed of this general experience about a year ago. The moment I remember from the dream was that I’d connected with an African woman and then she ‘let me go’ to achieve her aims in Africa, which also liberated me to follow my own path.

 

I was a bit closed off in the second half of the trip. My heart was not open and I needed space to reflect, integrate and catch up on the whirlwind of the past week immediately after the whirlwind of the Tribe event set up, the actual event and the following four days of almost no sleep, packing up after the event, running a Bars class and then setting up in a ‘smash and grab’ rush for the camping adventure. I needed to communicate this to Mandi as well as myself so it could deepen our experience. I ‘should’ have done writing and meditation. But the ‘problem’ was that we were short on time from the start and sleeping in because we were staying up late.

Also the whole thing was such a shock to me overall. After being ignored and overlooked for a couple of years, suddenly this incredibly amazing light and highly psychic being was looking into my soul and seeing a star. It was overwhelming as so much stuck energy opened up. On many levels I didn’t feel that I fully deserved it, was good enough, strong enough, attractive enough, mature, funny and experienced enough. And I had a deep fear that it would all come crashing down horribly, painfully and awkwardly uncomfortably if I was to fully surrender and let go and enjoy the experience in all its magnificence.

It is because of such fears that we keep ourselves small. Not wanting to venture out too far or too high for fear of being squashed or chopped off. But just like a forest we need to grow, together in a community that shares the load so we can become a big, powerful and unmistakable presence on this planet.

 

We stopped in Sydney for a couple of nights again on the way back. I went with my brother Jon and his girlfriend Mathilde to see a public screening of the very interesting and hard hitting documentary, “Utopia” by John Pilger. It was extremely powerful to sit alongside hundreds of people on ‘The Block’ in Redfern and hear about the past and current mistreatment, neglect and destruction of the Aborigines’ rights, health and way of life. Did you know that a top tourist resort operates in a former prison in which many died?

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Overall it was an amazing start to the year, I feel very much in my spirit and I am looking forward to providing the information, education, mentoring, support and solutions that I always wished for, to anyone that asks.

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I hope you enjoyed the journey and are inspired to explore more of this beautiful country.

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