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Libby's Adventure

I have travelled the globe & seen countless breathtaking sights, but the most beautiful things I've seen were those brief but everlasting moments of indescribable truth & beauty exchanged between friends & lovers

 

 

~ Daydream ~
 

 

 

 

Henry and I in our home, The Granite Palace.

Henry and I in our home, The Granite Palace.

 

If there were ever a time in my life that a symbolic white rabbit led me astray to the wonderland of my own imagination, this particular event comes to mind..

It was mid 2013, and what I recall as one of the happiest periods of my life. I was healthy, had a job I loved, great friends, was in a romantic relationship with someone I adored, was dancing and meditating regularly; everyone knew me as that girl who is always "fabulous".

But my life hadn't always been so fabulous. My life had been transformed after I began attending a weekly meditation circle that was run by my first spiritual mentor, who, after some rather freaky happenings, I was introduced to for a past life regression in late 2012. It turned out to be one of the biggest turning points of my life, but thats a story for another time.  

 

Despite the fact my life was better than ever, something was missing.

Now that I seemed to have everything I should want, it was as if a long lost part of me was now calling out to me to remind me there was something else I needed to do; that the time had nearly come. Adventure was seeking me out.

 It was just an average late afternoon on my usual peak hour train ride home from work, until, as I sat daydreaming out the window, delightful crystal-clear visions of happy summer days and nights spent happy, barefoot wild and carefree in exotic places, came parading into my mind. Moments later they were translated into lyrical words so definitive that I felt I had no other choice but to grab my phone from my bag as quickly as I could to capture them: ‘'I want to get messy, dirty, sticky…climbing, jumping, swinging, dizzy….’'

The words were naughty, but oh so innocent too, and as each line seemed to effortlessly reveal itself to me, I wondered... where was this poetic vision coming from? Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. 

Was I just so sick of seeing the same boring things every day? So sick of walking down the same streets, seeing the same people, catching the same trains, eating the same food, sick of feeling ordinary, dull, and unexpressed in my work uniform? So tired of feeling confined and borderline imprisoned by regular daily life?

I couldn’t remember the last time I felt fully alive on a regular basis.

I couldn't recall the last time I spent all night watching shooting stars or the last time I merrily ran down a beach in uncontrollable laughter. The magic, mystery and ecstasy I knew the world had to offer seemed long lost to me. 

But now I needed to feel it. Suppressed feelings of boredom and confinement were now bubbling over uncontrollably within me, releasing and expressing itself as poetry. 

 

As soon as I got home I carefully copied it into my diary like I had just channeled a divine prophecy. I was so proud; my first organic poem (not forced onto me during school), one that reflected my burning desire for adventure, freedom, lightheartedness, playfulness, joy, intimacy & to start living in and for the present moment.

 
 

I was already in the process of devising a one way ticket round-the-world travel adventure, but now this new poetic vision of mine had just added fuel to the fire. My distant and uncertain adventure now felt imminent and real. And my poem would be my unofficial checklist of must-have experiences; my wish-list to the universe.  

Quitting my job, packing a suitcase and adventuring solo into the big wide world was something I'd fantasied about since I was a teenager, but I didn't see this trip as just the usual gap year break or "holiday" before going "back to reality". It was intended to be the beginning of a complete lifestyle change. The beginning an exciting new era of freedom and fulfilment. Something had awoken in me and I was ready to follow my dreams. I was ready for massive transformation.

I was also feeling rebellious to "the system". I had begun questioning everything I was raised to believe; everything my parents taught me, everything I learned in school and from pop culture, namely movies, magazines and television. Surely, I thought, there was another way to live. Surely there was more to life than what I was led to believe. 

For many years after finishing high school I tried playing by the rules and doing it the "right way" so that I could walk down the street in a suit feeling like I'd made it, like I was respectable, sophisticated, educated and worthy, when really, I walked down the street feeling like a complete fraud. I came to see that money, nice things and social status don't create happiness or fulfilment, and that being really busy isn't actually cool. Pleasing myself became more important than pleasing my parents and impressing my peers. I wanted to do something that I truly believed in. Something that excites and thrills me. That will make the world a better place.

I didn't want my passion and enthusiasm for life to keep diminishing as the years rolled by. I didn't want to become just another depressed zombie who fills peak hour trains every day and robotically distracts themselves with news feeds and mindless games. I didn't want to become so stuck in the rat race that I forgot who I really was. I didn't want to sell my soul for money or social status and wind up becoming that sad chick who brags about her designer goods to make other sad chicks jealous. Even this trip meant having nothing to my name at the end of it, I didn't care; I believed in the immeasurable value of travel, free time and self-discovery

 I spent over a year saving money and researching the places and events I wanted to explore and experience. The plan was to spend a summer in Europe and just before the Autumn became too cold for comfort, I would fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to begin my journey through South and Central America. 

Mr brother David & I chill between flights on our way to London in the 1990s.

Mr brother David & I chill between flights on our way to London in the 1990s.

I took Latin dance classes, completed a TESOL qualification (teaching English to speakers of other languages), and renewed my Swiss passport, giving me a world of options; I was open to all possibilities and if I fell in love with any place, I was prepared to stay.

I wanted to feel as free as possible; no commitments, no responsibilities and no expectations. And most of all, I wanted time. Lots of it. Time to lose and then find myself. I was ready to be challenged, tested and changed. 

Sampson and I, days before leaving for our big adventure.

Sampson and I, days before leaving for our big adventure.

 

Having practically grown up on a plane, I considered myself to be well travelled. But I'd never travelled on a solo one-way adventure just going going with the flow, nor had I ever stayed in a hostel.

Thinking I was a total travel pro, I bought an expensive Samponsite suitcase and packed it full of the most ridiculously useless things like a complete amateur.  And so, armed with dozens of hair ribbons and accessories, twenty sets of fake eyelashes (I never used one pair), and a preposterous amount of impractical clothes and beauty products, I naively headed on my glittery quest for love, truth and beauty, like a fool.

Danielle and I on the first day of our trip in Istanbul by the beautiful Phosphorus river.

Danielle and I on the first day of our trip in Istanbul by the beautiful Phosphorus river.

The first 6 weeks were planned in advance since I would be visiting the most touristic places in Europe during peak season. The rest was left open to all possibilities. Starting off in Istanbul, for five weeks I travelled through Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Croatia and Italy with my friend Danielle. She then returned home while I continued solo up to Amsterdam for a Brazilian Zouk Dance Congress. 

I then met up with my friend Brad and spent the next two months adventuring in Amsterdam and London until the European winter became too close for comfort and I bought a last minute ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to begin "round two" of my trip, alone. 

My four months in South America were incredible and transformative. It was also a rollercoaster of different emotions. After travelling four countries, I rather abruptly decided to end my trip after some rather strange experiences and finished my trip with a bang in Rio De Janeiro during Carnival and headed back to Australia after 8 months of travel.

At the Dutch Zouk Congress 2014 in Breda with new friends Tessa & Angela Argentina, who I met in my hostel dorm room.

At the Dutch Zouk Congress 2014 in Breda with new friends Tessa & Angela Argentina, who I met in my hostel dorm room.

New environments bring out new things in us. And when you have all the time and freedom in the world like I did, it means that previously unexpressed parts of yourself have the opportunity to show themselves and you end up face to face with yourself; the good, bad and the ugly, magnified and impossible to ignore. And when nobody knows who you are, who knows who you may become. 

Facing my fears had begun to made me feel so much freer and braver. I no longer felt so crippled by self doubts or fear of other people's opinions. And this made life delightfully simple; if I felt like saying something, I said it, if I felt like singing, I’d sing, if I felt like stretching, Id stretch, if I felt like skipping down the road, I’d skip and if I felt like dancing (which is almost always), then I’d dance. 

Yet on the other side of the coin I began to see all the ways that I was still not free and paralysed by unconscious patterns. I began to see that true freedom isn't dependent on our physical state of conditions; that it's actually a state of mind. That we are limited and imprisoned by our beliefs and choices.

Eventually all the parties, adventures and new friends began to lose their charm and I began feeling incredibly lost; I had no idea which direction to step in. I needed more. Something deeper and more meaningful than just a good time.

So I began digging. I began asking new questions. 

Waiting for a ferry in Hvar, Croatia.

Waiting for a ferry in Hvar, Croatia.

And it wasn't long until I began finding answers, the gems I'd been looking for: long lost pieces of myself, new clues to the puzzle of my purpose. 

And with them a new dream was born within me; a new reason to get out of bed. I had a vision that would never fade, a mission I would never quit, the destiny I was born to fulfil. 

But it came at a cost. For as I collected the lost pieces of myself, I realised many of them were tarnished, and I would need much nursing back to health. But it didn't worry me. I had found the treasures I'd set out to find.

I had a light that would never go out. That would always be there to guide me down the rabbit hole.

For there is no turning back. We must take the good with the bad and remember: the darker the sky, the brighter the stars.

And besides, it’s going to make one hell of a story.

One of my absolute favourite pics from the trip: captured by my friend Tyson: my travel companion Ashlee and I sharing a moment while wandering and exploring the quiet streets of Montevideo, Uruguay.

One of my absolute favourite pics from the trip: captured by my friend Tyson: my travel companion Ashlee and I sharing a moment while wandering and exploring the quiet streets of Montevideo, Uruguay.

 

“Do you feel that?” She asked as we watched the stars and moon illuminate the sea before us. “Tell me you feel it? That longing to not just exist, but to live and to live beautifully?” I, with a smile filled with so much truth it could move the clouds, replied; “of course I feel it… the heart in you is the heart in me”

- Christopher Poindexter

 

 

Want more? Follow me on Instagram: @libbysadventure