The Big Itch

by Ant Stone on January 22, 2009

in Australia,Reprint

On Monday I said “I wanna travel around Australia by tuktuk!” On Tuesday I stammered “I wanna travel around Australia by motorbike!” On Wednesday, I caved in and decided “I wanna travel around Australia by tractor!” On Thursday I compromised and concluded “I wanna travel around Australia by Citroen 2CV” On Friday I was feeling rather down and sighed “I wanna walk around Australia” By Saturday I was better and exclaimed “I think we should just hitchhike around Australia” and by Sunday I conceded “I think you’re right babe – a campervan might be the best way to travel around Australia” She smiled, that knowing smile, that only I know. “But…” I continued, “When we get to New Zealand, I think we should travel around on two scooters!” Her knowing smile drew itself into her eyes and she speared me with that knowing look.

In case you haven’t noticed, Australia is a big place. To put it into perspective you could fit the whole of India, Kazakhstan, Chile, Burma and the United Kingdom within its waistline and still have room for more than twenty six Liechtenstein’s. I’m not sure what you’d do with twenty six Liechtenstein’s – maybe have a Liechtenstein Dual whereby all the Lichtenstein’s have to battle it out in a dark enchanted forest, with the winner (Sir Lichtenstein) taking over the fallen’s territories. Or maybe just Twister. Getting back to my point. Australia is Big, and it’s not like it’s full of things to see either. Don’t get me wrong there are glorious valleys, quirky backwater towns, tales of the unexpected, grog-drenched bars, stud-filled beaches and trippy trails and that’s before we even get to world’s first people and their Dreaming. Yes, Australia has all this, but with a whole… lot… of… nothingness… in… between. To get an idea of our theoretical route; draw a rough blue outline of Australia; now draw a red circle around the coast and a line from the top centre to the middle; finally place twenty six random dots to represent the 2009 Duel of Liechtensteiners participants. Now, just for fun write how many kilometres you think that line might be in real terms. Now finish reading this paragraph and go to the next one.

Now cross out what you wrote and put the figure sixteen thousand kilometres, or, if you’d prefer write ten thousand miles. That’s almost as far as it is from my hometown in England to my home in Australia. That’s a big road trip.

That’s enough about how big things are, its giving me a complex. Needless to say, there is one thing that’s bigger than all of the above and that’s the size of my itch to get on the road again. As I type, I’m watching the clouds grasping at those final rays of daylight, tucking them like spaghetti into their bellies. I’ve quit my office job, breaking free from the chains of reality and my yearning soul is urging me onwards. Free from the city. Free from the hum and the drum, free from the beat, free from the fridge and the flow. In just over a month, this site will once again be feeding off its original diet. Travel. Glorious. Travel.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ant January 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Postscript – Reb just read the post and asked me if “Liechtenstein” was a beer.

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Nomadic Matt February 2, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Ant, love your stories but it would be a bit easier to read if they were broken up into smaller paragraphs and with some photos. we web addicts skim :)

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Ant February 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm

@Matt: Point taken on the paragraphs side and you’ll notice a photo in the latest post ‘Can’t Stand the Heat?’. My posts are coming down in size, but I’ll never sacrifice impact for anything.

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