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“If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself”. Here I sit on the Spirit of Tas, heading home with Daisy Van. I’ve been sitting here for over an hour tinkering away in the digital world oblivious to anything around me when the above line from the lady sitting on the table across, clear as day, passes through my ears. There is not an inch in my body that doubts a force and multiple energies beyond our understanding are constantly guiding us through this life experience. The more you start to tune into this awareness the more you can’t let little synchronicities, gut feelings and instincts pass you by without saying “thank you”.

As the bitter sweetness of life’s continuous closing of one door for another to open swirls through my heart, hearing those words washed over me like a big exhale as I settle in for the final journey of this dream adventure and sail home. Home to where my next chapter begins fuelled with the passion to avoid such regrets for myself and others as the dear lady across from me. And, to spark a few fires in those around me to see with their own light just how beautiful life is and the potential that blossoms when you accept the responsibility to take care of yourself. Not just your physical self, but all the pieces of your heart and mind that create your unique being. We live in a world where the striving to make living easier, makes life seems harder. More, more, more to do less, less, less to have, have, have instantly. Our brains are wired for commercial use and the thrilling short-lived response to a glorified easier “quick fix option”. With so much at our fingertips, how could such a privilege feel like a hard overwhelming burden to bear?

We move so fast, constantly multitasking in order to save time that the constant stimulation blinds us from the realisation that the continuous doing is only stealing time from us. We move so fast as though this life is a race, there is an end that we are so eager to get to yet it is that end we fear the most. Through the hustle and bustle we become seekers of perfection. We resent our body and mind when it is not in working order. We jump on any trend, pharmaceutical script, pill and quick fix advertisement to only find a bottomless pit of issues.

Do you really need “fixing”? Is the thought, self-belief, symptom or sensation in your body true to you or the triggered opinion of another and society? The body and mind are never going to reach perceived perfection. We live in a universe that is in constant motion. We need to un-plug and un-tie ourselves so we have the ability to flow with it. To listen to what’s arising and changing. Our bodies are always speaking to us and teaching us through sensation how to navigate life in a way we can feel most aligned and in good health. We need to stop exhausting ourselves with instant reactions to things that feel imperfect and simply listen and respond with care and an attitude of solving and healing not bandaging and numbing.

It’s time to retrain ourselves to care in a conscious way. To learn that the easier option is only short term and what may seem to be the harder way is a long-term path to ease. These bodies and minds we get to experience life in are living organisms and made and powered by the same materials and energy that powers the earth. The more we can remind ourselves of that, the more we want to take care of ourselves as a part of nature, to experience time as a precious gift to immerse ourselves into, not wish it away. The view of long term doesn’t seem so daunting when you understand the term doesn’t have to be dealt with all at once. The path to greater ease is a constant trail that weaves and winds, perfectly etched into the land scape of your life to get you where you need to be without getting lost, without having to cut through the beauty surrounding you in hope of a short cut. Evaluate, listen, trust and take care in every step so you never reach a point in the trail where you feel burnt out and regret not slowing down and taking the time to look after yourself to feel continuous ease and enjoyment through the whole journey.

As I make my way home to channel my focus on the law of nature, through the study of Ayurveda, this one statement made its way into my consciousness in code from such greater guidance. These words may not have been my neighbouring travellers exactly, but what I truly heard was “You are exactly where you need to be”.

Thank you.

So here we are. The final de-brief of this 22,000km Sunday drive...!

I left Caves Beach, NSW with a large keep cup full of tea for my 90-minute drive to the Sydney airport. Obviously thrilled to be picking up Mango Man, my excitement was a little dampened by first the dread of navigating Daisy through the guts of Sydney. Thankfully, google maps didn’t trip out and I didn’t slide into the wrong lanes or tunnels, and I too easily made it to the airport visitor parking. Un-thankfully, the mentioned large tea that first not only spilt on my freshly cleaned white shorts was now taking up way too much space in my bladder. On a mission for a loo before seeing Mango Man I headed straight through the slider doors to find him standing at the baggage claim. Heart skipping a beat followed by a large squeeze and the bizarreness of a real-life Mango Man in front of me and not through a screen was a long awaited dream. However, my bladder situation was very real that the squeeze was brief because “I’m sorry but I really need to wee first!”. I know, I’m a classy romantic.

After over 3 months of counting down the days to that airport pick up, I began the not so solo final East Coast leg of Australia. And what a time we had!

Our first 2 nights in Sydney turned into three after fine dining, and opera house gigging to then bed bound with a bug that I managed to avoid… or possibly already had at Seal Rocks a few weeks earlier! Once the storm passed, we began our travels down the scenic coastal route to a friends off grid cabin in Jervis Bay. Enjoying being in the passenger seat we explored the beautiful Booderee National Park before continuing further down the coast.

NSW south coast was my favourite eastern stretch of all. I didn't expect it to be as secluded as it was. Its beauty was a mix between the northern warmer landscapes of the Australian Mainland’s Coast and the much loved familiar beauty of Tassie’s East Coast. The climate was easy, the ocean was cooler - but croc free and not yet stinger filled. Mango Man followed the surf and I contentedly followed him as my nervous system began to relax as the constant need to remain alert faded away. As sad as it is that we live in a world where women must have their wits about when unaccompanied for simply existing, I finally had the best company of all and found myself peacefully grounded and protected. I enjoyed watching his “Surf Turkey” in full swing as I was too happy to flow with the swell and not have to plan where to sleep next. I was so content with the adventures I had had that I wanted to gate crash Mango man’s holiday verse he join in on mine.

We ate, swam, walked, sang, chatted, and laughed our way from Sydney to Melbourne and absorbed finally being together. So many memories made and so many opportunities ahead, it was the most precious closing out of such an unexplainably expansive life experience.

After the sweetest week spent with my partner’s lovely family in Victoria for Christmas, it was finally time to head to the Melbourne Airport and make the sneakiest of trips home to surprise friends and family. I counted in the New Year with many overdue and much longed for cuddles. Just over 6 months away, landing into Hobart was the strangest feeling. I prepared myself for the familiar feeling of being away and feeling like you’ve never left. But this was different. I did feel the expected 6 months away turn into a sense of only leaving yesterday - minus the new roads and structural changes. This time it was like experiencing the familiarity from a large treasure chest inside of me. A treasure chest of spaciousness anchored with a depth of self-knowing and understanding and a sense of feeling un-phased about life. A dis-attachment from the everyday mediocrity of life. Because life is not mediocre. We chain ourselves to just a snippet of the potential of our life with a feeling that anything different is so far out of reach.

I thought this trip would make me feel like the world is larger. And yes, you could spend a lifetime trying to explore every nook and cranny and still not see it all. But in a strange way this experience has made the world feel smaller, as though it is I who have expanded and not the world. Suddenly, this planet, dreams and experiences feel so accessible. Often, we create our own obstacles and barriers and get in our own way of what we’d love to do, when really, the reach for what is meant for you isn’t an extreme stretch at all.

Now here I am, closing this chapter in my hometown of Dodges Ferry, in my favourite little local Park Café, sipping on the best dirty brewed chai in the country (I can confirm) after a large three days of retrieving Daisy from the Mainland. This began with Mercury retrograde greeting me in full swing. My afternoon flight was cancelled. I made it to Daisy parked at the Melbourne airport at 11:45pm. Driving down the M1 after my satisfactory trip home it did cross my mind how easy it would be to continue along to the other half of Aus to my bestie in WA… knowing that that time will soon come and look a little different, I was relieved to make it to Geelong and managed a few hours of sleep before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. On the way to the terminal, for the first time in 21,000kms Daisy’s oil light flashed at me. Not planning on risking blowing poor Daisy before making it to the boat and literally going out with a bang, I pulled over ASAP and topped her up! A smooth 10 hour sail home, I resorted to food and day dreaming for entertainment. Over tired, Driving Daisy onto Tassie shores at 9:30pm, even though this road now dark, I felt as though I was only driving it yesterday to begin this adventure. It was pouring with rain, roads were wet and dark with wallabies everywhere. I was certainly home. Thankfully I hadn’t planned to drive these conditions all the way to Dodges Ferry. I stopped over in Deloraine to mentioned besties Mum’s house with all the love and doggo cuddles to welcome me. Another late night followed by the final drive home called for a power nap in Campbell Town and a coffee for the road!

Daisy girl was parked safe and sound back where she began, holding me with the same safety and soundness as she had done over this journey.

A closing to a chapter yes. But my story of adventures, lessons, learning and dreaming continues. I can’t wait to experience the unwritten and share it with you.

Sending my heart to you for coming along for the ride, it’s been so special to share it with you. May all your ideas, dreams, hopes and desires be only reached for without a stretch in 2023. You are more capable than you think.

Lots of love and adventures, Bridie xx.

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