Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter, looking forward

11/4/2009

Happy Easter!

It is so hard sometimes not to just look at tomorrow.

I'm sitting in a cafe at Traralgon (average coffee), enjoying a weekend, some time off.  With the Easter long weekend approaching my immediate thoughts were to find a country town or holiday place that would give me a few shifts and some accommodation for the weekend.  My main occupation currently is working, earning, getting by, and with a couple of short working weeks causing problems for the balance sheets it made some sense.  But thinking about it, what I was really looking to do was to extend the status quo - the day-to-day - to a long-weekend.  No, I decided, no, fuck that, I'm going to have an actual weekend.  I'm going to have some time off, get back in touch with my todo lists, and find other ways to be productive.  It is so easy when working a lot to measure productivity in terms of the job, but if I learnt anything being unemployed in Melbourne, it's that there are more ways to produce value than working for The Man. It might seem subtle, but it was quite striking having that realisation and deciding to do something else (beyond a tomorrow the same as today).

It just so happens, being a traveller - an explorer - getting out and about and seeing places is high up the priority list. The lucky bastard I am, going for a ride isn't an indulgence, it's an investment. Am I living the life, or what?

After a rather anulled Good Friday, today's SVDownunder ride was a no-brainer that I was well overdue for.  Having had a bit of wristy fun, discovered some absolutely fabulous places (Walhalla), I'm hanging out in Traralgon, pursuing another aspect of life's todo list, blogging. It's been a while, and while I'll be brief I'll let you know the situation.

Sydney

With the parents scheduled to depart Sydney for Europe in May I've settled on a Melbourne departure; sometime soon after Sunday 17th May. I'll head home to look after the house and dog, tie up a few loose ends, and hang out in Sydney a bit.

If I've learnt one thing about Sydney in my time away it's that I don't know it that well.  Just as this trip is to get aquainted with an Australian backyard I don't really know, it will also be about learning the front yard I've always lived in.  Being 'on holidays' provides an excellent opportunity to do just that, so when I get back I'll be exploring Sydney and surroudns as well.  I'm really looking forward to it - and to getting back in touch with everyone.

I'll be doing a lot of bike (and van) work as well - including possibly painting both bikes, maybe some hearty engine or suspension work.

I'm thinking very hard about selling both the racebike and the van... - yes the van I only just bought and spent forever messing around with.  The money could be directed so much better, and I'm not using the van a great deal.  I do also have a weird desire to live rough - just the bike and luggage - which I can see being a much more fulfilling way to travel.  A few of the drawcards of having a van haven't really come into play - the only real sacrifices would be not being able to carry a bicycle, and cutting down on clothing (it's hard enough getting through a full working week with four black t-shirts and two whites).  Part of the willingness to do away with these is the realisation that the money for the van - the rego alone! - would cover purchasing new things as needed.  The van isn't worth enough that it wouldn't be worth keeping it sitting around if it weren't for rego costs - and I'm not factoring in the insurance I am still putting off purchasing.

I think I just convinced myself - the only thing really left for the sales to hinge on is finding buyers.
Anyone want to buy a minivan or a racebike?

Melbourne

So, with limited time (a month!), I am trying to do Melbourne to a timeframe.  A few of the things I am looking forward to:

Comedy Festival: there's all sorts of stuff on, it's a great opportunity to get out and see what the town's about.

Motorcycling: there's a few general areas and a few must-dos, like the Great Ocean Road, South Gippsland (and the Strzeleckis), the bushfire-affected East, and the greater-Melbourne metro area.

AFL: I've done cricket at the MCG, but not AFL (anywhere).  I'd love to see the Swans play, but if I want to catch an MCG match I'll have to do someone else.

Bars, restaurants, coffee... there's a famous bar or two I need to try out, some hot tapas places, some famous espressos to try, and a few restaurants - particularly the Greek cuisine so famous here, unfortunately largely expensive eateries these days.

Melbourne Discourse: by which I mean the 'talk', art etc. about and characterising Melbourne. In particular, I want to borrow Radical Melbourne (2) and wander the streets with it.

Graduate work: I'm still working on getting a job for next year, and unfortunately it doesn't look as though any application processes will have finished within the month.  I'm not that worried about whether I can find something, I'd just like it finalised.

Property: the parents have more or less withdrawn support for me to get a property down here, and as much as I could work on that, don't I have better things to do?


Speaking of which


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@JohnSBaxter
2009-traveldiary.blogspot.com
2009-motorcyclist.blogspot.com
jsbaxter.com.au (coming soon!)

4 comments:

Hamish said...

I was curious to see how the van might work out...

At this stage it will seem like an unfair parallel, but flying budget around Europe (ie with very little luggage) has been more satisfying than paying that extra £10 to take a big bag that you then have to haul around everywhere you go.

Travelling light saves dollars, makes you more mobile, your plans more flexible, and all of this seems to make for a more satisfying experience. So far.

This is the travel philosophy I will be trying to operate on around Europe on a motorbike. Let me know how it works out for you down south if you beat me to it...

Charles Tian said...

Hello Mr Baxter
Still very envious of your current lifestyle, liberated of assignments and all things academia.
You'll swing by the university and say Hi to those of us still stuck here eh?
:P
5 more days i guess. So drop us a line, maybe come to uni on a tuesday and have waffles. XD
-Charles

JSB said...

WAFFLES!? Yes, I'm there. I might even come back early.

Actually... I have a couple of employment 'assessment centre' type things here in Melbourne, so while I will have 'left' this weekend, I'm not back in Sydney until about Friday.

YES I am looking forward to it!
(Though I will also miss Melbourne town.)

JSB said...

Updating: I did a camp at Geelong > ride Great Ocean Road last weekend. It worked well, though my appropriately warm sleeping back is quite huge - I have since worked out how to stow it on the outside. This will give me plenty of room for short-term supplies, and hopefully even room enough for long-term clothes etc. Taking two days next week to do more testing...

I have bought a fully-sic camping stove, btw, it packs down awesomely small and gets good raps for heating. (EXCITING.)

Also, Geelong is nice. There is a good range of pubs and a few nice spots in town. Didn't really get around to much in daylight hours though.