Bucket List Success
Some of my many photos
I've Done It!
Some six months ago, I set off to achieve something that had been on my Bucket List for several years. I managed a couple of posts on HubPages, but as I travelled I had challenges at many places getting quality internet, and so was not able to keep up my goal of writing more Hubs, but I did manage first days of my epic journey. and the Pinnacles,
I write this Hub to report that I have returned safely to my home town, after driving some 22,000 kilometers and having an amazing collection of experiences along the way.
There is some irony in the fact that the place I set off from (Brisbane, Queensland) has suffered massive rainfall and localised flooding almost constantly since I left, but in more than five months driving I have never had to drive in rain, and never had to use the windscreen wipers to clear it from rain. My days for the most part were under deep blue skies, with rare cloud formations. It did rain - on several occasions it rained during the night and on two occasions it did rain, but those were days I was not 'on the road', so never had to riMsk driving on wet roads. In fact every where I went was drought stricken and how I prayed that the rain that Brisbane no longer wanted would venture west or north to those parts of our huge continent that need it more! Even now, as I am back in Brisbane it has rained constantly here, but still no rain or very little rain, has fallen in those devastated parts that need it more. Strange how nature works.
Before I departed I had a wide range of dire warnings about the risks I was taking driving around the country on my own. In fact when I asked for suggestions on Facebook about things to take, the most item suggested was a gun! That was a dilemma for me, as (a) I do not know how to use a gun and (b) in Australia I would need to be licenced and know how to use one. I would have to throw it at my attacker, and it all sounded too hard, so I just made up some rules for me to ensure that I was not in too many risky situations.
Travelling on outback roads can be hazardous - apart from the wild goats, kangaroos, emus and cattle that do not know any road rules, there are huge road trains. Not all drivers obey the road rules either!
I was determined NOT to pick up hitchhikers (there was no room in my car anyway!), not drive at night, and not stop for accidents, (though I did break that rule on one occasion when I actually witnessed an accident where two young boys could have been injured or worse!)
Before I set out, I made a list of towns I wanted to visit, places I wanted to see, and things I wanted to do. Today I accidentally found the list of towns I wanted to visit, and it almost gave me goosebumps when I ticked them off. A couple of places I did not stop as I had originally planned, but made it to a nearby place of interest, but I came close to a 100% success rate!!
What I learned during my travels that so many people were flabbergasted that I would attempt such a long journey on my own! Me, a woman!!! I don't know how many places (hotels, caravan parks etc) asked where my husband was! I could not surely be travelling solo!
I also found out that my daughter and son, and their friends were amazed that I had achieved it, and I heave learned that many folk followed my travels on Facebook, where I would occasional post a photo or a story.
On the last day of my driving I cried. I think I was especially tired, though I did manage to drive 12 hours that day to reach 'home'. I cried because I had done it!!! I could cross that off my bucket list!!!
Now I have to plan the rest of my life - get back to my writing, finish off some of the stories languishing in my computer.
I have seen more of Australia than most other Australians. I have met others on my journey who also have achieved solo journeys around this magnificent country. I met a woman who had ridden a motor bike around Australia, and another who has for months lived in a motor home as she wandered aimlessly in the country. I met many couples towing a caravan, or a van and a boat and a car!
So many grey nomads (senior Aussies) exploring the country and having a wonderful time. For me, I had an awesome and safe journey. It is really not as SCARY as many people believe, though I recognise there is an element of comfort when you are not alone. The BIG BONUS is that I could choose when and where I stopped, where I went - I made all of the decisions, though at times I did seek advice from others.
I cried on the way home. I was rather tired and keen to see family again, but I knew I had achieved something that others have been to scared to attempt. I came home safely - having had NO problems along the way. I have seen much of my beloved country and learned that there is much more to see.
Now to plan my next adventure....................