Camper Cruising

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

My sweet van has fuzzy pink handcuffs dangling from the rearview mirror. A good reminder of the shackles left behind. Soft and fuzzy, but still restricting…

The bed

the back view

I do not leave home without a Sector 9 skate!

Driving view…

Driving along in my Sopranos van, left hand stick shifting on the “wrong” side of the road, I look out over the calm highway at the expanse of green surrounding me and feel giddiness bubbling up into a smile not to be erased anytime soon. All the responsibility of the last so many months to family, friends, boyfriend, photo shoots, contests is left in the dust as the dashboard kilometer ticker spins.

Yeah, my friends are hilarious, but it’s time for some time alone!

Sure I’ll meet up with those things once again, but right now the sense of freedom and adventure is so dangerously euphoric to my addiction prone personality that I’m a bit worried about losing any impetus whatsoever to return home.

One campervan, one chair…

…one happy camper


This morning marks day four. Four days wandering alone down the beautiful coast of Eastern Australia. It’s been one long candy necklace of perfectly sweet moments in which I fully realize that at this all-important “now”, I’d prefer to be absolutely nowhere else in the world. (I may have used that line one too many times, then again, isn’t that the goal? Enjoying right here right now completely? Maybe I’m just better at that than most.)

Sure the mozzies are a bit annoying. It’s warm out but I’ve got arms and legs covered, hands and feet sprayed with all natural lemon and eucalyptus insect repellant that works as well as the plastic-melting deet found in the usual toxic concoctions. Still, the mozzies are quiet. Yesterday my cell phone was out of service, preventing the pressures of home from seeping into this tranquility, and when I returned to the main road from Crescent Head, I kept it off. Ahh. The sound of solitude.

Sandy dry grass beneath adventurous toes
White rocky plain and shadow fallen cliff
Topped with trees a rustlin’,
Wind a dustin’ off the cobwebs,
And inspiration rushes in.
The steady sound of nature roaring to spite the din
Of the drone of a thousand hands reaching
Now left behind
Allowing me retreat within

I tasted the first bite of candy in the first few Kms on the road. Still focused on the novel feel of left hand on the stick and keeping that right tire parallel to the center line, I fiddled with the radio dial and nearly lost control with surprise as the familiar America-accented sounds of NPR came through the speakers. “What? How good is this?” The Australian news channel was broadcasting NPR’s coverage of the US presidential primary race. I could hardly believe my ears. (Go Obama!) I felt at home and simultaneously very much away, and the feeling was intoxicating.

I came across this skatepark one morning and had to go for it!

An effervescent feeling’s rising,
And sunshine’s closing in.
There’s a smile that warms completely,
Beneath this devilish grin.
Certain evidence to be used by those insisting
That solitude pleasures are a sin.

This morning, I packed up my van, said goodbye to the sweet lady running the Delicate Nobby Camping Ground and her group of hand-fed kangaroos.

The surf out front on the South side of the Crescent Head point was one foot and onshore. Good driving conditions, so instead of turning left and back to town down the long dirt road from which I entered, I nosed my van to the right instead. Let’s see where this dirt road goes, I thought. Who knows, it might re-join the highway?

The wide sandy colored dirt was washboard smooth. It ran along the ocean for a bit then round up a hill and into a forest of thin trees. Back down around a bend and the road started to narrow and become less smooth. The first few big bumps sent my van shuddering and I took off my seatbelt to avoid the choke. Hands at ten and two, I swerved back and forth avoiding the bigger bumps or taking them on at an angle. Big mud puddles developed, forcing me to hug the tree-lined edges of the “road” and more and more I was sure this was not going to link up with the highway. Still, I had gone too far to turn back and wondered where I would end up. Eventually, I saw a Jeep coming towards me and my hopes flickered that there would be an outlet, until the dust from the Jeep cleared and all that was before me was thick sand.

I did an about-face and started heading back the way I’d just come from. I wasn’t disappointed at all. In fact, I was excited. Now there was no need to spend even that little bit of mental energy on wondering where the road was leading. I could now completely enjoy the obstacles of bump and puddle, all the way back to the highway.

Smooth black pavement stretching
Two lanes through plains of grass
Left hand controlling shifting
From this right here
To that long since passed
And now my thoughts are circling
Round how might I make this feeling last?

The list of life suggestions at the top I found in a book I picked up along the way. Some Day: Inside the Dream Tour and Mick Fanning’s 2007 World Championship Win by Will Swanton. It’s the best book on professional surfing I’ve ever read. The writing style gets a little repetitive but overall it is entertaining, informative, and insightful. It looks at the 5 best surfers in the world and examines how Mick was able to top them all last year. Somewhere in the first few chapters, the author lists those suggestions for life. I agree with all of them and have made an effort to live just like that. The only one I truly struggle with is choosing with no regret. Everyone needs something to work on. And because I feel they are so important, here they are again:

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.

I’m quite impressed with the quality of the camera built into my computer!

Time to get back on the road…

This entry was posted in Adventure Stories, Words of a Wondering Wanderer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Camper Cruising

  1. Anonymous says:

    Was looking around to see if anyone had read the book and … someone has!! GREAT website!!! Enjoy your travels. Will

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hello Holly…I am also a student at Walden and happened upon your Web site after seeing your profile on the Campus Cruiser. I must say I am very impressed with the compilation of picks and stories which illustrate yuor trip. The only thing I didn’t like about it was not being there with you. You have painted a totally differnt picture and storyline in my mind of what the Austrailian coastline looks like. I hope someday soon I will be fortunate enough to check it out for myself.Best, George

  3. Beach Bum says:

    I shouldn’t read much into the pink handcuff bit should I?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This was very well done. Your words and pictures are inspiring to me. I live in Newport but have lived in many different places around the country and world. Australia is one of my favorite places. I liked what you said regarding something to the effect of live as if this is all there is. Excellent. Cheers to you and safe travels. I would like to surf with you sometime.Paul M.

  5. monica says:

    I live by the quote, “Choose with no regret.” Actually, I am getting it tattooed on my foot in the near future. I think it is a good message. It is useless to regret. We all do things that we, later, realize weren’t the best things to do, but, I think, that instead of dwelling on things that we can’t change, it is important to focus on not repeating the same kind of mistakes in the future. As long as we can learn from our mistakes and, therefore, strive at becoming better individuals, there really isn’t much point in dwelling in the state of regret. Try to make choices that won’t lead to regretful feelings. Of course, we will not always make the right choices in life, but we can certainly learn from the wrong ones. That is what that quote says to me, and I think it is uplifting and refreshing.

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