For many months at the end of last year and the beginning of this, as we were up to our eyeballs with buying Galactic and getting ready for the Pacific crossing, I just wanted to be in Iluka, with nothing more ambitous in my routine than a daily surf and hanging out with our friends.
I was a bit surprised, when we finally got here, to find our local friends more or less as flat-out in their daily lives as we were. Just like us, they're serving the triple demands that people in their thirties and forties find themselves beholden to - raising the kids, making a living, and, with whatever energies are left over, trying to organize things around some vision of what might add up to a satisfying life. As every generation finds out, it's all too much, and it warmed our hearts to see that our land friends are just as overwhelmed with it all as we are.
Of course, these folks have the great Australian cure coming up, in the form of a few weeks of summer holidays, beginning now. But our timing is a bit off. In the way of these things, our original plan of staying here for months has been whittled down to six weeks, and we're planning to leave soon after Boxing Day. We caught Iluka while our friends were in their frantic end of the year push (well, "frantic" in a limited Iluka sort of way), and now we're about to leave as their weeks of leisure begin. So we didn't quite recapture the magic of our previous stays here, when we were in town for months at a time and it seemed that the barbecues and beach sessions would never end. Even though our small group of friends here includes some of our very favorite people, this time around we didn't have nearly as many peak travel experiences that we've had while hanging out with them in the past.
Maybe that's why surprise and spontaneity are so valuable when you're traveling: long-anticipated destinations have that way of not quite meeting expectations when you finally reach them. Everyone knows that you can't go home again. But it turns out that it can also be hard to revisit your favorite travel spots, too.
Elias giving a tour of Galactic.