Aaand we're LIVE!
Um, wow, making this website has been one of the most torturous and also liberating things I've ever done. So much freedom to create, so many options for customization. If you know me, you know I'm sweating every font and header style and color. Let's treat this site as permanently in beta because we can be sure I'm going to be finagling with things ongoing.
I'm writing from Ned's Cafe in the South Yarra neighborhood of Melbourne, Australia. I've been in Australia for one week and will be traveling from here until the money runs out. I expect that'll be in 2-3 months but it depends on where I go.
When I did my India/Nepal trip, my intention was to fling myself into the universe and see what happened. That's exactly what I did. In doing that, I discovered (remembered?) how much I enjoy telling stories, particularly in written form. Remember my MO in the weeks before I left for that trip? People were asking me whether I'd write a blog and I was like, FUCK no! Never will I ever. Yeah, well. If we were to play a hypothetical game of "Never Have I Ever" and the prompt was "written a blog,".... I'd have a finger going down preeeetty fast.
I never meant to blog. I mean I literally cringe when I say the word blog and I am especially nauseated by the word blogger. But I have always, always loved telling stories and I've always loved writing. During my India trip, my second grade teacher (whom i'm friends with on Facebook – Hi, Ms. Haas! I know, you're married now and I should call you Mrs. Abramson but you're always Ms. Haas to me, okay?) reached out to me to reminisce about the stories I used to write as a kid. She was like, "so great to see you writing, Allie! You've always loved writing!" Apparently I wrote a number of stories about some twins who were just crushing life? they were called the Tilden Twins, because, guess what: I've also always loved alliteration. Anyway, I digress. The point is, I love telling stories, particularly stories about what happens when I'm traveling – because when I'm traveling, I'm really just plopping myself into the center of the human experiment, and every factor in the experiment is a variable except for ME. I am the only control factor. When everything is a variable except for me, shit gets interesting.
I'm excited for this round of experimentation because this time, I'm writing more intentionally, with the goal of becoming a better author and ultimately determining whether this is a viable career path (or at least a viable side hustle). Having a real website not only holds me to a new standard (I'm paying for Squarespace versus using a free blogging template), it also provides the tools for better trans- and multi-media storytelling because I can link out, use larger photos, have more control over photo placement, et cetera. With the site, I can combine long form stories here with other places where I'm documenting the journey (Instagram, Facebook, blah blah blah.)
In the next few days I'll get into what has happened since India and what I've been up to in Australia over the past week. In the mean time, meet Mike!
One Michael Minihane, at the summit of our waterfall hike in Dharamsala, India. 2015.
Photo credit: ME.
Mike and I met in 2015 in Rishikesh, India. Mike is originally from San Francisco, but moved to Sydney after college to work for Salesforce. He's still with Salesforce, crushing it. When we met, we became instant friends. We traveled together from Rishikesh to Dharamsala, which Mike to this day cannot pronounce to save his life (correct = dah-rahm-shah-lah // mike = dur-mur-shah-lah). Our transportation package was sold as a 10-hour VIP bus ride. Accurate, with the exception of 10 hours being 15 hours, VIP being a lie, and bus being an 8-person van into which we were crammed with 13 people. Also, we had a brake failure issue mid-way. Guess that's where the bonding happened. Since then, Mike and I have kept in touch, so when I decided to come over to this part of the world I hit him up. I flew to Sydney, where he lives, and crashed on his couch in Manly Beach for 3 nights. Mike had to come to Melbourne for a work trip, so I tagged along and here we are. Side note: while in Dharamsala, Mike and I spent hours in a Tibetan woman's shop admiring her hand-painted artwork. Mike spent FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY US DOLLARS on this ridiculous piece that was so large he literally didn't have a wall big enough for it when he first got back to Sydney. When I arrived at his place last week, it was finally framed and hanging. Epic moment.
Tomorrow (Sunday) Mike and I are heading back to sydney. My family is taking a vacation in Portugal in August and I'll be meeting them in Lisbon on August 9th. Until then, I'm on my own. Although I'm living out of a backpack, it's pretty cushy in AUS. The real roughin' it will start on Tuesday... i've got a one way to Hanoi, Vietnam.
As I said, stories from the road coming soon. Also thinking of developing the following posts at some point:
1. FAQ (examples include: "did you ever feel scared while you were traveling alone in india?", "where did you stay?", "were you afraid you wouldn't get a job when you got back?", and "not to be rude, but, how much money did you need?")
2. THE BACKPACK. An in-depth look at the pack itself, what's inside and how it's all organized to enable life on the road.
Yeah? Are those interesting? What else?
Much love from Melbourne,