A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.
The bus is starting to roll down the road to leave the park. The trees of green and brown, formerly intricately textured are now only quick snapshots linked by a blur. My Overland Track backpack and two other bags ride below and another up with me. My feet spread out unencumbered into my Chocos. The seat is plush and Billy Idol informs me over the bus speakers that the weather forecast is favorable for weddings.
The light streams through a leafy canopy and I savor the taste of Cadbury’s chocolate. I’m on my way back to civilization and I’m excited. I’ve linked back in to some extent. Back to the world of chargers and internet. Of access to foods and drink that I want when I want them. Back to new people every day, of an array of people watching. I do love the city and I’m truly pumped to be going back.
But the trees open up on the right and a clearing spreads out to a eucalypt forest lying in front of a denser rainforest on a mountain. I can see it all lain out and know that in one day I could see all these things up close as I walk among them. Not even out of the park and already I want to plan my next one.
I haven’t showered in a week save for one brief river dip. My hair hasn’t seen shampoo in nine days. My hands soap in eight (using sanitizer, don’t worry). My face a razor in two weeks. There’s been composting toilets and only cold water from a tank of rain water most likely safe to drink. And my body has adapted to it all. Well almost. My feet are sore and refuse my boots, and my socks (the only pair I wore while hiking) reek. But aside from my feet, I don’t reek. My clothes have taken the brunt and they can easily be rinsed in the river on a dry day. My body instantly conformed to the schedules dictated by periodic proximity to a toilet I don’t have to dig. I’m comfortable with the cold and the sleeping on a board (on a ground pad and sleeping bag).
I’ve learned something on this, my first overnight hike. I do truly love nature and camping – something I was starting to get worried was done more out of momentum than preference. But I love the city too. And the suburbs. The key is that any of them will stop shining so brightly if I’m always there. I need a change of scenery. And two weeks a year won’t cut it. My life, at least for the foreseeable future and possibly any time I’m feeling down, needs some travel, be it all the time or for other periods / purposes.
And I do truly love the world. At least, I can truly enjoy it.