A Travellerspoint blog

Going underground

Twenty-five

Days, months and years pass on by. Like a quickening flow of sand through the hour glass. I'm going underground for a while.

I've had reason to reflect upon myself and my life in the last few weeks, some days waking up in the cold dark grasp of self-loathing, other days in the warm light of self-love. I seem to fuck up sometimes, even with the best of intentions. Life goes on.

The only solution is to leave and start over, build something new, and grow again.

The only conclusion is that life is as it should be, this is my path, lonely as it can be at times. I stay on it, while others are falling.

All in all I'm happy with the life I chose, though restless at times, and wicked at times, I embrace the experience.
How can you hold a grudge against someone when they've just been kind enough to teach you something. Sometimes the lesson hurts, sometimes the lesson is to hurt, sometimes there is no hurt. No matter what you do, you will walk out of it with a lesson learnt, an experience gained, it was meant to be. We're all just drifting around in the sea of life, bumping into each other, crossing paths and affecting one another. Sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, but there is no escaping the cause and effect; for every action there is a reaction.

The best thing you can do is to man up, stop complaining about your situation, stop telling everybody what you want to find and actually go out there and find it. You can't find fun, unless you go out there and find fun. Fun won't find you.

So I will bounce myself back up, and I will throw myself in the way of the other things floating around in this pond, just to see what happens. Because: no matter the outcome, I will have grown.

So the lonely nomad goes underground, away from his life for a day. I'll see ya on the other side of twenty-five.

Beppe Karlsson, Melbourne

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 21:33 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Live like the Devil

When change is not constant

When you live like the Devil, you gotta pay your dues in Hell.

I'm sure you've heard the words "the only constant is change", a true statement? If so, then how do you adapt to a life where change is not constant? In fact we all know change is not constant, it's exponential, hence the expression "when it rains, it pours". However, change is inevitable, making for conservative ideologies to be obsolete before they even began to explain a problem. How about we instead use the knowledge of old in a constructive way and evolve it, progress the thinking to match the world of today, and tomorrow.

To take this all down to my very own personal level: how does the traveller adapt when he realizes change is not constant? What will he do once he realizes he has had what one place can offer and nothing more can come of it, nothing new? Will he just uproot again like the junkie for change that he is? Then what if he has made the decision, but the change is too far out of his reach at the moment?

I've been in Melbourne for almost seven months now. It feels like an eternity, as well as just yesterday, since I arrived at the airport and gave my brother a warm loving embrace. I've gone through four different jobs in that time, I've made friends from all corners of the town, and the world. I've gained experience and skills. I've developed new ideas, changed my way of thinking and seeing the world. I've changed as a person, I've grown.

My original plan was to celebrate my quarter-century marker on the road, with Melbourne in my back. Well, I will leave Melbourne, but only for the day. I will drop off the face of the Earth, only for one day, but I will come back. I'm not finished here yet, I still need to sort a few things out.

This is where I am, and when you've already made up your mind, made peace with the fact that you're going to leave and explore new things again, bringing on a new wave of change, you find it hard to function within the old reality.

I now have less than a month to finish up here, farmwork awaits, and the normal mixed feelings about leaving resurface. As a result of my life as unemployed, not eating properly, I became weak. I then threw myself head first into hours of labor, all to re-inflate my economic bubble, allowing for more leaks before I rest my case and move on. Finding myself behind the bar with the constant buzzing of happy people and emotions (mixed with negative vibes and proper cunts) lead to my own awakening from the slumber, and I soon found myself going out and about on night-time adventures. In short it lead to excess, but since I practice Excess in Moderation I had to cut myself off. The only problem is that once you cut yourself off, your body begins to catch up, and sometimes it realizes you rather mistreated it: you become sick.

So here I am now, wrapped up in a blanket with a fever, waiting to go to work for the last time this week. Then begins my days of recovery. I wish it was tonight already. But when you live like the Devil, you gotta pay your dues in Hell.

Beppe Karlsson, Melbourne

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 20:13 Archived in Australia Tagged melbourne australia Comments (1)

The Fisherman

and the smell of sea on his soul

I almost feel like a Fisherman, or a Fishmongerer, shoveling fish at the people. Salmon, tuna, shellfish and Shark. All drowned in a fresh layer of alcoholic beverages. - It's such a beautiful place to spend a Tuesday night. Love, laughter and life.

I'm being stupid, and needy enough of cash, that I am covering a shift at work for my buddy to go on a Valentines-date. I'll just find myself in the middle of one of the biggest rushes of the year, how exciting. I hope people's amorous feelings towards one another will result in a tipping war, in order to impress the lady you're taking out for this "romantic" occasion. - Yes baby, I've got cash. Girl, I'm so loaded with bills I'll explode if I don't give a big tip.

Yes, here it is, the good old "all-hearts' day" as we say back home. The most "romantic" day of the year. This is the chance to buy some stuff for your girl to impress her. Spend some money, make someone's pockets fatter, and maybe score tonight.

Me? I'm not a Valentines day-hater. I don't really give a fuck. It's a day like the others. It just has a theme. It doesn't really make it romantic, but if people want to do something special on this day, then by all means: go for it.

I've had to alter my plans slightly, if you want to be successful on the road you need to be flexible. You can have a list of things you want to see. But a trip that goes on for over a year can't be planned in detail. It's just such a long stretch of time, there are too many variables to take into consideration. The time and place I had in mind for farmwork has changed. Or at least slightly. For now I'll just focus on pouring drinks and serving food, while stuffing myself with the fruits of the sea, and enjoying a knock off beer.

I am now back to loving this life again. The beautiful rollercoaster of life.

Beppe Karlsson, Melbourne.

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 18:51 Archived in Australia Tagged fish australia bar bartending beppe_karlsson Comments (1)

Free pourin'

The art of juggling two jobs

This is totally messing up my sleep pattern. Late nights, mixed in with morning shifts and hangovers is taking it's toll.

Yes, I am still alive, possibly going stronger than before. My fire is once more burning bright. I've realized that leaving that other job was the best thing I could do. Even when I only work 3-4 days a week I still earn more than I did working 6 days, about 10 hours a day at my last two jobs. Hell, 3 shifts at Richmond Oysters paid more in tips than one of the weeks at my last job.

One downside now is that my weekends are completely booked with two shifts each for both my jobs. Enjoying days off, scattered throughout the week. I'm not complaining though. I love pouring drinks, chatting shit with customers and having a few knock off drinks with the guys. However, being hungover behind the bar is not a desirable situation. The first few beers you pour almost makes you want to puke. But the pizza at the Boathouse is fucking delicious.

I've noticed I'm starting to play favorites for one of my jobs, the balance is definitiely tipping more in one way than the other.

I'm also getting mentally prepared for the next stage of my trip. I can feel that dear old wanderlust getting a hold of my soul again, pulling me, yanking me, urging me onwards. Soon it is time.

I will give the East coast some of my love, then stop up in Queensland for the mandatory farmwork, for the visa extension. I'm looking forward to a proper bogan experience. I'll sit and drink Bundaberg rum with the leathery tanned men and women, look them in the eye and note how their smiles bare the gaps of missing teeth. Maybe I'll even get my hands on a hat, Crocodile Dundee style.

One thing is for certain though, I've given Melbourne five months of my life by now. I've loved this experience, even though it's been rough love at times, but she only beats me 'cus she loves me, she said. However, I have this thing in my heart, my soul, this undescribable lust to keep moving. The nomad gene. I just can't help it, I have to keep on moving.

Catch you in a not too distant future, with some lovely updates and pictures from a hot and sunny Australia.

Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 22:27 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Flippin' pennies

The art of being broke and living like a prince

Being a hardcore traveller, you sometimes find yourself in situations that would shatter a normal person. Being completely broke, with no safety net, is one of them.

Everyone can relate to the stress of seeing your bank account running dry, knowing you still have more bills to pay, and above all: rent, before it will top up again. What makes the life of a traveller different to most of you out there is that it happens often. So often that I'm getting used to it.

I remember the first time I found myself in this situation: I was in Toronto, Canada, living the hostel dream. Sharing a room with seven other people, working in exchange for bread and shelter. I kept on getting moved from room to room as I couldn't book more than a few nights in advance. I hadn't had a private moment, just laying in my bed all alone in the room, in about two months. My pockets were empty and I was skipping meals. Not just single meals, that is normal for people that work hard or get distracted, but all meals for the day. At one point I hadn't had a single bite to eat in about two days. My energy was drained. I went shopping for the cafe at the hostel and found myself at an indoor market, completely drowning in the aromas of spices, tees and coffees. I soon started feeling light headed, losing my balance, so I left the store and thought I probably needed some fresh air. Before I made it out to the street however, things went pitch black. Next thing I knew I was outside, sitting down on a bench. I don't really know how I made it there.

I was stressing a lot. Making big deals out of nothing, having fights with just about anyone that was giving me the slightest bit of resistance and freaking out over the impending homelessness that seemed to be inevitably waiting for me around the corner.

So what happened? Yeah, I did run out of money and free nights. But thanks to charitable friends and strangers, and a fair bit of luck, I survived until I managed to score a job. The following four months were amongst the best in my traveling life.

The difference this time is that I am much more prepared. I can spot these problems coming up, and I know I can manage this; I mean, I've done it before. Furthermore, I know it is always well worth the effort and the hardship you go through. Even though I sometimes don't know where my next meal will come from I always enjoy this life I've chosen for myself so much more than what society would have me do. I'd rather be broke on the road than be broke at university.

I also know that the conditions on the road change rapidly. Just a week ago I was in a lot of stress, unemployed, with an almost empty bank account and no safety net. Today I find myself in a completely different situation. I now have the luxury problem of having to manage the shift puzzle of two jobs that both want me in on weekends. Already in my first week there has been a conflict and I have a feeling I might have to make a choice of one of the two. But until then I will take as many hours as I can and get myself out of this state of personal bankruptcy.

I knew I would make it, I always do, and now you are reading the blog of a traveling bartender/waiter. I've forgotten how it feels to have money and to be able to do things, finally it will change. It's a good experience to go through every once in a while, especially once you feel how the stress and pressure lifts from your shoulders and heart. Finally you can breathe again, and sometimes a very good thing will come out of being broke. In this case I was forced to quit smoking as I could no longer afford tobacco, and I am happy to report that I am now nicotine free for about a week.

Even though you don't have much money, you can still do things. You might just have to budget a road trip differently, and if it means you have to sleep in the car, then so be it. Although we only spent the night in the car as there was no available hotel room.
In the days after Christmas I went to the Grampians, a mountain chain about three hours North West of Melbourne, for some hiking and relaxing among all the kangaroos that were everywhere in this tiny town called Halls Gap. I wouldn't be surprised if there were more kangaroos than people living there, apart from all the tourists of course.

grampians1.jpg

grampians2.jpg

We also checked out the MacKenzie Falls, one of Victoria's largest waterfalls and I snapped some pics of the cascading water.

MacKenzie_Falls2.jpg

MacKenzie_Falls1.jpg

Until next time,
Beppe Karlsson

Posted by Beppe.Karlsson 19:34 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

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