Sunday, January 09, 2011

What Next?

In a mellow mood right now. We're staying in the place below, The Inn at 943 South Van Ness, Mission District, San Francisco. Our room is the big bay window on the second floor. Above is me reading Eat, Pray, Love in that very Bay window. I'm feelling chilled, enjoying the book and listening to Zoe Keating's Into The Trees (again).

I know I've said I could live in most of the places I've been to. I've had the piss taken because of it. Fact is, as this trip draws to a close (fuck me if we won't be partying at Rainbow Serpent in less than two weeks... so much to do before then), but it's true. I haven't missed Sydney once (The friends, yes, the place, no), and I haven't lived in Melbourne yet or even set up a place to start living there, so I really feel no loyalty to Melbourne. It just feels like a better place to live than Sydney.

But looking around at San Francisco... it's an exciting place, the food is so good, the weather is mild and just look at these San Fran buildings. They are everywhere and they are so beatuful - I'd really like to live in one for a while. Set up a writing desk in one of the bay windows and get back to some real writing. Apparently The Dreaded One can get an American passport so maybe it's possible. There is still so much to explore here that I know I want to come back at least to visit, but why not explore the possibilities of living here?

There is reality to deal with, of course. Always the fly in the ointment. Employment is the biggie. As it is I don't have any particular skills that will guarantee me work back in Australia, let alone a foreign country. The idea when we settle in Melbourne is for us to start our own catering company and for me to pick up whatever freelance writing I can, maybe have a proper go at some travel writing, but it's all going to take time. It would take a much longer time to do it here... (as I write this I lean over and tell The Dreaded One what I am writing and she has suggested looking up what the competition or prospective employers are like here)... thing is I just don't want to work for anyone else for any longer than I have to. I'm not very good at it. Or rather, I've just been much happier when we've been self-employed. (The Dreaded One has just whipped out her Android and is looking up catering companies in the Bay area).

I don't know where I'm going with this. Elizabeth Gilbert's book is making me want to write. It's making me want to keep traveling. I'm very aware all of a sudden that our trip is nearing the end. Naturally I feel less than thrilled about this. More importantly, I feel extraordinarily priveleged to have experienced it at all. It only took the minor upheaval of selling our home (such a short sentence but I can't explain what we went through to actually go through with it... all the sensible people insisted we were mad and irresponsible; our traveller friends and our doofer friends were supportive so it was a confusing time), and we still face a lot of unknowns but it was all worth it in the end. Best thing we've ever done.

I suspect I'll hit Rainbow and be dancing with friends and will feel at home. I always feel properly at home when bare-footed and dancing in the sun surrounded by friends. Funny concept, feeling at home when you're in a field with music and friends. But I know it will happen. And we will probably start putting down roots in Melbourne and life will take us in another direction.

Thing is, you just never know. This time last year I had no idea I would be here in California, hanging out with my beloved spiritual kid sis. It would be months before the idea of selling up and travelling would even be planted, a couple of short months after that that our home was sold, our life packed into boxes, world trip planned and us making it through those final, hectic days to be Madrid-bound on the start of a very cool adventure.

You just never know.


Guyana-Gyal said...

I too feel that I can live anywhere. The key is to know what you want out of life, find a place, dig in, set to work.

I think, if you really push it, you can make it as a writer.

I can't wait to hear about Melbourne.

Psst, I think I would enjoy living in Sydney. I know, I know, you would say don't :-)

Lee said...

No GG, Sydney is kind of cool. I wouldn't say don't live here. It's just not my home anymore.

Also, I read this comment a while ago and didn't know how to respond. The bit about pushing to make it as a writer... it's a gentle compliment that made me feel guilty, because I haven't pushed it. It made me think.

Westart another road trip in two days. Melbourne stories coming up. And if Melbourne doesn't do it for us we will look at moving somewhere else. San Fran was so good. But then everywhere we visited was. Is.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I haven't pushed it as a writer either, so it's a reminder to me too. I know that the ones who eventually make it really had to work at selling their talent. You ooze talent, dear boy.

isabelle said...

Oh! San Fran sounds beautiful, it's a place I've always dreamed about living in or visiting.

I think you could do it , somehow Lee, the writing and the living

Pork products had me laughing ( but I always saw you as a buddha kind of guy)

Lee said...

San Fran is cool, Isabelle. Right now though, so is Melbourne. Glad you liked Pork Products... very funny encounter. Strangely, Buddha features largely in my life - although I quite liked the Zeus thing :)

Once I settle I also look forward to catching up with your blog. Some of my favourite writing.