It’s 3am and I’m walking home by myself and a blond, blue eyed girl jumped in front of me. Literally. And she seemed quite, I mean, extremely happy. She started talking to me which was weird, because I was drunk and stumbling home after a disappointing night out. A place called Woodies gave away a surfboard that night. To win the surfboard you had to buy drinks. With every drink you consume they give you a ticket and at the end of the night they raffle out the surfboard. I had loads of tickets, which means a lot of drinks and a lot of expectations. But no surfboard.
But, coming back to the stranger that just leaped herself in front of a grumpy old man (me), she was actually quite fun and opened up an interesting chat. My mood had completely shifted. After some chitchatting we found out that we stayed at the same hostel, that we’re both Dutch and then we found out we have the same name, oh my God!
This all happened 3 months ago. Now, 3 months later and Rens and I still chat for hours on end. And one day Rens said: I have to sell my Car in Victoria, Renzo…” Rens said and I got excited and went: “you know what, let’s drive down to Melbourne together. So, I can see my friends again and work at the café for a week or two and you can sell your car.” I replied.
This moment turned in to one of my highlights of 2017.
My idea to work at the café again unfortunately didn’t work out, but we decided to drive down anyway. Just for the fun of it. Just to note: Byron Bay to Melbourne is an 18 hour drive.
Not sooner said than done and here we are. It’s the 3rd day on the road as I’m writing this paragraph. We’re cruising away in a monster on 4 wheels. Rens sitting next to me.. I just said ‘hi’ to her. She looks confused. We’re driving through the outback. It’s my first time and I’m amazed with the emptiness and space. We’re cruising down an empty road. We’re all a little down after hitting 2 kangaroos in the time span of 2 hours. It’s night time and driving at night is risky because of the kangaroos that seek the warmth of the concrete. They get blinded by the car lights and don’t know where to go and some start to panic. We feel irresponsible, bu we have to make it down Rens’ friend who lives in the outback. Emily passed out in the back and this is the first time we experience her without talking. Her endless excitement for life seemed to have exhausted her and put her to sleep. Emily – who lived in Byron Bay, too – joined the road trip and apparently didn’t get the idea of going to Melbourne to sell Rens’ car. Yesterday this conversation took place:
“So my plan is to… *forward chat* …and then I have to buy a car so I can travel Western Australia, and then…” Emily explained.
“Hang on, what did you say?” I interrupted her exiting plan.
“What do you mean?” She said.
“I mean; did you say that you have to buy a car to travel Western Australia?” I said.
“Oh that, yea. Why?” Emily seemed confused.
“We’re driving this car down to Victoria to sell it…” I answered.
“Oh shit, I never really thought of that.” She said with a smile and a funny voice.
Anyway, we went on. We headed to the outback to pick up Rens’ best friend. We spent a day in the dry and empty land, ate some Vegemite, drank a beer and headed down to Melbourne the day after.
It took us nearly a week to arrive in Victoria. We added 2 more days to our trip and did the stunning coastline of the Great Ocean Road and spent our last 2 nights in beautiful apartment at the 28th floor in the city centre of Melbourne with a view on the ocean and suburbs. Which were both as cool as they sound like.
Rens sold her car to Emily and all the kids were happy. Even though I didn’t work for the café and Rens didn’t sell her car in Victoria – which now seems like a failed plan – I’ve loved every moment of it. The moments of car breakdown, a shattered roof screen (Rens did it for the gram) and a car full of glass, taking the car out for a spin on the beach, endless chats and sing along music, grocery in Melbourne CBD where sweet potato are weirdly shaped, the beach of Port Macquarie which is a perfect place for breath holds and meditation and the empty beach of Coffs Harbour is a perfect place for a job interviews, especially at 11pm with a sky full of stars, even when my laptop was full of sand, I did get the job. Thanks to Emily as my personal assistant.
The beautiful road songs smoothly tuned us in to the raw scenery of the sunny east coast of New South Whales, to the dry and hot outback, to the green and lush landscape of Victoria and the wild coastline of the Great Ocean Road. And we just sang, and sang. Thank you, again. It was a big adventure.
I can tick one off my bucket list: Job interview on the beach at 11pm
Renske & Janneke