Once upon a time, this little explorer moved to Australia for a year.
The year was 2018, and my best friend Chloe and I decided to move across the world. I had just graduated university, and wanted to take some time to "find myself" before I settled into the workforce.
When we got to Aus, we almost immediately rented a vehicle, as it was our dream to drive along the East Coast in a van. And so... we DID!
We got this beauty of a white van we named "Trevor." Trevor was a reliable, old stead. He didn't enjoy going too fast up hills, but he did enjoy finding sneaky spots to camp overnight, with his discrete nature (there are many places you can't camp overnight in Australia).
As soon as we rented him, Chlo and I hopped into the vehicle, took one look at each other, and laughed.
The man renting us Trevor didn't even question that we had no idea how to drive on the opposite side of the car... or the road, for that matter. We were in Melbourne, which was not the easiest city to navigate, with some funky road signs we didn't even recognize, and what seemed like a lot of one ways.
Chloe decided that we should just get on the highway and figure it out as we go. Please note: we even had to merge onto a highway in a different way than we are used to.
And don't even get me started with the amount of roundabouts. Driving on the left-hand side... but you are on the right... turning left. Couldn't be more opposite than Canada.
We decided to repeat the saying: "Left side, strong side" 100 million times, so that we wouldn't end up on the wrong side of the road. However, it happened more times than I would like to admit. Turning into the right lane out of a gas station... Finding ourselves in the wrong lane... Entering the vehicle with the intention to drive, and realizing the steering wheel was on the other side.
But, we tried!
Like I said, that day in Melbourne, we just got onto the highway and started driving down the coast to Great Ocean Road.
We passed by the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen until that point. Beach and ocean for days... literally! The water was such a pristine blue. There were coffee shops and amazing cafes speckled everywhere. The people were all walking around tan, barefoot and carrying their surfboards. When we looked out into the water, the surfers looked like little ants. There were too many of them to count at certain breaks.
And we wouldn't have been able to see that if we weren't willing to take a risk and make a few (luckily minor mistakes), along the way in Trevor. If we had gotten in our heads about not being able to do something we had never done before, we would have missed out on the most breathtaking experience of my life.
We lived in Trevor for 3 weeks. And while there are a lot of hectic stories with him, including, but not limited to: Getting attacked by mosquitoes at night to try to cool off a sizzling hot van, getting woken up in the middle of the night to be told we can't sleep somewhere, and almost pooping my pants one morning trying to find a public toilet... I wouldn't trade it for the world.
(Please view the photo to the left to see the reali-Dea of it all).
In this situation, we had to jump into the driver's seat of our own lives if we wanted to see the true beauty it had to offer. We had to face fear and discomfort, to also experience peace and tranquility.
Because, although every ride is not smooth and easy to follow. Although sometimes you end up heading the wrong direction... into oncoming traffic (lol, sorry Aussies). And although you may feel like you may poop your pants a little bit, the ride always ends up leading you somewhere beautiful.
So, are you ready to face your fear, jump into the driver's seat, and enjoy the ride?
Where are you not grabbing the steering wheel in your life? Where are you headed the wrong way? How can you use this [story about a] roundabout to turn back in the way you want to head?
Let's ride, baby.