I was not in a good place in life throughout most of 2015, and into early 2016. My world was falling apart, and mostly all out of my control. Home life, family life, work life, friendship break downs, relationship woes – the works. All going down the gurgler in front of my eyes. Panic and anxiety attacks, self-medicating to get some relief etc.
But wait, there’s more!! Just when I thought not much else could be poo, the worst of all was the news that due to historical clerical errors, from the simple act of having to renew my passport, uncovered that my birth certificate was never officiated in my own country, and due to this – any other legal paperwork that I acquired by using my ‘fake’ birth certificate was now null and void. This mean that I then became stateless. Stateless. As in – able to be deported. WTF!?
I still remember the bombshell of the news and being shocked into numbness. The mind boggles as how this can happen in this day and age. Due to now technically being in Australia illegally, I had to commence the arduous legalities to get my papers back in order. In another series of highly unfortunate events, you have to have the right paperwork to be able to legally work in Oz, or own property as well. There was no Consulate office where I lived in the Gold Coast, and had to do paperwork in person to prove that I was actually born. The closest consulate was in Melbourne, Victoria about 2,000kms away. The consulate office told me it could be between 3-12 months in admin work to try get my papers back and reinstated.
I didn’t know what to do.
But when the answer finally came to me, it did so in a split second, like a bolt of lightning.
It was yet another bullying event at work that snapped the camel’s back. I’d had enough of putting up with relentless bullying for years – So I sent a ‘See ya!’ email with instructions of where all my projects were at, left the work phone on my desk and walked out. I’m ‘illegal’ anyhow so what does that matter.
I’d hit rock bottom. Mental health was shot, and I wasn’t functioning properly.
But as they say: when you have hit rock bottom, the only way is to look up!
At that stage I wasn’t looking up, I can tell you. However I decided if the worst thing was that I was going to be deported, if the legal contest didn’t work, that I was going to tick something off my bucket list – to ride the NSW & Victorian High Country….. Ahh the Australian ‘Alps’ and many, many twisties. And so I looked at my Lawnmower, patted the seat and said “for better for worse; we’re going to Melbourne!”.
The Planning Began:
The next month was a total blur… for having made the decision to go; I sold most my possessions, signed up the house to a real estate and jumped on the interwebs to research and purchase motorbike touring, bike luggage, bike gear and routes to take to Melbourne.
(Learning to pack for an unknown length of time bike trip isn’t easy. From a house full of possessions to 3 bags!)
I cannot remember much of those 4 weeks, but even though not much had changed for the better in my life, all of a sudden I had a little seed of hope planted in my inner being. Just enough to push aside my internal fears to power on ahead with my hair brained idea. On the 19th Feb 2016, I joined my first motorbike forum to ask other riders for advice. And exactly 1 month from there, I said goodbye to my parents and set the wheels in motion… to what was going to be most likely the most fantastical thing that’s happened to me. Ever.
Due to the situation I was in, I wasn’t looking neither happy nor looking forward to the trip. And was full out doubt and uncertainty. But alas! It had to be done. So I silently pleaded with the Lawnmower for the power, patience and steadiness to undertake what was going to be the biggest journey I’d done to date by far.
And so the long way round, via mountains, from the Gold Coast to Melbourne began!