We took advantage of the summer holidays and headed off to The Limestone Coast for a week this January. Places visited included Meningie, Robe, Mount Gambier, Port MacDonnell, and Penola. When we left Adelaide in 45° heat with bush fire alerts I did not expect to return to down pouring rain: the skies have opened and it is a beautiful release.
The road to somewhere took us to the southern most point of my journey from ‘home’. It took me so far away from my life I could see it with more clarity than ever before. A special aspect about travel is when we remove ourselves from the humdrum, concrete stomping, ladder climbing, revolving hamster wheel of subsistence we can turn our heads and look back over our shoulder to from whence we came – with a tourist’s gaze. We can turn that inward ticktock glaze outward and see … as if we are seeing ourselves and our lives for the very first time in spectacular oceanic colours. There is a chance as we reach the sea, we can see reflected in its waters the very elements of who we are.
I am reminded of:
“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came.” JFK
The tourist gaze is special because it is at all times both extrinsic and intrinsic.
I’ll ease the transition back into ‘real life’ by reminiscing about our travels over the next few weeks.