Three Months

February the tenth was the start
An unknown adventure awaited
On my own, but free as a bird
An amazing journey unfolded.

I felt the coldest of colds
Had sun scorch my neck
Wind batter me senseless
Cool breezes relax me.

I entered the Arctic Circle
Broke in to the tropics
Europe’s furthest north
Australia’s most eastern.

I saw mountains of green and white
Golden yellow sands
Jungles and rainforests
Concrete towers and skyscrapers.

I climbed a thousand steps
Walked a hundred miles
Saw rainbow islands
Beaches stretching forever.

I crossed many a bridge
Trudged up hills
Suffered for a photo chance
Longed to be teleported back.

I faced many of my fears
Pushed my boundaries
Did the unthinkable
Waded out of my comfort zone.

I fell through open skies
Rode a bike into empty space
Rounded up goats on a horse
Dragged through fields by huskies.

I donned silly fancy dress
Failed to lasso the skull
Yanked a goat backwards
Got launched from a mechanical bull.

I felt the thrill of a surf
The terror of a wipeout
Marvelled at coral
Touched a fish as big as my telly.

I lifted my favourite cup
Saw an Aussie Rules upset
Partied like a local
Sang my heart out in the street.

I tasted an ant’s bum
Had a kangaroo burger
Spat pips on a bar floor
Ate octopus with chopsticks.

I bathed with naked men
Jacuzzied in a freezing sunset
Got half naked in a bar
Smiled at my snow angel.

I hurt ribs falling on a sand dune
Blistered my feet by walking
Bruised my arms with my backpack
And experienced a hundred bites.

I grew a full beard
Had ice cubes down my neck
Trainers caked in mud
Sweat pouring down my back.

I played like a kid
Had a bread crumb fight
Rolled down sandy mounds
Swung until I was dizzy.

I fell hopelessly in love
Had the best week of my life
Experienced pleasure so intense
The moment when time almost stood still.

I danced without a care
Threw my morals aside
Had the perfect first kiss
Did wrong things without regret.

I was dropped off in a police car
Ticked off like a teenager
Showed passion in public
Sensibility out of the window.

I shed tears of laughter and sorrow
Saw hope disappear and return
Goodbyes and Hellos
Loneliness and togetherness.

I missed home comforts
Accepted the lack of privacy
Longed for a comfy bed
Wished for my own space.

I met annoying Germans
Courteous Norwegians
Helpful Japanese
Very laid back Aussies.

I heard repeatedly: “No Worries”
“Goon”
“We are Liiiiiiiiiverpool!”.
“Have a nice day!”

I caught up with old friends
Made many new ones
Drank too many beers
Got hopelessly lost.

I punched the air alone
Woke to disappointing results
Listened to gloating Mancs
Saw the misery of relegation.

I was dazzled by the Milky Way
Wished upon a shooting star
Mesmerised by the crescent moon
Slept under a canopy of wonder.

I was where the bomb dropped
Saw endless graves
The beauty of the cherry blossom
And the hope for peace.

I was chased by a croc
Held a snake round my neck
Saw prehistoric survivors
And jumpers run wild.

I saw rows of dead fish
The taming of the squirrel
Robots and concrete cows
Sea eagles swooping for food.

I heard crickets chirp
Kookaburras laugh
Crocodiles growl
Mosquitoes buzz my ears.

I was shocked at large spiders
Scared by snakes at my feet
Troubled by bed bugs
Cautious about jellyfish.

I saw stunning sunsets
The sun rise above the horizon
Shadows stretching to infinity
Took photos of perfect silhouettes.

I witnessed nature’s light show
Saw light dance and play
Sat frozen in time
Captured sights I’d always dreamt of.

I had moments of pure inspiration
Mountains magically appear
Pockets of simple tranquillity
Found my happy place again and again.

All of this in three months
The best I’ve ever had
So many great memories
A ton of wonderful photos.

I finish my sabbatical
My eyes more wide open
I’ve changed, and for the good
Best decision of my life.

…but how do I top all that?

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