A travelling companion from more than 20 years ago reaches out and says G’day after stumbling across The Experience Junkie website.
I’ve always maintained that experiences are best shared: for the enriching perspective a companion provides – seeing things that you might not have noticed; for the energy they offer at the time, and even better for the shared experience that you can reminisce about in future years. How better to keep your experiences fresh and alive?
A couple of days ago a ‘Remember Me?’ email appeared in my inbox from my cabin mate on The Adelaar – the ship I crewed aboard from Fiji to New Zealand. (Read my account of the adventure here.) Instantly memories, came flooding back … of course I remembered him, like it was yesterday!
How wonderful the mind’s ability to pluck experiences from the archives of years past and dust them off to reveal the same vivid colours that they were initially painted in.
I was a young man again in Fiji bravely toying with the notion of crossing the ocean (with no sea-faring experience) because of the passion of my newly-adopted travelling companion …
Yes, even an Experience Junkie needs a gentle push every now and then and I credit Derek with luring me on board – riding on the coattails of his enthusiasm. (By the way, the man had just been stung by a stone fish less than a week before and was still travelling! How’s that for commitment?) Years later, when I visited him in Tucson Arizona, I also credit him for introducing me to rock-climbing – something that I would later take up as a sport of my own. But back then, it was my first time and I was so petrified of falling that it was one of the best days of climbing of my life. You see, I didn’t trust the harness or the ropes in the lazy way I do now, and as a result I didn’t fall once!
Back to the present and through a volley of catch up emails we’ve discovered we were living in New York at the same time – if only we knew – and now he’s living in Rome (cue my envy) with his girlfriend. Had I only known when I was there this past October!
Even more interestingly, he’s runs an artistic literary magazine and boutique book publishing company … and in writing about the making of the movie Conquest of the Useless he recently included excerpts from his journal about his time sailing with me aboard The Adelaar … The man has an enviable talent for words and writing. Scroll to the bottom of this link for his account of our journey across the South Pacific.