A long time on the road

Sixteen years ago today, two completely clueless girls strapped on their backpacks and got on a plane for London, on their first big overseas adventure, to spend six unforgettable months (except for the forgotten parts) bumming around Europe.

Yep folks, on 4 July 2001, lividlili first hit the road with her intrepid friend K. Most days it feels like I hit it pretty hard and am still recovering.

I got back in to Zagreb from Singapore this morning and after a quick shower and cup of tea (thanks CB!) I went off to work where I held my eyelids open with paperclips and begged whatever gods would listen for the day to end. It seems like we are constantly on the move somehow, and sleep is a forgotten resource.

Can it really be that the Big Adventure started way back then? And yet, it seems like it should be longer ago.

Did I know then that I would still be pounding the pavement in a year known as 2017, the soles of my feet literally shedding skin from all the walking, changing climates, dust, rain, running, swimming, unforgiving socks, unforgiving concrete, unforgiving burrs that I seem to constantly encounter? No – I don’t think I thought a year called 2017 could ever exist.

And could either of us have known that K would be tied to home by two kids, the backpack long since given away, the hiking boots gratefully kicked aside, her toenails painted bright red? Well, yes. That one I think we could have predicted.

However you happen to be living your life, here’s to sixteen more years of grubby feet or painted toenails. Or something in between. 🍺

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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