Last week I was fortunate to travel to the Northern Territory for work and stayed on to catch up with Cousin Wendy who is running a business in the middle of no where. I had no idea what type of pressure she was working under in her small business. Times are tough in the NT, staff are hard to get and tourist numbers are down. Cousin Wendy is living her life in 30 minute increments, constantly juggling staff and stock issues all while trying to have whirlwind 3 day roadtrip* with me – we covered 1600 km in 3 days! It really made me appreciate the slower pace that my life runs at, allowing me to experience things, rather than just ticking a box and moving on to the next thing to be done without stopping to breathe.
I’m not sure if it’s because I was born there, or because I was with one of my oldest friends, or if it was the amazing landscape and complete lack of phone coverage, but I felt a peace while I was on this trip. I’ve come to appreciate my life more than ever before. I have an AWESOME life and there is even more to be lived.
Along with this amazing roadtrip experience I also learnt more about a subject that most white Australian’s never hear about… how many Aboriginal Australian’s experience life in remote communities. Cousin Wendy has daily interactions with her local community. While alcohol, drugs and boredom create huge social and health issues within these townships, one thing I did take away is how important family is to the Aboriginal people, and the loyalty that these communities feel for family and those that support them. I don’t know what can be done to solve the issues that exist in these communities, certainly smarter, more culturally aware people that me have tried over the years, but I do hope that a solution is found.
Yesterday I celebrated** 6 months with no wine, and I have to say I’m feeling pretty damn happy and healthy.
*I would like to acknowledge the Bininj and Mungguy peoples of Kakadu and the Jawoyn people, traditional owners of Katherine Gorge.
** I had a chocolate quik to celebrate 🙂