Wanderlust Adventurer (literally...a lust for adventure...to wander)
Adventure time ......(a true story)
Young people are so fortunate now-a-days to have a world that is now totally accessible for adventure, for the first time in history, ....and it all started basically in the 60s and early 70s when the world became global.....and this to follow, is my story..a little bit like yours im'e sure!
But just like today, in the 1960s we were just as passionate about travel and adventure back then as you are today, but of course cultural heritage was still very strong more than 50 yrs ago, and cultural diversity was still very prominent. It's realy only in the last 30 yrs that the world has encapsulated a global sense of oneness, of Westernising nations and opening global markets.
Prior to this modern day phenomenon, 50 yrs ago the world still emanated a touch of mystery about it, and travel to untouched destinations, was incredibly intriguing and mysterious, and this incredible story to follow, of adventure and intrigue takes place during those tumultuous times of world-wide revolution, hippiedom, the Vietnam war, the advance of communism, the introduction of globalism and the surfing and freedom lifestyle revolution....
Having grown up in an isolated part of New Zealand, and living in an astonishing environment, its no wonder my appreciation for adventure was stimulated at an early age.
I had always felt a sense of adventure even at the tender age of 5, when I jumped off our house roof,.....expecting my homemade parachute to work,...but alas, only broke my arm...ha!, and dealing with fear at the young age of 6 when I was confronted by a multi-millions swarm of bees, and was covered with 1,000's of them, head to toe...my mum screaming out the window "DON'T MOVE MIKE"...DON'T MOVE MIKE" as bees climbed in my nose and ears, through my hair...I could hardly stand up with the weight of them....I stood totally still for more than 50 minutes with my mum screaming at me through the windows. One hour later, the bees had all but disappeared...sheeeesh! ....and not to forget my little 3 wheeler bike ride when I was 4 years old.....if you want to go and see your big brother at school, 5 miles away in the city of Auckland...well, just ride there, down main streets, over crossings, through the parks, over bridges, up hills...see easy!! of course I didn't realise that it was on the radio, police searching for that little 4 yr old everywhere, mum going out of her mind....well, whats the fuss,...they did find me...5 hrs later...sheeesh! poor old mum!!
Adventurers definition ...well,...if you did something like this in your growing up years...and im'e sure you did...then join the club!! We're all adventurers in one way or another!
and i was only 6yrs old...sheeeesh!
Wk 3 3/10/18
From age 8, and up to my early teenage years, we lived on the top of mountain range, in a certain degree of isolation, but with the most amazing view you could ever possibly have, growing up as a youngster....Views to die for.
I could see both coasts of New Zealand, 50 miles in every direction, and often rode my horse by myself up to the summit, and was smitten, even at a young age with the intense majesty of my surroundings.
Our one and only neighbour, who owned 6,000 acres on the summit of this mountain range, was more than happy for my company, and we often did farm things together, mustering sheep, shearing, drenching, fixing fences....was awesome fun,..I loved it!
My parents had a restaurant on the mountain range and worked tirelessly 7am til 11pm, 7 days a week, and me being the only child at home, found myself, entertaining myself most every day. They were loving parents, but most of the time overwhelmed by the demands of their business.
Consequently, I matured at a very young age and found myself hitch-hiking around Australia with a surfboard under my arm at the tender age of 16, with the intention of living a life of fun and adventure......it was 1963
Wk 4 10/10/18
In the 1950s and early 1960s, life was simply a do it yourself time, and we never even had television up in the North until the early 1960s, and so our fun and adventure was merely interaction between us and the elements, or other people, and it was a life of constant brainstorming, creativity, and having a go......
I wouldn't say life is any less challenging today...its simply just on a different playing field, however, failure rate was at a constant for us in those days, and more often than not, many, many attempts at creativity failed miserably and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th attempts were often just commonplace.....until it worked!!
I don't think any of us ever expected anything to work at the first prototype...(like building a trolley or sled or tree-hut, etc ) and endless modifications were just part of life, but one of the greatest satisfactions for us was,....when we finally made it work. We would yahoo and whistle and scream, when after, often, months of failure sometimes..... a project would finally come together (like building a model railway layout or making a bow and arrow, or putting together a balsa aeroplane or ship )
There just simply wasn't that frustration back then, that I often see today, and of all the thousands of people that I have met over my 72yrs, I cannot ever remember anyone in those early years, having the misfortune of having anything other than a broken arm (like....falling off a tree) or a broken leg crashing into a bush as our trolley sped down the hill. In fact we were treated like heroes...the greater the misfortune or wrong calculation or failure...the greater the hero....
my how times have changed.....
Wk 5 16/10/18
How many people are there in the world today?
Aprox 7.5 billion
In 1950 there were 2.5 billion.....2/3rds less people than today, and at the current rate of expansion, there is expected to be over 12 billion, within 30 yrs
When we began to travel in the early 1960s, jobs were plentiful, overcrowding and saturation were unheard of terms, opportunities at all levels were plentiful, and the discovery of isolated areas, still had mystery and intrigue about them.
The population of the world was very manageable, and new travel discoveries were constantly on the agenda,....outer space had only just been conquered, the polar caps were still a mystery, and the tallest mountain in the world had only just been climbed for the first time,....and interestingly, we were more likely to travel by ship than plane in those days, as this newfangled interest in this new mode of transport called 'Cruise Ships', was only beginning to capture the imagination of many,......and of course, these new 'Cruise Ships' of the day, were merely a very basic form of getting from A to B, rather than the electric stunning features of the modern-day vacation cruise ship.
So...like i said before..we didn't even have TV in those early years, and information on other countries was very limited, hence, we would begin to travel from a very, somewhat, uninformed position, and that made the world so much more mysterious and intriguing, however travellers were also scarce, and the quest for an extraordinary unique adventure, simply lay at our feet.
However, I would have to say here, that although travel was very mysterious in those early days, the current world of you-tube and the advent of the modern cruise ship is no less exciting....its just in a different time zone
I wonder what we will be doing in 30 years time!!!.....very exciting!!!
Wk 6 25/10/18
The 1950's were known as the 'Romantic 50's', for good reason. Music about love and relationships were virtually every second hit song. Simple and uncomplicated times, huge expectations for an amazing future, hot rods, Juke Boxes, and Johnny Rockets...life was just too good!
Then came the Swingin' 60's and a hint of something radically different.....we could hear the distant sound of......revolution, and freedom from responsibility, conformity and conservatism
Conformity and conservatism (of which we were so used to in the 1950's) was starting to quickly fade through the vortex of time, as we catapulted ourselves into this new type of thinking......revolution, freedom and creativity. Non-conformity and individualism, escapism and psychedelia, and as the 60's began to close, we found ourselves well entrenched in this radical new lifestyle, which included stepping beyond our own shores, and experiencing a whole new world that was widely opening its doors up to us.
'Make peace not war' became our motto, and many a peaceful march became the item of the day. Anti-Vietnam war marches, Anti- nuclear, Anti-pollution, Anti-discrimination, Martin Luther King, Woodstock, Bob Dylan, and many other groundbreaking phenomenons were the voice of the day......and also.....we were now about to hit the amazing.......... 'Flower Power' Disco 70s, with all its psychedelia, paisley, long hair, Bob Marley and Rastafarianism, Kathmandu, mysticism, and the hippie 'world-wide exodus'.......of which.... i became one!!!
Wk 7 8/11/18
How many countries in the world are there?
Aprox 195 ...not sure about Taiwan, Kosovo, The Vatican and Palestine. They may be States or Territories.
Anyway, the point being that in the early 1960s, the world opened its doors to us, and what seemed like a limited travel environment in those early days, suddenly opened up, and isolated adventure stories began to began to flow in thick and fast, and by the mid 1960s, many of us were heading off to yonder shores in search of that elusive wave and lifestyle.
We would hear stories of surfers stowing away or Ocean hiking to places like Hawaii or Bali or Europe, and suddenly this familiar and safe territory that we were so used to, suddenly lost its charm and captivity......and we became infatuated by far broader and more exciting horizons.
By the mid 1960s, I had hitch-hiked and surfed most of the common coastline of New Zealand and Australia, and although it was still a fabulous and exciting time, suddenly we were aware of a far bigger playing field, as we headed towards the latter part of the 1960s.
By now, more than 100 countries lay at our finger tips and had become accessible to us, as globalisation began its early stages....and also, by now, my elder brother had already travelled and surfed in more than 20 of them, and the world suddenly, became 'our oyster'
And when in 1969, some of my great Australian friends ended up in South Africa, that became the catalyst for many of us to experience a world-wide adventure, and after marrying in 1971 immediately set off in search of that allusive satisfaction....not planning to ever return home, and for many years we didn't, taking our adventure possibilities to the max and going well beyond our comfort zone
Wk 8 16/11/18
By the end of '71 we were well on our way on our new adventure, and after flying to Sydney, then boarding the Indian-Pacific train to Perth, (which incidentally was a magnificent 3,500 kilometre journey...and well worth the trouble.... even today), and Perth would then become our home for the next 6 months.
Having been to Perth before, I was well aware of the earning potential there in those days, and for the next 6 months, it was just work work work, and suddenly we realised we were now liquid enough to continue the next part of our journey, and that was to make it to the far shores of England.
We arrived in London in the summer of '72, but prior to that had already experienced some quite significant travel unfamiliarity's, and unexpected situations, and quickly became familiar with the irregularities and troublesome nature that world travel can throw at you, even at this very early stage of our adventure.
We had boarded an old freighter that was heading to Singapore from Perth, along with quite a number of other hippie passengers like ourselves, and were not at all surprised when the ship was boarded by police and arrested as it approached Singapore, apparently for not paying the $1 million dollars it owed in port fees. However, that was not the only reason the police boarded the ship, they had another motive in mind, and that was to cut off all the long hair that us hippies were so proudly displaying, because (as we had just found out), long hair on guys was totally illegal in Singapore in '72 and constituted a hefty fine or jail term. So consequently, all the long haired male hippies were herded up on to the top deck and quite unglamorously shaun to fit the law....I managed to sneak off hiding my hair under an old beanie...ha!
Wk 9 25/11/18
The next day in Singapore saw me trying to show some youthful defiance, by removing my beanie and striding across an intersection, unashamedly flouting my long hair and hippie behaviour, but found myself totally freaked out when the police points-man at the intersection, suddenly pulled out his gun and very aggressively made threatening gestures towards us. Of course, Paula and I bolted, and began to run up a narrow side street with this crazy gun-waving cop chasing us. We quickly spied a little shop as we raced up to the top of this narrow little street, ran in, and proceeded to vigorously jump behind the counter of this shop and awkwardly hide behind it. The Policeman hurried past, and we were somewhat relieved, and finally caught our breath, until, until we realised where we were....... in a jewellers shop, with all the staff frozen against the walls....thinking we were robbing the place......I have to tell you, that took a lot of explaining...ha!!!
That night we went to a sort-of disco nite-club, and to our astonishment all the Singaporean guys had on..........beanies...can you believe!!...I wonder why!!! ha ha.....and yes,of course, when the band strutted out on to the stage, and took their beanies off...(as did everyone else), what do you suppose was under their beanies.........ha...long hair of course...... After that i didn't feel quite so conspicuous ha..
The next day we were to fly out to London, as a bulk booking. All the hippies on the ship, and us, had registered as a bulk booking, which made our passage to England significantly cheaper, but as there were more than a hundred of us, and we had been suddenly informed that the plane had been over-booked by 30 people, that became somewhat of a dilemma....didn't it!!
Well, of course, that was easily fixed in those days..wasn't it!..........can you believe!!! ....Well,.....Just put the extra 30 people on the same plane....and that's exactly what they did!....put an extra 30 people on our plane.....and where were their seats?....on the floor of course!! .....there were an extra 30 people on the plane sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor, and when you wanted to go to the toilet, you had to climb over everyone sleeping on the floor.... amazing!!
And that wasn't the only amazing thing about it!....as this was still the days you could smoke on planes,........ and there was dope smoke everywhere, cigar smoke, cigarettes, roll your own.......oh my goodness!...what a flight!!!...ha!..those were the days man!!!