Travelling the three or so trains tops from the Ferry terminal at Circular Quay and onto my train at central station with my luggage totally whacks me out. As the train pulls away, my body cutting out, feeling back to shot again, I start to get upset that I haven't planned this right. That I should never have attempted this journey with all of my things. I look out the window and focus on the view. I can imagine managing a life with ME/CFS isn't unlike being a parent - you start to accept that you definitely won't be able to get it right all the time. That as long as you handle things as well as you just about can, you'll still stand a chance of doing a good enough job. Just try to be good enough.
Eventually I start to at least enjoy the ride, feel the adventure as we curl along the coastline, past beaches before a bus transfer starts to bring us through NSW cattle country. While I'm not finding Oz at all cheap anymore, this journey is super affordable; all paid for in the equivalent of an Oyster card.
I'm met at Bomaderry Station by Joanne and her dad, Kev who I haven't seen in 18 years. We had an epic 2.5 month trek around South East Asia together, tracking down the village that Joanne's adopted son Anouson grew up in in a remote part of Laos. It is uncanny and more than a little momentous to be seeing them again, as if so much less time than 18 years has past. I look out from the beach house across a vast bay and white sand that crescent open in front of me as the light fades and tell my body 'You did good. That was worth it'.
But I don't completely know where my body is at. I rest and Joanne and her partner Matt make sure I get out. They even drive me the few hundred metres to the beach to make sure I have some energy for the sea (I work out a CFS friendly version of body surfing where the waves do all the work). We drive from spectacular beach to spectacular beach. Through long and winding Eucalyptus forests with frequent Kangaroo signs though it's the wrong time of day to see one alive.
The turquoise waters more than make up for not getting to a single beach in Sydney (and there are over 100 of them!). I get to look up at the huge Australian night sky full of stars and think how much I love this country. Its space, its vastness, its ocean, the dazzling light. The people I know here.
An ME/CFS Thriver