I inherited a few good elements from my mom and dad. Reasonable height, natural lankiness, a head of hair. It comes with the bad, of course. A potential for heart conditions, really poor longevity on the side of the men. And some shite eyes.

As a traveller with poor eyesight, you get accustomed to the annoying realities. Lugging around boxes of contacts, red, teary eyes, the constant blinking, infections, discomfort. Its a pain in the ass, and it can be expensive whenever you drunkenly step on yet another pair of specs. The wind out at sea, or along the coast, was not my friend. After the 48 hours of high winds and salty seas of the Melbourne-Hobart race in 2012, my lenses had nearly sealed to my eyes. It hurt like a bastard taking them out.

But no more. Last summer, I balled out, dropped 4K on to the counter at the Bochner Institute, and got my eyes fixed up. And fuck me sideways, it’s damn near perfect. I don’t reach for my glasses out of habit any more, my vision is better than 20/20, and I am absolutely loving it.

Full disclosure, the evening time, and especially dim lighting, is not my friend. In this light, the edges of objects are quite dull, even if I stay away from sources of light and allow my eyes to adjust. This has me worried for evening time pursuits, like night sailing or fishing. But who cares…the other 99.9% of the time, it’s sharp and crisp, even at big distances. My eyes aren’t dry and painful after a day spent with lenses, and I’m not constantly cleaning my glasses. With another big trip on the horizon in Africa and Europe, this was a decidedly great investment.





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It’s the dawn of a new day here in Sydney, and fuck it all, let’s lay down some goals for the remainder of this year.

French. A good friend is currently building solar installations in Sierra Leone, and I want in. It’d be badass. How? Vocab books, check. Duolingo for a half hour nightly. Check. A pair of French friends? Done.

Read more. I have Edwards Gibbons’ ‘The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire’ on my bookshelf, and I’m going to read it. Half hour nightly, and more on the weekends.

Build my all-rounder mountain bike. My old commuter needs investment in a seat, a bottom bracket, brakes, pedals, and some fresh wheels. It’ll suit the trail, and the hard stuff, with different rubber.

Motorcycle license.

Save towards my pilot’s license.

Book a flight to India for January/February 2017 for a trip on the rails.

Become a better boxer during the week, and surfer during the weekends.

You saw it here, folks. Six months to go.




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Let’s back up

We’re back. CNG has risen from the ashes of the 404 pile.

It’s been over two years since I put the pen to the proverbial paper in here. I honestly wish I could say that shutting the site was a function of my workload, or something – but how long does it take to smash out a few words here and there? No, I shut it down for lack of imagination.

I wasn’t travelling anymore. I had been sedentary for nearly two years at that point, and I didn’t feel I had much to say anymore. It didn’t cross my mind that my own spot of the writing world was mine, no one else’s, to be used and abused for what purpose I could think of. A sideways jaunt in to the thrills of grad school? Why the fuck not? How is that any less of a journey?

Part of me was somewhat unhappy with turning my back on traveling pursuits and a lifestyle of hedonism. I was unsure about this new direction, and wanted some time to hash it out of its own accord. An inherent insecurity kept me from securing them in writing. Now, a record of two years or so, along with the originals who went out with a stolen laptop, are gone.

So yeah, not my finest moment.

But big decisions have never been my strong point, and the last two years have featured a few of them. I got serious with a woman. I started, and finished, graduate school. I’m a few months away from applying for citizenship. I have chosen a career path, and I’m pursuing it with vigour. I’ve changed cities. It’s not all good, but enough of it is too keep me happy, for now.

In retrospect, there was pride tied up in this bull-headed decision to stay. I just didn’t want to head home in 2012. I had a great group around me, was enjoying it immensely, and wanted to leave on my own terms. I still haven’t. Australia has an annoying tendency to keep you trapped: the cost, including the astronomical urban rent, keeps my cloistered. The beach, the gym, and the road bike are the only real escapes. Operating a car is murderously expensive. These are all surmountable with decent employment, but even that is by-and-large closed to foreigners, especially without decent connections. I chose a tough land to spend half a decade in.

But the rewards?

The climate kicks fucking ass. Year-round, I’m outside. There is more exploring to be done in this underpopulated land than you can shake a froth at. The work, once you get your nose in, pays well. The people are open, hilarious, creative, and kind-hearted. The sailing is some of the best in the world. It’s clean, it’s stable, and it’s on the rise. It’s been four years in this weird land, and I love the shit out of it.

Currently, I’m working as a content write. I’m saving cash. I’m a busy guy, and that feels all right. But it is hard to shake a despondent sense of stagnation. While peers are hitting their stride in careers, I’m just starting out…nah, just kidding. If I’d have spent my twenties like my corporate drone friends, I’d have lost my fucking mind.

It’s good to be back, let’s catch up.

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