Entering 2020: musings on a new decade

While New Year’s Eve has never really meant much to me other than an excuse to get pissed, this one feels a little bit more special. Read on to find out what’s been happening and what will be happening this year and beyond.

If anyone actually visits this website semi-regularly you’d have noticed that after my long term hiatus and subsequent return I’d been churning out content pretty reliably. This almost two month break that I’m finishing with this post has been the longest between updates, which considering the circumstances is pretty damn good! I didn’t know how I’d go committing to putting stuff out and actually writing these things but it’s been super cathartic and noticeably improves my mental health so that’s been good motivation. After getting back from Nepal and writing my recap post I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything for a little while, so I’d neglected the site again. I’ve got a bunch of ideas and other cool stuff up my sleeve though so consider this the beginning of this website’s biggest year yet.

My life has been on a bit of a spiral since mid 2019, you can follow along by reading back through my posts since then. Now however, it really feels as though I’ve got the chance to completely reset everything – a feeling I didn’t think was possible. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck since the colitis diagnosis, making sure I work as much as possible and set myself up for the future – not doing anything that may affect financial security. While that’s still the plan, I’m going to take the opportunities I get to break out and do a lot more cool shit instead of slaving away to make a minuscule impact on my mortgage. I’ve written about it countless times but I realised I value experiencing life while I can over experiencing the perils of a dedicated career only to get sick and not be able to do the things I always wanted to do.

Back on topic, this brings me to 2020. I started the new decade with a more positive outlook than I have had for a very long time. I spent a few days up in Kalbarri with friends, a dangerous trip as it seems every time I go anywhere now I want to come home to the real world less and less. I don’t think I’d ever be able to go on a long term trip just because I get too home sick but to spend a week every month on holiday would be great. I should probably buy a few lotto tickets.

The list of adventures keeps on growing and I’ll be tackling one of the bigger ones this year. It’s still up in the air which one gets the nod but I’ll either be cycling 1000km through Japan or hiking the ~170km Tour du Mont Blanc. A friend of mine moved to Aomori in Northern Japan last year so I mapped out a route from Tokyo to where he lives, through some beautiful towns and scenery – camping along the way. This trip will depend on how well I can prepare before mid year, which includes finding a new bike that can handle carting around all my luggage (and clothes I buy at Uniqlo along the way). I’d like to attempt the Munda Biddi as preparation as well – a 1000km mountain bike track that runs parallel to the Bibbulmun from Perth to Albany. If I can get the bike I’m after soon (typical Perth nothing in stock) and get fit enough to do the Munda Biddi before mid year then Japan will be the probable choice.

However! If that doesn’t go to plan then the backup is Europe. Terrible isn’t it? I’ll fly into Geneva, drop down to Chamonix and hike the TMB. Incredible scenery, beautiful views and countless animals. If I go with the TMB I’ll finish off by swinging around through Prague and Germany to get cultured and ending up in Amsterdam to relax 😉 after what will undoubtedly be a very draining effort. Since getting back from Nepal I’ve started the process of refining my gear – replacing what didn’t work and using that experience to prepare myself better for the next one. I’m really excited to try out my new stuff and also to see parts of Europe for the first time so it’s honestly equally as likely as the Japan trip. In an ideal world August would be 4 months long and I’d do both but unfortunately this is the way it goes!

I’ve been a bit bummed out about my job and career direction since finishing uni, which has prompted a few hard decisions and changes that I’ve recently made. I’m not going to go into detail because it’s largely irrelevant but it’s good to take a step back and evaluate where you’re at sometimes. If there’s one thing everyone should really understand about their career is that for the most part no one gives a shit about you. I spent five years foolishly thinking people had my best interests in mind to be fucked over at the first opportunity so don’t feel like you owe anyone anything. It’s been enlightening to just give up, do what I’m paid to do and ride the wave. Life is what happens when I knock off so the less I care/worry/stress about work the better, and it seems to be working so far.

I keep coming across random discussions on the internet from people reflecting on what their x-year old self would think of them now. That prompted me to think about what I thought of the next decade in 2010 and what I think now. It’s funny because when I look back at being a teenager thinking about what I was going to do in the future I had no clue and I still don’t! 2010 Brad probably had some bullshit “yeh I’m smart I’ll be doing some professional job” answer followed by a “who cares let’s go to the skatepark”. 2020 Brad realises I was an idiot and I’ll likely never do a professional job, and let’s go to the skatepark. I have no idea what’s going to happen this decade, will I change as much as I did last decade? All I know is that I’m going to experience more of life. The ups and downs. I’ll work and probably hate it, I’ll travel and probably love it. I hope I meet new people, find new friends and maybe find someone that would like to be more than friends but who knows. That’s the beauty of life. It’s funny that the one thing that’ll be constant is this disease that prompted me to start the website. Colitis ain’t going nowhere so I guess we’ll buckle up and enjoy the ride.

CCA asked me to write a bit about my experience with colitis and my Nepal trip fundraising for them, which will be in their first Inside Insight magazine of 2020. I’m really stoked on that and I’ll probably put a bunch of photos up here when I get it. I’ve been finding old hobbies and some new ones that I’m excited to share. There’s a lot of positive stuff going on right now. There’s still negatives, obviously the country as a whole isn’t doing too well at the moment but I can’t help but hold my head up and hope for the best. That feeling has been a long time coming.

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