IMG_4587The moment we pulled up to the hostel, a run over juniors version of the Playboy Mansion, I immediately regret my spontaneous decision to venture here. Flying over the city of Darwin, I was filled with adventuring thoughts about wrestling crocs with my Dundee hat on, pulling out their teeth and making necklaces with them for my best girls, or, filling my feet with bright red dirt while we search through scorching sun for any sight of water. I thought for certain I could even see the monstrous crocs from the flying skies- the ones I’d wrestle sooner then later. I grit my teeth and pressed my lips at the thought…

Not so my friends, not so.

I’m stuck in a frat house with Pepto pink walls made for sixteen year olds and have spent all of my eighteen hours the entry three minutes and fourteen seconds here in Darwin searching for every way out at The Coffee Club where wifi is free for an hour a day. A new friend I’d met in Cairns checked in with me from Germany, and when I’d asked about her time in Darwin she said in simplicity, ” Dee, book your tour for the Outback. Get in and then, get out. Otherwise your time is wasted here.” A retired man I’d met in Cairns ended up being at this Frat House the same time as me, and in grateful surprise, we chatted quick about his time in Dirty Darwin. He offered the same advice; get in and then, get out.

It’s unenjoyable enough I’d even considered getting out of here with a guy I’d just met here at The Coffee Club on a road trip through the red rocks to get out of this dirty little city. Fortunately said stranger acted and looked far too much like my handsome ex and I was so turned off by the idea of four days in a car with my ex’s twin I turned him down without hesitation. Im also smart enough to not run off with strangers… I laughed while texting my best girl about the humour of it all: the city, the scrappy staff, the boys, the scene.
That’s the thing about adventure though. I won’t be enamoured by it all. I will make choices I will need to laugh at or the minor disappointments could ruin all the possibility of good along the way. Adventure isn’t about perfection, it’s about journeying with openness and gratitude. It’s about the recognition of our differences and the admonition to ones own heart about what we do and do not care for.

And so today I will find something pretty, stare at it for a while with gratitude not for the perfect adventure but rather gratitude for the journey. I’ll find some monstrous crocs and pretend I’ve wrestled them, soak my feet in some red rock, smile at the scorching sun, and then get the heck out.