In search for a title

Melbourne – 0 km

February 19 February 2016


Thank you for coming back!


So here I like to muddle my way towards a title of this journey.

Cost-to-coast was what came first into my mind. But then what coast am I talking about!?

Wenn jemand eine Reise tut .. was another thought. Although nice, I felt it was a little too Germanophil (is this a word??). A diversified one was Wenn Axel eine Reise tut, so kann er was erzaehlen, drum nahm er seinen Helm & Bike und tat das Reisen waehlen …

Both are a moderately well remembered German version of what this is all about. Naturally (well naturally in MY case), my origins are in Germany, a real Frankfurter Woeschtsche I am. Born and bred there. So I most certainly will not deny my heritage, especially since some of you claim that I have a dead-give-away accent ..?? Pheww ME??! … Naahhh, all others have one.
Admittingly I have been in Australia since 1985, almost 50:50 of my lifetime. I could argue the Australian years may have been my more conscious ones, therefore might weigh more … but I am still not too sure about this. So I’d better let go of this title suggestion.

Another thought about a title, which should succinctly and interestingly capture the trip was about Fernweh. A German word I like very much. There is no straight translation into English, so let me describe its meaning. Fernweh is about an inner, often unexpressed, yearning for being in places far away. A phantasy about travelling, experiencing adventures, being free of commitments, almost as if one is on a great holiday, but it is somewhat more than a holiday. A desire to be elsewhere, not necessarily because the present is hard to bear, rather a deep longing for seeing other, new places. As if to try and pack it all into one life. So one who experiences Fernweh usually has a great sense of curiosity. When I was much younger, there was a monthly magazine in Germany titled Fernweh. I immediately subscribed and enjoyed to further fuel my travel phantasies. Unfortunately it (the magazine) didn’t continue for more than a few short years and disappeared.

My inner Fernweh didn’t, it persisted, just a gentle undertow, always slightly present. Subsequent travelling, often with the motorcycle (R75/5 or a Yamaha XS1100) throughout Europe, taking the pushbike through Poland and Germany, per backpack through the islands of the Mediterranean or with an restored Mercedes ex-Army Unimog through Africa. All of these did not entirely quash my Fernweh, rather made me long for further-away places.

Come to think of it, it quire likely influenced my coming to Australia, although there were other reasons as well. Moreover, later in life, once professionally established in my new country Australia, my professional choices to working in developing countries may have been ‘informed’ by my inner Fernweh.

Realising all this pouring out of thoughts relating to Fernweh, clearly it ought to be I the title!!

So am I exorcising this Fernweh – just as somebody suggested? But my own connotations to the word ‘exorcise’ are rather dark ones: a movie I’ve never was interested to watch, and close links to the devil, in whose existence I don’ t believe, except for being ‘in the detail’

So should I use liberate or unchain my Fernweh? Unleash it? Naahh, too much about Elvis Presley and his heart.
Should Monty Python’s Flying Circus come into the equation and I Release Rodger! my Fernweh. Here I like to share that Monty Python has been a major contributor to start understanding and appreciating English humour. Some of my friends, who I hope will read this, believe in Germany being a humourless society …. well, let’em remain in Lah-lah-land and leave’em in their darkness. So Conippen & her friend L. (not wanting to name names), it is just different and not even only on the inside … (had to insert this here, as otherwise I never may have the chance to publicly state it).
However, I digress, sorry.

More thoughts are about Beyond the horizon – turn left. However, this title does not sit quite well with me, as it implies one looks constantly beyond the horizon, risking not to see and experience what is right in front of one’s toes and what one can see as one travels. So kind-of the “here & now” held in hand and mind, making sure to smell the roses as one moves along.

Being curious and Fernweh are evoking strong link. So, just to disclose a little more: remaining curious always had been the motto of my mother and she certainly instilled this in me. Honestly I am rather happy having this personality trait.
So how to capture all this in a title? Curious about Fernweh ? or perhaps Fernwehly Curiousity? Hmmmh, neither is catchy nor making much sense.

Well, dear reader, you now have been hanging in there wandering through my discombobulated, almost cathartic thoughts – thank you and hang-in there further, I feel we are almost there.

How about Meandering and a connection with Fernweh? Meandering was always a trade I seem to have lived by, looking back over the past conscious years. A loose plan I may have had, but I truly kept it with Berthold Brecht’s Three Penny Opera. Herein it is stated:

“Ja mach nur einen Plan,

Sei ein grosses Licht!

Mach dann noch einen zweiten Plan

Gehn tun sie beide nicht …”


I know, it is in German! A homage to my German readers who otherwise may have to activate the translation robots. So just a little balance re-established.
Loosely translated it is about the futility of making plans, even contingency ones, as they almost always fail or need considerable adjustment. That always appealed to me, as it abdicated me from making firm plans, much to the frustration of my good partner & esteemed wife Louise. Though I’ve stuck to it, maybe a little more concealed, but never really let-go of this comforting maxim. Therefore the link to meandering ought to be in a title. Going where it appears interesting, therefore sticking to a rather loose plan. Well, perhaps an oxymoron “sticking to a loose plan” doesn’t require much sticking I guess.

The preference towards meandering might well explain that I haven’t yet completed my European part of the route. Indeed, I don’t even seeing a need for firming up this part of the journey.

So, shall I’ll try Meandering Fernweh, combining two strong trades and even both languages.

What do you think? Let me have your thoughts, input. I might be swayed …

PS: weeks later, in the shower (a place I recommend for having good ideas and other stuff) I finally had a Geistesblitz, a brilliant thought: Why not call it Curious Meandering!? Yeah, not rolling of n English/Aussie tongue, but then again my ability to formulate sentences in English was never all too ‘rolling-off easily’ …. 😉

Curious Meandering it is!

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