Follow Marty’s year-long adventure around the world. Marty hails from Australia and you’ll find his journals funny, charismatic and insightful. The Gap Year is the traditional one-year break college students take between college and the “real world” of a full-time job. This is one of the few examples we have left of travelogues prior to the invention of blogs and social media. Even though email made communicating almost instantaneous and effortless, it was still impossible to reach a large audience. So The Argonauts collected snail mail and email and posted them online for everyone to see.
- On the Road Again: Location: Australia. Date: April 22, 2001
- One Last Sunset: Location: Australia. Date: October 1, 2000
- The Last Stand: Location: London, Egypt and Israel. Date: September 6, 2000
- Still Not Dead… Location: Europe. Date: July 27, 2000
- I’m NOT Dead! Location: Berlin, Germany. Date: May 20, 2000
- Five months and my first hospital visit — Part 2. Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina Date: 2000-02-22
- Five months and my first hospital visit — Part 1. Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina Date: 2000-02-22
- Feliz Anu Nuevos mis Amigos! Location: Cusco, Peru. Date: 2000-01-09
- Get ready to rock!!! Location: Ecuador. Date: 1999-12-31
- Goodbye USA. Location: United States of America Date: 1999-12-14
- A few bites from the Big Apple. Location: New York City, USA. Date: 1999-11-16
- Start spreading the news: Location: San Francisco, USA Date: 1999-10-23
- Marty’s Gap Year Begins: Here goes… Location: USA and Central and South America. Date: Oct 4, 1999
In reverse order, as they arrived.
On The Road Again
Well, wonderful world, I told you I’d be back…6 months and a bit since returning and I’m now in Perth driving around Australia!
Better give you a quick update…
- 2000 SEP – Get home to Melbourne
- OCT – Do nothing.
- NOV – Got a job working for a website.
- DEC – Brain hurting but credit card bill decreasing. 2001
- JAN – Got a girlfriend. FEB – Still got a girlfriend.
- MAR – Girlfriend left to drive around Australia.
- APR – Website goes under – Marty announces his retirement.
Now I’m here travelling with 3 girls up the west coast of Australia. I’ll head home back down the centre in a couple of months but I’ve really got no plans from now on but to create magic and to get on with changing the planet.
To all my friends everywhere, you are all in my mind and continue to inspire me. I know I can be shocking at replying (I’m still clogged back from last September!) but know that I do care and do I remember every single one of you. So, please write but be understanding if it takes a while to write back – (I have to sit here for at least 30 minutes deleting crap about free porn videos and instant debt reduction!).
One last sunset
366 days ago I left home…
Tonight I’m flying home to Melbourne without much. Just the pack I left with and a lot of debt.
As I sit here writing to over 230 of you, living in 5 continents over the world, I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Thank you all so much. You have had an impact on my adventure that you will never understand…until you do it too! Don’t be scared to follow your dreams, the worst that could happen is that you might achieve them!
Everyone seems to want to know what I’m going to do when I get back. Well, I’m going to keep finding new places and meeting new people and simply, I’m going to keep on loving my life.
For all of you in Melbourne, my folks are in Sydney for the Olympics so the party is at my place. Just call me first!
Also, write to me and send me photos and gifts to…
Is this the last you’ll hear from me…not a chance!
The Last Stand
Location: London, Egypt and Israel
All around the globe, athletes are fine-tuning their bodies and minds in an attempt to achieve the pinnacle of their sporting careers.
Next week it all begins – the Olympics Games – to be held in Sydney, Australia.
I too am in now in a similar frame of mind, striving for a similar pinnacle. It has now been over 11 months of grueling adventures, new and unusual experiences and hardcore partying. I’ve climbed the mountains and swum in the seas….I’ve walked the dusty, winding roads… sorry, where was I… Oh, that’s right ….reaching a pinnacle…
In 2 days I hit London for what my training partner, Allan, has dubbed ‘The Last Stand’. 5 days and nights of intense partying, guaranteed to have me peaking at the right time…
Saturday also happens to be my birthday! I called my 23rd year, ‘the year of the party’ – which was definitely apt and is definitely deserving of a huge finish. 24 may have to be ‘the year of the recovery’…I doubt it though!
In 7 days I will be in Sydney, to represent my nation in the Olympics Games. I have a bed arranged, a fridge stocked with beer, a couch and a TV. I’m ready for it. Let the games begin.
I’m now still in Israel. I have been in the Middle East for 5 weeks now. Just over 3 weeks in Israel and nearly 2 in Egypt. I can’t explain what this country is like. Thousands of years of history all condensed in such a small area of land. There is a little too much religion and politics going on here though for my liking and with ‘peace’ talk decisions imminent, I think it is a good time to get out.
Egypt was great. We only spent a day in Cairo. Just enough time to see the pyramids and get hustled. Seeing the pyramids was a highlight of my trip.
Every time I have come face to face with a wonder of the world (I’ll have to count how many I’ve seen), I’ve been in complete awe. A little tip though…whilst riding camels might seem like a fun novelty…trust me, they are bloody uncomfortable!
After Cairo, we headed to banks of the Red Sea in Sinai. We got a bamboo hut, only metres from the water and a mattress, and we lay there for 10 days. We were virtually the only ones on the beach. We moved forward to swim and snorkel and backwards to the restaurant to eat. Paradise! So that is about it. I’ll write again before I get home to Melbourne on the 21st. Until then….spare a thought for me…a young Aussie battler, going hard for his country.
Still Not Dead…
Where do I start?!? The last couple of months have been crazy. I’ve been to that many parties that even I, Party Marty, am starting to feel the strain of the European summer. I’m now in Santorini, in the Greek Islands, taking a small breather between spending way too long in the party island of Ios and before heading to Israel tomorrow morning.
Here is a brief summary of the last 2 months… Homelands…a rave outside of London that Allan and I trekked all of the way from Amsterdam to attend. We arrived in London to find out that it was sold out but went anyway and managed to get tickets of scalpers out the front. England brought out it’s best and it rained the whole time. We made it home 24 hours later and covered in mud…brilliant!!
Spain…what was meant to be a few weeks turned out to be about 6. I love this country! They don’t care about working, have siestas every afternoon, eat dinner after 10 pm and don’t go out until 2 am. And they sure know how to throw a bash!
My first Spanish fiesta was the Hogueres de San Juan in the beachside town Alicante. They have huge paper mache statues all over the town that on the final night, they set on fire. It went for about 5 nights – the streets packed with people going nuts! I ended up in Alicante for about 2 weeks all up. Some places are hard to break away from…
Then there was San Fermines – or as you may also know it…the Running of the Bulls. Every person is dressed up in white and red (we found this out when we went out the first night – not dressed in white and red!) drinking and dancing each night away. I had always thought I would run but was having second thoughts prior to the festival. What do you know, I spent the whole night out and ended up standing on the road at 8 am on the first morning of the running. The nervousness, the anticipation…the tiredness… Then just when I was psyched to do it, the Spanish Gestapo decided we were in the wrong spot and herded us out of the road.
I was disappointed but not deterred. I had come close and was set on doing it now. So I came back alone at 8 am the next morning and went for it again. It was very exciting avoiding the large beasts and all of the bodies sprawled on the ground – also very tough considering I am not exactly in peak fitness. Anyway, I did it and ended up in the ring afterwards when they let out smaller bulls. At one point one run at me and I had to push off it. Now I can say I’ve literally ‘grabbed the bull by the horns’!!
Oh…and then there was those few days in Ibiza…
Now I’m just finishing a 2-week stint in the Greek Islands. Funny, but after 10 months on the road, I really needed a holiday. You wouldn’t believe it, considering most of the last 2 months have seen me at the beach by day and partying every night. But, yes, as I said, I am feeling the strain.
It is all going so fast! I head to Tel Aviv tomorrow for 7 weeks in Israel, with some time in Egypt. Then I head to Sydney for the Olympics and I’ll be home in less than 2 months on September 21st….12 months to the day. Talk about getting value for a 12-month ticket!
So keep those emails coming. I love hearing from you all even if I can’t reply that fast. I miss you all – you’ll never understand how you have all contributed to this experience.
Speak to you soon.
I’m NOT Dead!
Location: Berlin, Germany
To answer all of you concerned questions — I’m not dead! It has been a long while though — nearly 3 months, actually. At that time, I was hanging out on the beaches of Brazil. Now, I’m writing to you all from a university in Berlin, Germany. To say I been on the move is a huge understatement and I shudder at the thought of condensing it into a few minutes of light reading…
I spent March travelling around Brazil. Most of it is a blur… Carnival will do that to you. Now I have been to some big parties in my life, but you really must experience the staying power of the Brazilians to understand how crazy carnival is. Literally, the whole country, old and young, stop for about 2 weeks and go wild! Travelling through South America, especially Brazil, will stay with me as a highlight of my life and I’ll definitely be going back in the future.
I’ve been in Europe now for 3 months. I started in London, traveled around France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland and have just come from 11 days of living it up in Prague. I never planned to stay that long but the cheap food and beer lures you in. I actually tried to leave once but when I got to the German border, the border control asked for my passport and I realized I had left it in the safety deposit box in the hostel. After 8 months on the road, you just become used to dealing with these kinds of dramas.
I’m actually quite excited as the weather is unbelievable in Europe and I will soon head down south to spend my final months partying around the Mediterranean (Portugal, Morocco, Spain, the Greek Islands). Though, not before a hit-and-run into the UK to go to a rave in Birmingham called ‘Homelands’ and then a visit to Amsterdam. I finish up in Israel, Egypt and Jordan and go than via Thailand on the way to Sydney for the Olympics. I should be home by October…
After traveling for so long, the feeling of excitement I had when I first left is still inside me every time I move somewhere new. I hardly have any money left but I’ve still got more to see, so I’m worrying about all of that when I’m home and I’ve experienced what I want to see. I miss you all very much and can’t wait to relive my adventures.
I’ve got to say though…this is the life!
Five months and my first hospital visit — Part 2
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
OK, everyone take a deep breath. I made it through the worst of it and I am now recovering on the island of Florianopolis, off the southern coast of Brazil. A heavy dose of antibiotics and some mouth wash that would burn a hole in your shoes and I was back on to eating solids in a week (my fingers are still causing some trouble though!).
From Buenos Aires, we traveled up to Iguazu Falls, where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay all connect. This is the most amazing natural landmark that I have ever seen. I cannot put into words just how awesome it was…so I won’t…
We headed straight to the beaches of Florianopolis to get some R&R (Al was sick too) and said goodbye to Nappy and Maggie who had been on a shortened month-long tour with us from Sydney. Boys, you did your country proud!
So, I’m in Brazil and I’ve quickly realized that Portuguese is not the same language as Spanish. The plan is to spend the next month partying on the beach and getting browned up for Europe. It is Carnival in less than 2 weeks…bring it on!!
PS. 5 months today since I left and my credit card still works. Wooohooo!!
Five months and my first hospital visit — Part 1
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Here is an extract from my journal (Friday 11/2/00)… I’m in Buenos Aires. I have damaged a nerve in my back and have had trouble walking for 5 days now. I have a bacterial infection in my mouth which has caused many blisters and has put me on a diet of yogurt and mouth wash. I’m dizzy, I have a fever and it is well over 30 degrees outside… How f* is that!!!!! |
OK, enough complaining (except that since writing that I also developed a very painful infection around my cuticles). I’m sure you’ve all been wondering where I’ve been for so long, so to start, here is a summary of what I got up to in my 3 wacky weeks in Bolivia…
— A tour of La Paz jail (as a visitor only!) which is run by an inmate. He also sells drugs to finance making a bail payment that are supplied to him by the police. — Had a group photo in McDonald’s in La Paz with all of the staff (and some customers). — Traveled 15 hours on a bus to see some monkeys in Villa Tunari, only to come back the next morning to make a flight. — Saw Toy Story 2 in Cochabamba…in Spanish (yo no habla Espanol!). — Tickled the belly of an alligator which was caught by our guide, whilst on a tour of the jungle. — Bought dynamite to give as a present to miners in the silver mines in Potosi. — Drove over the biggest salt lake in the world, Salar de Uyuni. Shame there had been heavy rain, as it was all under water.
Bolivia is a weird country. They have yet to master consistent hot water and electricity, yet women will come out of nowhere to sell you chicken (con papas fritters) — that is not a Greek guy, it actually means ‘with chips’ in Espanol. Once I saw a woman sprint alongside our bus, shot put a chicken through the window and catch the money in the front of her apron.
Next was Chile. After the cold and altitude of Bolivia, we headed straight to the beach resort of La Serena. It took nearly 20 hours by bus from the border but it was everything we had dreamed of. The sun doesn’t come out until 4 pm, which is great as you can sleep in after getting home at 7 am from the clubs. We were lucky to be there at the busiest time of year as the beaches and clubs were packed. They even hire gorgeous Argentine girls to come for a month and sit on the beach and sunbake during the day and dance in the clubs at night. They get paid to sunbake and dance!!!…and they do it extremely well too!
Regrettably, we left La Serena and headed down to Santiago. There are times when travelling that you find heaven (and some times you end up in Bolivia!) but you just have to keep on moving. Reaching the beaches in Brazil was enough incentive to push on.
The first night we went out, we stumbled across a bar that seemed to be hosting a couple of hens nights as it was full of screaming women and very few men. A guy was talking on stage (in Spanish) and calling women up for something. Next, the girls are all choosing guys out from the audience and I’m up in stage doing the limbo to Mambo #5.
It gets better…I performed admirably but couldn’t match it with the flexibility of the South American women. I wasn’t sitting for long though. The girl who picked me out (who I think was getting married!) actually won and after some prompting from the host and screaming from the audience, I was back on stage and Tom Jones, ‘You can leave your hat on'(from ‘The Full Monty’) was playing. It had been a while but I still knew the moves (Hayley — you would have been proud of me!). I even won a free T-shirt.
From Santiago, Al and I entered Argentina through Mendoza, a beautiful town at the foot of the Andes Mountains. We stayed there with friends who we did Inca Trail with. They really looked after us and barbecue an awesome steak.
I wrote this a week ago in Buenos Aires as a diseased cripple. It was getting serious, as I actually stayed in bed that night instead of going out. Anyway, I thought I split this email into 2 parts to create a bit of suspense.
What has become of me…
Thank god for travel insurance!
Feliz Anu Nuevos mis Amigos!
Location: Cusco, Peru
The new millennium is here and I’m back with so much to tell you all. I’ve been in Peru now for 3 weeks, the last 2 being in Cusco. If you thought my adventures had been crazy before, wait till you get a load of what’s been going down in South America…
I arrived alone in Lima at 5 am with no place to stay and absolutely no idea how to speak Spanish. It was a little scary but I found myself a great hostel and quickly made myself some bilingual friends there. Lima doesn’t have a lot to do but it is an awesome city to go out. I saw the sunrise nearly every day I was there.
I mentioned in my last email about having a few near-death experiences, well, here is the best. It was the Grand Final of the Peru Football League between Alianza Lima (the city boys) and Universitario (the students). Universitario had won the first final 3-0 at home, so Alianza had a lot of work to do at home to be any chance in the decider. So, a group of us from the hostel decide to go along to one of the dodgiest neighborhoods in Lima, buy some tickets of scalpers and watch some soccer. I mean, my experience in Melbourne is a few kids trying to sell you a record outside the MCG.
We get out of the taxi and have scalpers coming at us from everywhere. Then we walk around the stadium through the crowd of thousands of local Peruvian males waiting outside the ground. We stood out as tourists — particularly as we the ONLY non-Peruvians! As we walk, we were slowly being surrounded. Then, in a flash, they pounce on us and my sunglasses got ripped off my face. I look out in the sea of men (I’m a head taller than Peruvian men) and saw the guy running off. So, I pushed everyone away and ran after him, took him to the ground with a flying forearm the back of the head and grabbed my glasses that had flown forward. I’m on the ground and I hear this roar from the crowd of Peruvian men surrounding me, screaming at me like they were about to riot. Then I look up and see police running through with batons — it is a scary moment when you wish you could talk your way out of a problem and no one speaks your language! Luckily though, they came in to save me.
After that, we were given a police escort into the ground and we had 5 officers standing behind during the game. The result — Alianza Lima won the game 1-0 but it wasn’t enough to prevent overall defeat nor the mass riots after the game. We got away safely before the match ended. I left with a broken pair of sunglasses, a bleeding head and a massive dose of reality.
I eventually made it to my New Year’s destination of Cusco after spending a day waiting in the airport and then being told that all flights were cancelled. My hostel is completely full of Israelis, so after starting to get some basic Spanish down, now I was trying to remember Hebrew. Luckily, I don’t mind being woken at 1 every day with pumping techno music. Christmas Eve was on a Friday night so we celebrated with a Shabbat dinner with about 50 people. I thought my mum would have been pleased!
My friend, Allan, from Melbourne, got here after Christmas and it has been great to have an old friend around. We will be travelling the rest of the journey together.
New Year’s Eve. I was in Urabamba, about an hour from Cusco. A 3-day outdoor rave surrounded by enormous mountains in the Sacred Valley of the Incas — it had all the ingredients I wanted for a massive end to the century. It was brilliant!. Al and I rocked for 2 nights with the Israelis, we definitely earned their respect. Watching the sunrise over the mountains of Peru will remain with me as a memory I will always savor. I felt so excited in the thought of what unbelievable adventures I would encounter in the New Year.
I sure picked a great way to kick it off! I just got back from 4 days and 3 nights of trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Physically it was one of the most grueling exploits that I have ever undertaken but every step was so beautiful. The second day involves walking all uphill to 4,198m — it is an achievement I’m proud to have completed. On day 4, we awoke at 4 am and set off to get to Machu Picchu. The history of that place is eerily powerful and visually stunning. It is probably the most awesome place I’ve ever been.
After that, I just wanted to go back to Cusco, have a shower and go to bed. Instead, we spent last night stranded in Aguas Calientes (Ironically translated in English to ‘Hot Water’). The train home was meant to leave at 4:30 pm but it was so overcrowded that everyone with tickets couldn’t get on. So, the extra people decided to protest by sitting in front of the train on the tracks. It is one of the most absurd situations I’ve ever been in — we didn’t end up leaving until after 1 am and I spent most of the trip cramped on the floor.
I think that should do it for now. I’ve got one more night to rip Cusco to shreds before I head off to start moving towards Bolivia. Before I leave Peru Ill be going to Colca Canyon, near Arequipa, which is the deepest canyon in the world and Lake Titicaca, near Puno, which is the highest lake in the world.
I think I’ll try and write more regularly, so much is happening so fast…
Get ready to rock!!!
So is everybody ready? Ready to party? Ready to die in mass nuclear breakdown? Whatever happens, the change from having 19 pre-printed on your cheques to 20 is going to be big!!
It is 24 hours to go here in Cusco and I’m going to be attending an outdoor 3 day rave in Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. I head out in the morning. I mean someone should know where I’m going in case I don’t make it back. South America rocks!!!
I’ve been in Peru for 2 weeks now and have come close to death on quite a few occasions. But I’ll leave that for my next email in the New Year…
I know you’ll all be in shock from receiving such a comparatively short email from me but I’m it is nearly midnight (30/12) and I’m about to head out. There really is no escaping Cusco. Every night is huge and the crowd has been building by thousands every day over the last week. Before I go…in the spirit of the many people who will be making bold New Year’s resolutions…here is the Partymarty Millennium Message…
Dream when you are sleeping and not when you should be living.
Party hard mi amigos.
p.s. to those affected by any Y2K programming I was involved with, I apologize.
Location: United States of America
I’ve done so much since my last email to y’all (incl. going to Texas). My last few weeks based in San Francisco were hectic. I really saw a lot of the States, but it is really just a glimpse of what is to come. I’ve learnt my lesson now to be more regular in writing, I’ve got no idea how to condense my last month but I’ll give it a go…
Yosemite was beautiful — the definite highlight being a walk up to Glacier Point. It was over 6 hours of walking through the snow but completely worth it. The altitude, and being able to see over the huge rocks enclosing Yosemite Valley, really took my breath away.
Next was Seattle, where I enjoyed a traditional family Thanksgiving. The gloomy weather was quite a tourist attraction and I enjoyed walking in the rain. I traveled there on the Green Tortoise Bus — an alternative way to travel, to say the least. It takes 24 hours and the bus is fitted so that it transforms into an all-mattress, travelling harem. Just kidding! — I’m serious about the mattresses though (you get crammed in like a sardine!), but it is more like lying on the couch for a day. About halfway through the trip, it stops for a meal at a property they own and you can even have a sauna.
Las Vegas sure was a trippy city! A perfect example of American society — totally excessive. The hotels are amazing and their gimmicks put the cigarette lighters out the front of Melbourne Casino to shame. (e.g. the light shining out of the Egyptian pyramid at the Luxor is so strong that astronauts in space can see it curve with the force of gravity) I stayed at the Stratosphere Hotel (which has the tallest free-standing tower west of the Mississippi) and managed to get out without losing too much money.
It was a great contrast to go on a tour from Vegas for the day to the Grand Canyon. This has been the best attraction I’ve seen so far. What a sight! I felt like I was looking at the ocean for the first time. It was impossible to get a bad photo, it is all amazing — not bad for a bloody big hole in the ground.
That ended my stay in San Francisco. It really is a beautiful city and I’ll miss all of the cool people I met and the places I hung out. I’ll especially miss my sister, Melissa. We had such a great time together. I actually did leave my heart in San Francisco…however, I’m expecting to have it returned to me somewhere in South America…some things you just aren’t meant to understand…
So, on to Dallas but not without missing 2 flights because of American Airline’s incompetence — I won’t go into detail but to say that they suck! I stayed there with my new friends who I met in New York. These guys sure know how to look after a guest — and they seem to enjoy the challenge of getting me drunk. They won (repeatedly).
Next to Nu-awlins (that’s New Orleans mum!), This town was cool. They don’t mess around with making things look pretty — it is just good people, good food, cheap alcohol and very cool music. I had a great time there. It was very down-to-earth…unlike my next stop, Miami.
Miami oozes with money and attitude. The clubs have good music but no one is allowed in. Everyone just walks/drives up and down the street — the ‘being seen’ scene. But most of the attitude is contained in the tiny office of the Bayside Greyhound depot. It was funny that I was treated so badly when trying to use the voucher they gave me for leaving me in the middle of nowhere the last time I used them! If only they knew how many people I tell… (actually they will — I’m writing a letter to the CEO to tell him that they suck too!)
I’m in Ft. Lauderdale now. I came here to go to see Armageddon (not the end of the world but the WWF wrestling kind). I had a ticket (which is hard to get) but the buses weren’t running and I wasn’t prepared to pay over $60USD (~$100 AUD) for a taxi. So I missed out being with 20000 raving American fools — but, then again, I did go to Vegas…
So, I have 2 more days in the States before heading down to Lima in Peru on Wednesday. I don’t think it is possible to prepare myself for the culture shock I’m about to experience. I’m so excited, this is where my travelling really begins.
I think I will you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukah now. I may not be back before then. You’ll definitely be hearing from me before New Years though, I have to give you all Partymarty’s Millennium Message.
Keep on partying,
A few bites from the Big Apple
Location: New York City, USA.
So much to catch up on…
I made it to New York but not without drama. In an attempt to save a few bucks, I caught a Greyhound bus to LA and then a dodgy, no — name airline flight to NY. Bad move — it all backfired on me!
First, the bus after about 3 hours makes a routine 30 min. stop in Coalinga Junction. This place has a name, so I suppose it qualifies as a town, but it is really a space the size of a football field, filled with every type of fast food joint and gas station possible. One could say this was the ‘real’ America. Anyway, I go and stretch my legs and decide to quickly go to the toilet before hopping back on — you guessed it!! — the bus is already driving on to the freeway!
So, after 4 hours of drinking beer under a tree, I hop onto the next scheduled bus to LA. When I arrive, my carry-on luggage and new jacket that was left on the bus had been stolen. It pissed me off for a while — that was until I had more reason to be annoyed… as when I got to NY (24 hours after I left), I had a shady Israeli guy scam me for way too much money when I got off at Times Square station.
I thought after the s* I’d been through that doing a good deed couldn’t hurt. It did. Half an hour in New York and I’m already hating everyone (normally it takes at least a day!). Ah well, I learned a lot from it all.
Anyway, I ended up having a great time in New York. I’m so glad I went. It is like nowhere I ever been. People have such attitude there — they walk around with weird clothes and stupid haircuts, just because you can. The city really doesn’t ever sleep — the subway is full 24 hours a day. The clubs are very cool — the standard of DJ’s is very high. Still, the clubs weren’t as good as I’d hoped — I’m expecting very big things of Europe now.
I picked a good week to go. The Yankees won the World Series and Times Square was packed with fans. I actually got to see hundreds of New — Yorkers singing along to New York, New York by Sinatra — very corny — but tell me another city where you are going to see that? It was also Halloween and I dressed up as a disco ball (I’ll send a photo if I can) and hit the streets. The train and nightclub was an experience to see everyone in costume — they all take it very seriously. The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade was a trip — anyone who wants can go in it. A lot of weirdoes — next time I’m in town I’ll definitely go.
I enjoyed it there for a week but that was plenty. Once I noticed myself abusing motorists, I knew it was time to get out.
On my flight back, the stewardess came up to me and said that 3 women at the back of the plane wanted my autograph. They worked for the airline but were just travelling and had seen ‘Martin Page’ on the flight manifest, thinking that it was the little-known hack musician who released a CD back in about 97. (Apparently, they liked my single…) It was funny because I have the CD back home — I got it for $1 last time I was in San Francisco. Anyway, I explained the misunderstanding but she said just sign it anyway.
So, I wrote: ‘I hope you enjoy your flight. With Love, (signed) Martin Page. (I put a little heart on it too!). And I took it over to the women and introduced myself. They were so excited to meet me — for that moment I was a Backstreet Boy! I didn’t lie to them — it’s not my fault that my travel itinerary could be interpreted as a touring schedule…
This is getting long — I have to be on a train in the morning to go to Yosemite for a few days so I better wrap it up.
I got back and spent a week setting up and assisting in the Landmark Forum in SF. It was such an awesome experience. Being the Production Supervisor was challenging but allowed me to develop my communication to new levels. I was also honored to spend my time with such fantastic, committed people — some of who are new additions to what seems to be an ever-growing worldwide email list.
So, from here I go to Yosemite in 6 hours. Then Seattle for a week over Thanksgiving, then straight to Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I leave SF for good on the 5th of Dec. and go to Dallas, New Orleans and Miami. Then it is off to Peru…
Hope you are all having fun!
Start spreading the news
Location: San Francisco, USA
That’s right. I am heading to New York on Sunday. I’m meeting up with a Swiss guy I met here in San Francisco who is traveling alone. I was planning to go anyway but only for a few days but Neno said that Halloween in NY is the biggest party of the year. Me and ‘the city that never sleeps’…I’m thinking there could be trouble!
Whooo… I’ve definitely settled in and life is back to being hectic. The only difference now is that I get to be busy doing all of the things I love doing and I also get to try lots of new and exciting pursuits. For example, I just got back tonight from doing indoor rock climbing. I’ve never had any interest to do it before but someone invited me to go and I had nothing to lose — I liked it and intend on doing it again.
So, I’m tired now and am staying in tonight. I need a break after going out every night for a week. That’s dedication considering it is over a half-hour drive each way to get downtown.
Having Melissa’s car to use has been very beneficial. I was alone in a bar, thinking to myself how I could find a club with some good music to dance to, as I’d stumbled across some shockers in my wandering. So, I went over and asked a group of people and we got talking. When they found out I had a car, we made a deal that I drove and they directed. It’s been working just fine for a week now (that’s how I met the Neno, the Swiss guy).
There is some awesome music here in San Francisco. Last Saturday night I went to 1015 Folsom (SF’s mega-club) and saw Deep Dish play, which rocked. Most of you probably have never heard of this guy (he is a DJ) but I’m travelling with 4 tapes, one of which is Deep Dish’s Junk Science, so I was excited.
I also went and saw Ben Harper in concert, which was unbelievable. It was at the Greek Theatre, near Berkeley University, which is a huge outdoor amphitheater with a stage surrounded by pillars, like the Coliseum. He is an amazing live performer and had the 4000+ crowd in the palm of his hands.
I’ve been pretty busy during the days too. Yesterday was my 1-month anniversary and I spent it assisting for 9 hours at Landmark. I figured I hadn’t worked for nearly 2 months that I could handle it. I’ve taken on being the Production Supervisor for the Landmark Forum here in 2 weeks. I’ve never done this before and it is a lot to coordinate. Going to New York for a week won’t help but I’m here to holiday, so I’m making it work. I’m glad I’m doing this as it will be a big accomplishment and, when I could just bum around for a year, it’s nice to do something so rewarding.
So, after I return from New York, I have another month here that is looking packed already. I plan to go to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, camping at Yosemite and I’m going to be in Seattle for Thanksgiving (another American holiday — they have lots!).
Catch you later,
Marty’s Gap Year Begins. Here goes…
Location: Melbourne to San Francisco
It has been nearly 2 weeks since I left [Australia] so I thought I better check-in and let you all know what’s been happening.
Starting in Hawaii was a move I didn’t regret. I spent 4 days getting tanned whilst lying on Waikiki Beach in a daze. The weather is always perfect and the women are unbelievably gorgeous.
I then moved on to LA, where I met up with my sister who flew in from San Francisco and my aunty and uncle who drove up from San Diego. I was only there for the weekend but that is all you need to really get the feel for LA. People tend to be in LA for some kind of purpose, many have become so detached that they have forgotten what it is.
Saturday night was an adventure. I was expecting to be able to go out and party but LA was surprisingly tame — the clubs all shut at 2 AM. However, Melissa and I did manage to get caught in a police bust while walking down Sunset Boulevard (we kinda walked through the middle of it while they were clearing the sidewalk, that is ‘footpath’ in American for the uncultured). Then, we tried to get into a club but there was a bomb scare there so the police stopped us again.
I went back alone the next night, (to the bomb scare club), as I was intent on going to an LA club. I got in but Sunday was Reggae night, so I got to see a band called ‘The Wailing Souls’ play. Apparently, they are meant to be alright…I suppose they were.
Before leaving LA, Melissa and I went to Universal Studios again. It hasn’t changed much since the last time but we had a really fun day. I got pulled out of the audience to sing with the Blues Brothers which was cool. I was a little shy and embarrassed…yeah right!!
We then drove from LA to San Francisco over a couple of days, stopping at beaches such as Malibu, Monterey and Santa Cruz. It turned into a grueling few days as we both went on a fruit cleanse. We only ate fruit and drank juices and teas for 3 days. I don’t know if it was a good idea — you know when you eat a lot of fruit you can get a pain in your stomach. Well, imagine how we felt after 3 days. Some shrimp at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Factory in Monterey balanced me out.
Getting into this healthy lifestyle, I also went and did an hour-and-a-half yoga session. Definitely one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever experienced. They make it worse by heating the room to over 40 degrees [Celsius] (apparently it loosens the muscles…)I might keep it up while I’m here…I’ve got the time.
You can tell I’m in holiday mode — a perfect illustration is that I’ve had to check out of 2 hotels at 11 am and have woken up half an hour late for both — don’t worry, I talked my way out of it!
That’s all for now. I plan to write regularly from now on, but, as this is the first of what will be many witty accounts in the next year, I urge you to let me know if you don’t want to be receiving them (or if you want me to use another email address).