SLOWING DOWN: Sii intends walking to Australia from England to reconnect with the small things we are missing. Picture: Claire DunnA FEW months ago I received an unusual Facebook message, about a young man planning to walk across Europe and Asia on a bid to “slow down” while pulling his belongings behind in a custom-made fibreglass pod. Having read about my bush adventure, he thought to get in touch and swap notes. My vague interest turned to curiosity when he revealed himself as a Mayfield local.
I Googled him.
“My name is Sii. I have a dream, a vision, that I hope can give other people the inspiration and drive to pursue their dreams. With video footage and still images I will be documenting my journey beginning in England and heading east across Europe and after many thousands of kilometres south into Asia. The good times, the bad times, the boring times where I’ve just had enough.
“It is the easiest it’s ever been to stay connected and observe our beautiful planet, yet we are the least connected we have ever been. This journey will show me the small things we are all missing in a lifestyle that is moving ever faster.”
The next week Sii was sitting cross-legged on my carpet, sipping tea. Hunter born and bred, he looked like someone with whom I went to school, although a few years younger. Sii answered my questions simply, his sentences often ending with a broad laconic grin.
“My first idea of something like this was back in about 2010 and I wanted to circumnavigate Australia with two Clydesdales and a dray buggy,” he laughed.
“I really want to change the course of my life, to learn and test myself, find a better way to live.”
Apart from smelling the roses on a long walk across the globe, Sii plans to busk with a selection of didgeridoos that he crafted from recycled fence railings.
His earnestness was as clear as his dedication. Flashing me photos of something that resembled a giant bottle on its side, I was astonished to learn that the self-named ‘SiiPod’ had taken three and a half years of trial and error to perfect, as well as an 8000-kilometre round trip to Kakadu to get it painted by an Aboriginal elder.
The whole journey suddenly struck me as a quintessential “Hero’s Journey” – the archetypal story of when a young man (or woman) sets out from the village on a mission of adventure and self-discovery, encountering obstacles that threaten to derail them – blisters, boredom or the final lip of a mountain – before finally arriving, humbled and wiser, at their destination.
This modern-day Frodo plans to fly to England with a one-way ticket in early March, reunite with his currently-in-transit-pod, and start walking.
“I feel excited to leave, scared, and sad to leave friends and family. All my comforts and securities I have sold and given away to live a lifestyle I have never experienced . . . and I’m going it alone.”
It is customary to farewell a hero with gifts and well wishes. Sii has made it easy for us with a crowdfunding campaign (gofundme南京夜网/siipodadventure).
So let’s unfurl the streamers, toss gold coins into his purse and bid our adventurer godspeed, knowing he will no doubt return with treasures for the tribe.