Woah. It’s December.

This means that I’ve now entered into my twelve-month of traveling, and the last leg of this yearlong adventure. And to be honest, I was intimidated by this month – it would be the end, and because it would be the end, I knew I wanted it to be special.

But how do I finish with a bang?

I contacted a variety of hosts in Australia for ‘work-exchange’ opportunities to explore options to help. I seemed to be arriving at the wrong time of year for the prolific Aussie vineyard harvests. The pearl farm that was suggested to me by Matt (Aussie friend who I met in Costa Rica) was full up on helpers. The kangaroo rehabilitation center did not respond to my inquiries. It was a series of bumping into walls, and I began to see this as a potential message from the universe.

I remembered the advice that my friend Vanessa gave me back in September 2010, when I was cautiously beginning to tell people about the dream trip, and the its ambitious framework – 12 months/12 countries/12 goodwill activities. We were sipping lattes on the terrace of a Montreal café and she said, “Daniel. There might be a moment when you feel a need to abandon everything – the agenda, the audience, the boundaries – follow your intuition on it.”

So I am… sort of.

I’m not ready to abandon the blog or to stop taking photos or to cease from writing my weekly Letter Home (although this month they might become more like postcards). It’s been such a stellar year, and perhaps part of the ‘success’ (if I dare use that word) was because I intentionally directed the journey in a specific fashion. I stuck to the game plan. And I’m glad I did.

But what would happen if I let go of the reigns?

This month, I’m metaphorically throwing the map out the window. But this doesn’t mean that I’ve come to Australia without objectives. I am here on a search for something – something that I’m finding difficult to articulate, but I think much of it understandably revolves around finding some sort of closure or ending to a life-altering trip. I’ll be sure to tell you if I find it. Heck, I’ll tell you if I don’t find it.

To begin this final intuitively guided leg, I’ve come to a small town called Lismore, in the northern region of New South Wales. One of the most special people that I’ve met this year was an Australian gem named Madam Edda Lampis. In January, Edda and I shared many weeks together in the slightly odorous but overall delightful dorm room of Common Ground in New Orleans. You might recall that she guided me through a Full-moon Ceremony. Now she’s back in Australia, and my intuition has told me that she might be able to help direct me where I need to go this month.

Wish me luck.



- To finish my journey alive.

(Yup, that’s pretty much it!)


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  1. Noema 3 December 2011 at 3:18 AM #

    Hey, we missed each other by a couple of weeks!
    I think the closure you’re looking for will find YOU before you even notice ;-)
    I wish you good luck and a great time in Down Under.

    • danbaylis 3 December 2011 at 8:32 AM #

      Beautiful. I welcome it with open arms ;-)

      Thanks for your wishes!

  2. Lachlan 3 December 2011 at 9:24 AM #

    Oh Daniel! No Conversationalist? Abandon everything? Even the audience? Gulp!

    I shall miss your missive!!!

    Ok! It’s not over just yet; I will savour the last month. I’m sure it will be exactly what it needs to
    be for you.


  3. Katrina 3 December 2011 at 2:36 PM #

    Awesome. There was a point in my trip where I abandoned the itinerary and went by intuition and it was fantastic. I can’t wait to see where this takes you. Have a fantastic last month!!

  4. Cheryl 3 December 2011 at 6:44 PM #

    I’d recognize those toes anywhere!!!

    You’d better live up to your expectations or I’ll……

    Have a wonderful journey in your last month….we miss you…there’ll be presents under the tree when you get home.

  5. David 4 December 2011 at 5:19 PM #

    Here’s to you! and I’m wishing you the best of luck!!! / David T.

  6. Hammy 11 December 2011 at 10:16 PM #

    intuition is the best host for solo travel – follow your heart!


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