Culture Shock

377km Manjimup to Waikiki

Gloucester TreeTime passes so quickly. When we were sitting on the beaches of Yallingup, just staring at the waves crashing on the rocks, we felt we could have stayed forever. A few short days later and we’re nearly back in Perth – back in civilization with its grand homes and green lawns, a supermarket and a frothy cappuccino shop on every corner.

Cycling around the country towns and quiet woodlands of rural Western Australia, we felt we were readjusting to life in the developed world just fine. Gorgeous national parks and isolated camping combined with a barbecue and toilets in every little village was the perfect mix of nature and nurture for two wandering cyclists.

But returning to the city after two weeks of camping, it’s hard not to feel a bit adrift. One of the things a long bike trip does to you is that it greatly simplifies your life. What you can’t carry in four bags on your bicycle, you just don’t need. Food, warmth and a safe place to sleep are your only requirements. It’s like being a baby again.

Just go straightAnd if then, on top of that, you spend the better part of the last year, as we have, cycling through less developed countries, you feel your needs shrinking even more. You see people every day who make do and raise families on only the barest of resources and you start to look like the rich one – you with what you thought was a humble bicycle and a few meager bags.

The developed world we came from two years ago, now feels like a different universe. It’s one we are struggling to identify with. Who are all these people with their big cars and boats in the garage? What does the baker mean when he tells us he throws his bread out every day? “Don’t you know there are kids in Cambodia who need that bread?” we feel like telling him, in the same tone our mothers used when they threatened to send our uneaten food to Ethiopia.

Want to come along?And what is this Christmas madness? People rolling huge shopping carts out of every supermarket, loaded from top to bottom. On the radio they talk constantly about shopping days to Christmas and how many presents so-and-so has left to buy and did you know the average Australian spends about $600 U.S. on Christmas gifts?

“That’s enough for two frugal people to ride bikes in Australia for a month!” we cry simultaneously.

And then we stop ourselves. Wait. The world was doing this before we left and it was doing it while we met Wafa in Syria and the nomads of Central Asia and the people in the mountain villages in Laos. Is it really so surprising to find everything still turning just as it was when we took that first pedalstroke?

Coming back to the city, we feel as if the world has taken leave of its senses but maybe we are the crazy ones. This is just the way things are.

The whole concept of ‘fitting back in’ to society is a constant discussion for us now. It’s been an ongoing topic for some months, but it wasn’t until very recently – after the initial euphoria of landing in Australia died down – that we realized what that return might mean.

Fitting back in…. to be honest, we aren’t sure how or if we want to do it.


  1. Debbie Mill
    20th December 2008 at 8:20 am #

    They say the culture shock is always on your return to your own country not in the going to other less developed countries. It will be hard for you. Maybe Australia is a good place for you to readjust. But your memories will see you through as well as draw you back to where you have been. It’s hard hey and must be much harder for you when you have been travelling for so long. Makes you wonder what development really is. Take good care in Australia and remember there’s a bed for you in Brisbane if you get up this way.

    Debbie and John Mill

  2. Frank
    21st December 2008 at 1:48 am #

    Good to see your are back in Perth lucky it is not a very busy city compared to others , i hope that you are going to relax and have a good xmas with plenty of seafood and pav see ya soon.Frank

  3. meng
    22nd December 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Hi ,
    Still following your journal . wishing you best of everything in your remaining journey.


  4. trade shares app
    30th November 2022 at 11:36 am #

    Hello. splendid job. I did not anticipate this. This is a remarkable story. Thanks!

  5. bounce house rentals
    4th December 2022 at 11:25 am #

    Very efficiently written post. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, as well as myself. Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.

  6. nbook
    4th December 2022 at 10:33 pm #

    Ja naprawdę nagrodę twoją pracę, Świetny post covid test domowy.

  7. Kelvin Kaemingk
    10th December 2022 at 2:37 pm #

    Really enjoyed this post. Much obliged.

  8. Reynold Love
    29th December 2022 at 5:59 am #

    groups as it is possible to mail big documents nearly 1.5 GB without several initiatives.Group Link – Free Link Group – Invite Join And Chatgroup link

    30th December 2022 at 1:06 am #

    When two friends have a common bank account one sings and the other weeps.

  10. resources
    1st January 2023 at 7:51 pm #

    Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme

  11. Paris Bentley
    3rd January 2023 at 12:40 am #

    ivermectin 1.87 paste for humans ivermectin side effects humans

    28th March 2023 at 5:10 pm #

    Regular options include a composer of the week program, and alunchtime live performance.

  13. casino gaming
    4th April 2023 at 3:01 pm #

    There is a huge distinction in between stainless-steel as well as chrome

  14. autel
    5th April 2023 at 2:47 am #

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderfularticle. Many thanks for providing this info.

  15. online gaming
    7th April 2023 at 12:00 am #

    virago honeycode: una etapa de desarrollo de código bajo con un gran contrato

  16. xgs-pon
    12th April 2023 at 9:41 am #

    Really enjoyed this blog post. Great.

  17. arious bonuses
    13th April 2023 at 6:28 am #

    NBA Odds – Provides readers the current National Basketball Association Odds for today’sgames.

  18. casino card games
    14th April 2023 at 4:47 pm #

    Valuable information. Cheers. custom written paper how to write a concept essay

  19. How to Play Mobile Baccarat
    18th April 2023 at 2:51 pm #

    Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for! «Better and ugly face than an ugly mind.» by James.

  20. free spins in Australia
    21st April 2023 at 12:10 am #

    Pknkfy – benefits of writing essays Lccmqa pzmadx

  21. to learn more
    21st April 2023 at 11:10 pm #

    Ray paul mccartney invierno 8 de mayo abaft All, cafés Liev servan

    24th April 2023 at 4:01 am #

    avana apartments rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised covered bridge apartments

  23. Lap mang vnpt
    28th April 2023 at 7:16 am #

    Thank you for helping out, excellent information. “Job dissatisfaction is the number one factor in whether you survive your first heart attack.” by Anthony Robbins.

  24. check out
    28th April 2023 at 5:55 pm #

    essay how many wordseasy argumentative essay topicswhy nyu essay

  25. Flame Addiction
    4th May 2023 at 7:31 pm #


  26. 夸佛体育
    14th July 2023 at 3:05 am #

    Thanks so much for the article. Much obliged.

  27. Electric Blog
    15th October 2023 at 11:56 pm #

    I think this is a real great article. Keep writing.

  28. Hmall
    30th November 2023 at 12:14 am #

    Thank you ever so for you blog. Keep writing.

  29. Houston Vemura
    6th December 2023 at 5:55 pm #

    Sie machen es wirklich mit Ihrer Präsentation so einfach, aber ich finde, dieses Thema ist eigentlich etwas, das ich glaube, ich würde es nie verstehen. Es erscheint mir zu komplex und sehr weit gefasst. I am freue mich auf deinen nächsten Beitrag, I’ll versuche, den Dreh raus zu bekommen!

  30. kubet
    9th December 2023 at 7:37 pm #

    Major thanks for the article. Really Cool.

  31. Thomasmub
    28th December 2023 at 5:31 pm #

    I’m in attraction with the cbd products and ! The serum gave my shell a youthful boost, and the lip balm kept my lips hydrated all day. Knowing I’m using clean, natural products makes me desire great. These are infrequently my must-haves after a fresh and nourished look!

  32. matka satta result
    3rd January 2024 at 11:19 am #

    Im obliged for the blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  33. Anime Ai
    19th March 2024 at 12:57 am #

    Im obliged for the blog post. Really Great.

  34. how win match today
    26th March 2024 at 1:25 am #

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

Leave a comment