In Mel's Musings, Travel

Where are you going?

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The days slip by surprisingly quickly, our Russian leg a cross-hatch of trains and funny little hostel-cum-home stays. The days on the train, although not exactly the long expanses of contemplative quiet time one would experience travelling alone, do allow for some stolen solo time. I find it mostly at night when the lights are out and my little cabin companions are being rocked to sleep by the movement of the train.

The choice of music takes time and thought, although of late I have found that almost anything will hit the mark. I prop myself up next to the window, ear buds nestled in my ears.

Whoever gets their voice becomes my companion for the evening as the snow and silver birch forests slip past under the stars. A stretch of time encased only in the music. Time shared with no one but the talent pumping through the thin wire from my iPad. Sometimes it takes me back to a time and place so vividly I experience a wash of who I was back then. The gorgeous Eddie Vedder rasp or Bono’s rousing anthems – soundtracks to so long ago yet welcomed back happily to the dark cabin rattling across Siberia.

It doesn’t always take me back – I don’t always want it to. A new soundtrack created for these quiet moments when everyone is here with me but as they sleep I am in my head. Not thinking, just listening. There’s nothing else, just the snow, the cold glass against my cheek and the music.

At the core of this trip is our unit of five, a shared experience the language of which we will share forever. We eat together, walk as a pack, constantly watch out for each other and generally sleep within a whisper of each other. We share almost everything. Stealing away to where no one can follow, however infrequently, gives us each moments that belong only to us.

I know that when I hear some of these tunes again back home, in my kitchen in Ocean Grove, I will be transported back to this quiet cabin with the northern lights spectacular in the night sky.



  1. Thank you for sharing the cabin your so eloquent thoughts. They will be remembered by all.

  2. Do you have any Neil Diamond on your playlist?! Lovely to hear your voice. Thanks for sharing it with us! xx

  3. Hi guys,
    We have a mutual friend in Sam Robinson who put me onto your blog and amazing adventure. I am also ex-OBA. I have been reading for a while and am completely in awe of your courage and tenacity. Your journey has been a huge inspiration for our family to venture to the Kimberley soon with our four small travellers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections. Please know I am cheering you on. Go well! Kate

    • Hi Kate, lovely to get your message. I have heard a lot about you from Sam. When is your trip? Would love to hear about it. Thanks for getting in touch. Mel

      • Hi Mel,
        Thanks for your reply, we head off in 6 weeks, and you’ve inspired me to blog about it so will send you the link when it’s up and running if you like. Safe journey 🙂

        • Great Kate, would love to read about your trip. Some friends recently spent 7 months or so camping around Australia. Taffy’s blog is if you’re interested. Some great photos and honest insights. Happy planning!

  4. Oh Missy how we love you, our family favorite at the moment is her new album, Oz, we love it! Happy tunes Mel x

    • Will have to get it. We heard her over the in house music in a cafe in Ulaanbaatar! We all looked at each other and burst out singing. The kids love her too. X

  5. we love the moving pic and the sounds of train and little voices in the background, thank you

  6. Hi Mel,thanks for transporting me into your shared cabin and visualising in my minds eye how it is.Music is a great Nostalgic transporter and certain songs will fix to a place somewhere in the world from our past.Wonderful.Happy journeying.

  7. Mel, so good to read you! I can see it, maybe even feel it a bit! Big wide cheesy smiles to you. Travelling in a pack is pretty special, isn’t it mother wolf? X

  8. So good to read your blog Mel, hear your voice in the back ground of the movie and, can I say, I side with Jo- are you playing any Neil? You guys rock xxxxxx

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