Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Outstanding Australian Alumni Association 2013

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Celebrating the spirit of wilderness | NZ Travelogue!

We have all climbed the odd hill, had the odd camp weekend, and enjoyed the company of strangers, well met. That kind of thing can and does come to mind in my journey. And while I have embarked on great hikes too, 5 days in length, and made the Alps of Victoria and High Plains my playground, I was absolutely humbled and a little bit envious when I went on my vicarious walk across the New Zealand wilderness, last night, courtesy of Jingyi and his magical camera.

The lights of night and the hues of sunsets can transfer and deposit you in some "Tolkeinesque" Middle Earth and I was somewhere for most of the Travelogue, on a path that joined fantasy and nature with the hard, rugged beauty of the great southern outdoors. I smelt, felt, groaned and breathed with the steps of Jingyi's journey and if a good photo makes 5 senses work overtime, then Jingi's eye and cool hand made my senses come alive and thrive with the taste of his sight and the feel of his mountain view.

I was left exhausted; and wondering if I could make a Museli bar and GP existence happen for 4 months or more and have a crazy gap "year" to follow his footsteps. Couldn’t. Have trouble climbing into the pool and wading into the deep end. So, for me - Jingyi is the explorer and adventurer and I am the Travelogue watcher, who stared at the screen, thankful too, that the Campers Corner, served me my Toasties, chicken nuggets and my drinks and provided me with a perfect wooden chair to climb onto to sit and watch others climb.

But while I was surrounded by the secure and warm, the insight of this home adventurer is only framed and focused because of the courage of the cameraman. I am reminded that without Jingyi's Travelogue, I would just be that less complete - as while I can sit safe in the knowledge that wilderness still exists, I would be none the wiser about what wilderness really means.

So thank you, Jingyi, Campers’ Corner (Calvin, Sam, Glen), friends at Melbourne Uni Alumni (Kah Shen, Kelvin, Danny), friends and family of Jingyi and others, who helped celebrate the spirit of the wildnerness on 25 September, the spirit of the journey and spirit of the cameraman. A special thank you to the Private Museum too (Mr Daniel, Andy), as I was one of the lucky few who had their own private viewing of the private Art Collection (Wu) of none other than 2008 Woman of the Year, Goh Soo Khim. Another terrific sensory experience to end this delightful evening out.

By Stephen Bhogal
UMAA (Singapore)




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