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April 11, 2021

The Furthest Place From Home

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.

In the weeks leading up our tour in Southeast Asia and Australia, whenever I became overwhelmed by stress, stupidity, or some combination of both, I found comfort in repeatedly saying to myself, “I don’t think I’m coming back.” Sure, one could easily dismiss this as a childish reaction to unfavorable situations and tell me to quit whining because running away won’t solve anything, but that doesn’t work with my story.

Sitting at work last week, my mind wandered, and I started to think about where the furthest place on Earth (from Chicago) might be and if I could actually go there. After a quick Google search, my answer was only a click away.

As a child, the folklore was always that you would end up in China if you tried to dig through to the other side of the Earth. And why wouldn’t that make sense? If you spin a globe and look only at the northern hemisphere, China, or maybe Russia, is on the other side. But that’s not what I was looking for. I’m talking about driving a giant fucking stake into the ground at the corner of Huron and Ada streets to see exactly where it comes out on the other side, at the bottom of the Earth.

Well, like I was starting to suspect already, the furthest place on the planet was not in China at all, but approximately 1,200 kilometers southwest of Perth, Australia, in the Indian Ocean.

Fast forward one month, a little drunk and happy after the show, we went to a beach near the house where we were staying. Standing there in the sand at the edge of the Indian Ocean, feet cold and wet, staring up at the stars, we were as close to the furthest place on Earth from where we started. At least, as close as we were going to get without stealing a boat.

Yeah, I know it’s not difficult to do if you can afford the airfare, and it’s not like we discovered the source of the Nile or were the first to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I was experiencing a moment of inner peace and harmony with the world. Knowing that I could go no further. Knowing that one step in any direction would only take me one step closer to home.

*This is an excerpt from my blog, Murder Burger or Bust, about the 2010 Horace Pinker Australasia Tour.

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