MovNat Cert III has concluded and the Austrian adventure is over. So what now? Well what if we did not return home to Australia? What if I took my family ‘on the road’ and kept on traveling, indefinitely?

That’s exactly what our little family of three intends to do.

We’d planned for this possibility. Prior to leaving for Austria we sold nearly all of our possessions and rented our home so that we could seriously contemplate the idea of traveling for an extended period of time. We don’t know if this is possible but we’re ready to find out.

We packed enough gear for, well, for forever, and bought one-way tickets out of Australia; the first destination for me was Europe, Austria, for MovNat Cert III.

Tick!

So what’s next?

INDEFINITE WORLD TRAVEL

No one seems to want to return to Australian so we’ve mapped an outline of friends and family we really want to visit and stuck a bunch of pins in a few, “Ooh could we go there!” locations.

The philosophy of this journey is pretty simple, Let the road dictate the journey.” We’ll stay open and ready to ‘following the leads’ as they arise and see where the road takes us.

Ultimately the travel decisions we make are not completely without guidance. There is a ‘rudder’ to this ship.

The family, as a whole, must want to go wherever it is we venture. That’s a given. And for me, personally and professionally, the focus in each destination must be to seek opportunities to learn from its people and landscape; to seek out and explore whole body movement modalities and to see what the natural environment I expose my body to might teach me.

And then I get to share this experience with you guys!

And why not?

Can you image the wealth of knowledge that exists ‘out there’? Can you image the kinds of people we might meet? And what marvelous terrain awaits? It’s a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn, grow and to share. I’m more than a little bit excited and very curious.

Let the self-proclaimed WORLD FAMILY MOVEMENT TOUR begin.

Bridgitte, Remy, me! “Let’s go!”

PORTUGAL

From Austria to Portugal. That’s where I’m headed now.

We have family ties in Portugal and have visited the country before. Beautiful. Perfect. Love it. So while I took a side journey to Austria to attend the MovNat course, Bridgitte and Remy flew to Portugal to be with them. It’s now time for me to reconnect with the family and I miss them.

There’s also a nice ‘movement opportunity’ in visiting Portugal now. In a few weeks time my brother in law (pictured below) is flying in to compete in a bodybuilding competition: Mr Olympia Amateur.

It’s a big deal on the bodybuilding circuit. Recently he won a Provincial Championship in Newfoundland, his home town, which qualified him to enter. The goal at this event is to place and secure a IFBB PRO card. It’s a ticket into the Pro leagues and the arena where names like Arnold Schwarzenegger have blown pecs and minds. Heard of that guy?

This is a big event and I get a front row seat. I’m also intrigued. I mean, if you had to propose two opposing movement genres it’s hard to imagine anything more dichotomous than professional body building on the one hand and whole body natural movement on the other.

One body is a mountain of dehydrated muscle that flexes and constricts so completely during a competition that I worry participants might cease up and need to be carried off stage like a cardboard cutout. The other body is nimble, dynamic and mobile; ever-ready to move and respond to the demands of the moment.

The sport of body-building has fascinated me for a long time. Ever since ‘Arnie’ dominated Hollywood and made BIG muscles a universally desired goal for almost every young man on the planet.

Want to drop in and take a look? It’s on the list.

FEELING TACTICAL

Right now it’s 4AM and I’m in Vienna wasting time waiting for a train to the Airport. Austria is super clean and super efficient. I can count on knowing precisely when the train will arrive because they ALWAYS arrive time. It’s so precise that it’s a little unnerving.

While I’m completely grateful for Austria cleanliness and precision, I have to admit I prefer a little bit of dirt and some spontaneity in my life. For me the slightly unexpected keeps the senses engaged and to be quite frank, the Austrian level of precision makes me feel a little incompetent.

I catch my reflection in a recently cleaned shopfront window and it surprises me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve considered my reflection or made any effort to manage my appearance. During the MovNat course the AM routine was: wake, dress, eat and move. The PM: shower, apply antiseptic cream to some new graze, eat, pass out. REPEAT.

Grooming was not part of the program.

Nor was it on the list at 3AM this morning!

I look a bit rough! Battered and bruised from the course. A weeks worth of stubble. Tanned. Or in my case I’ve turn a nice shade of ‘salmon’. I’ll start peeling in a few days time. I’m dressed entirely in black and my luggage matches my attire.

I’m feeling a little bad ass. Tactical even. Yet I honestly feel about as good as a body can feel. I’m full of alpine air. My body has endured hours of movement practice and mobility training at altitude. My blood is full of oxygen and I’ve consumed heaps of water and wholesome foods for days. And I’ve laughed. Not just a few sympathetic chuckles here and there. But real full-bellied laughter with people I now count as friends.

I’m jacked! My shoulders are pulled back and my head is upright. I walk taller. It feels great. Like I can handle anything.

AIRPLANE FOOD

Except plane food!

I mean what the f#@k is it actually? What precisely is the nutrient content of what’s offered on a plane? Is it actually food? Really! It’s packaged like an IKEA assembly item and sealed in plastic; presumably for my own protection.

These are important ontological questions!

After four days of warm, homely Austrian dinners, what I discover under the foil of this airplane meal comes as a bit of a shock.

Not even my ‘travel mat’ makes the dish look palatable.

Ah, travel!

In less than 4 hrs I’ll be in Portugal so I reseal the foil on the hot dish or semi-organic matter I’ve been dutifully served and push it aside untouched. I think I’ll wait for Portugal.

I search my mind for memories of the last visit to Portugal and recall the aromatic scent of the rich crema covering an authentic Portuguese espresso. And then I start to salivate over the idea of a pastéis de nata.

Oh yeah!

I can wait for that.

Up next …

Damien Norris is the founder and senior whole-body movement and lifestyle coach at The Wilding Project (LINK), Perth Western Australia.

Recently featured in TEDxPerth (LINK), Damien teaches children, young people, adults and seniors how to move and live a full life!

Olympic Fun & Fitness and The Wilding Project like Rewilding is dedicated to a movement rich life. Programs like Gymnastics, GymFIT, FootyEDGE, Parkour, Workplace Athletes, ActiveAgers and more all follow a simple philosophy, “Learn to move well and then never stop.”

Damien Norris