He Set Off Across Australia on a Toy Scooter. Then Australia Got on Board.


Ms. Swansborough, a lifelong adventurer, had recently returned after 10 months in Iran, where she had crossed the country on foot, astounded by the generosity of those she met. Here was a chance to pay that forward, she said: “He’s put himself in a situation where he doesn’t know anyone, but he’s putting his trust and faith in Australia.”

Learning that Uni intended to spend the night camping in a public park in an area known for crime, Ms. Law insisted on paying for a hotel room for him in the next town, then sent him on his way.

Uni’s journey might be politely described as under-researched.

“I don’t think I prepared anything in particular for this trip,” he said, laughing. “If I think too much, it’ll just complicate things and it’ll be hard to take a step forward, so I thought: If I jump straight in with no Plan B, I’ll somehow figure things out.”

In 2021, over 10 months, he completed a similar, less ambitious journey, visiting all 47 prefectures in Japan over the course of 10 months on a similar scooter. “I had zero yen in my pockets when I left, but I sold handmade friendship bracelets for 100 yen each,” he said. “But this is Australia, a bigger journey, so I do have my debit card with me.”

He speaks little English, and his destination was chosen virtually at random. “I didn’t care about what country I wanted to go to — I just wanted to get out of Japan to somewhere I hadn’t been.” On Google Maps, Australia looked large, he recalled. “So I thought it might be an adventure.”

That gung-ho mentality — and a lackadaisical charm — have been crucial on an odyssey that, almost since arrival, has been bumpy.

Source : Nytimes