They say the journey is the destination. But what happens after having crossed two oceans and more than half of the world – when you finally arrive at the destination of your dreams?

I’ve met Patrice and Bill twenty years ago on the Larapinta Trail in the hot centre of Australia. It was the last day of their hike, my first. Our small talk ends quickly. They know a lot about hiking. And they know all about Tasmania, where they live. Bill, officially a teacher for outdoor education in Launceston, is a climber at heart, Patrice is strong and adventurous.

Patrice and Bill: Wet Cave near Mole Creek

A year later, we set off. Ten days in the constant rain of the Western Arthurs, a steep mountain range in the unprotected southwest of Tasmania. Hiking in the Roaring Forties is hard, very hard. Gusty winds, low temperatures, mud, even snow. Those who survive ten days together and still are on speaking terms with each other remain friends for life. Bill and Patrice come to Graubünden to hike and climb, I fly to Tasmania for bushwalking and kayaking.

I’m not the first sailor to land in Tasmania. Joshua Slocum, the legendary first solo circumnavigator, almost got stuck in the neighbouring town of Devonport. “If there was a moment in my voyage when I could have given it up, it was there and then” (Joshua Slocum: Sailing alone around the world, page 187). Bill, however, believes this was not about Tasmania, but about a mysterious woman.

Launceston, the destination of my sailing trip for four years. And yet: a secret part of me never believed I would make it. The plan was too ambitious, too many things could go wrong: weather, costs, marriage… dangers everywhere.

Reinhards yoga: Ocean Beach near Macquarie Narrows

The first few weeks in Launceston are sheer bliss. I revel in the memories, the pampering from Patrice and Bill and the pride of having made it. Then Marinette, my wife, visits me. My happiness is joined by the happiness that she also likes it here: The foreign vegetation, birds, marsupials, endless landscapes, beaches, forests.

Reykja has now been lying in the muddy Seaport Marina for five months. I’ve become a member of the Yoga Loft, know the Bunnings hardware store like the back of my hand, fry bacon (occasionally) and try my hand at phrases like “cheers” and “how are you mate”.

The journey was a destination. Arriving was too. I’m in the right place.

Patrice and Marinette: Crater Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background

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