My laptop is quite possibly the most well travelled piece of equipment I own. Everywhere I’ve been, it’s been. Across oceans, seas, countries and states – all the way to different hotel rooms, coffee shops, hostel dining rooms and family housings.
It’s hard drive is filled mostly with photos of the places I’ve seen, the songs I’ve listened to on the way, the books I’ve read and the words I’ve written. There are even a few old personal training programs and MSN Messengers conversation screen shots for a little bit of nostalgia. Because you know, the best thing to do after school was sit on your laptop and talk to the people you’d spoken to literally 10 minutes ago – but this time finish every sentence with ‘lol’.
One of the most interesting features of my laptop though is not the software or the word documents. It’s what is on the casing that gets the most questions. People in coffee shops constantly come up to me and ask me to explain what’s on the outside, and why in gods name a 6’5 21 year old has a picture of Pikachu emblazoned on it.
At first glance it might not look like much, just a little sporadic decoration. But the stickers tell a story, about my life and where I’ve travelled. Cavemen had cave paintings, Native American’s had totem poles, the ancient Greeks has mosaics and tapestries and 21st Century James has crap stuck all over his MacBook.
‘Open Up a Little’ – This is a sticker from the Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle, Western Australia. Little Creatures was my favourite beer hands down when I was travelling in the southern hemisphere. To me though, it marks my first real journey away from home for any length of time. Prior to this I’d been around Europe with friends, but at the age of 19 I decided to pretty much cross the whole entire world with one friend. It was my first real taste of proper travel, which lit a fire in my belly that I don’t think will ever be extinguished.
Pikachu – Pokémon was my obsession as a child. I had the game boy games, the cards, the teddy bears, the DVD’s and the completely wasted youth. Pikachu always stood out to me from the TV show. The relationship between him and the main protagonist, Ash, really always stuck with me. Two best friends, together regardless of what ever happened – growing, learning and becoming stronger together. Growing up, that was something I always wanted. Most of all though, it reminds me be a big kid every once in a while, to indulge in video games and comic books and see the world through the eyes of a child.
Peace, Love and Dutch Bros. – Dutch Bros is a chain of coffee shops in the Pacific North Western region of America. The coffee is pretty nice and it has a very relaxed feel about it. I’d drive a little out of my way to get the coffee, and pay that little extra for it. I had an amazing family to stay with in Portland Oregon, and I made some great friends up there – ones that will probably stay with me long past my time in America ends. Oregon, though, wasn’t a place for me. It’s a long story for another time, but it’s not a place high on my list. Afterwards though, I went to Texas, which is a big highlight of my travels. This sticker reminds me that even in the worst moments, there is always something better coming your way – just hold on.
Batman – Did I ever tell you my ex-girlfriend took me on 8 dates, and then to see a Batman film? It went dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, Batman! Terrible jokes aside, Batman is just someone I love. He’s the only real superhero I can get excitable about. To me he’s accessible, because he’s just a guy. A very, very rich guy with a lot of opportunities most people don’t have – but he’s still just a guy. He possess no super powers, everything he can do is just an extension of him. All the things he can do are because he’s made himself able to do them, he can’t just do them. He’s the epitome of strength, character and sheer force of will.
San Diego Chargers – For you non-NFL fans, that’s the big lightning bolt looking thing. They’re my favourite team in the whole entire world, whom I had the pleasure of finally getting to watch live yesterday. I’ve always supported sports teams, but I tend to drop in and out of interest. The Chargers though, I follow every single step of the way. It’s my chance to subscribe to something bigger, to be a part of something that I can share in with other people. Even if the thing that we’re sharing is how bad we usually are.
Hopefully my collection of stickers will keep growing, and the list of stories keeps getting bigger and bigger.