en route: a pre Festival preview

August 21 2012 Erin Click image to zoom

​I am en route, or at least I was, and now I think I still am or perhaps I should be. I’ve just participated in my first official Junction Arts Festival 2012 experience. Wow.

With curiosity raging and possibly stifling some nervous giggles, I fitted my headphones and took my first direction. I was en route. To what? I was wondering. But this didn’t slow me down. I was told to take my time and enjoy, but I found at times my feet took me faster just to see what was literally around the corner. I was keeping my eyes wide open for clues, but then I realised maybe I wasn’t listening properly, and before I could panic, a text would arrive or someone would tap me on the shoulder and where to from here was clear again. That is the beauty of being en route, when the destination is unclear, you are forced to enjoy the beauty of the journey.

I saw my city in places I did not know existed, I wandered through doors and up alleyways like a super hero, only without the bravado. I encountered others en route, and more on their own daily journey, and just a few curious of me.

Whilst being en route takes participants on the same journey, it is still your own journey and it is strangely personal, even though it is public. At times a little confronting in what it asks of you, you are required to leave your anxieties on the Esplanade and go forward with certain uncertainty.

For me, I felt like a traveller again, enjoying a new city, only the Lonely Planet guide was replaced with an iPod, phone and some friendly strangers. Oddly, I also felt very much at home and like Launceston was inviting me in for a much closer look.

I would strongly recommend that if you have the opportunity to go en route, do it! Get up close and personal with Launceston and let Launceston get up close and personal with you!