First stop: Sydney.
We stumbled out of the airport with stiff limbs and heavy eyelids. Having lost all sense of space and time on our journey from one side of the globe to the other, the ambush of sun and heat shocked us into situating ourselves.
We were in Australia.
The sun beat down relentlessly as we stretched out our legs along the coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte beach.
We unzipped our bags and pulled out our beach towels. We navigated the rocks, rough beneath the pads of our feet, and plunged ourselves into the cool reprieve of the salty water.
We took in the iconic opera house from the Sydney harbour, bursting at the seams with excitement and rose.
After out time flittering through Sydney, we ventured north to Palm Beach, New South Wales – and everything I envisioned Australia to be.
It was as if you could swim through the waves of cream-coloured sand and walk across the blanket of deep blue water.
Great Ocean Road
I like to be in places that remind me how small I am. That engulf my tiny existence and remind me that I’m just a drop in the sea of this big, beautiful world.
We packed up our bags, tossed them in the trunk of our rental, and slid into its seats.
We rolled down the windows, turned up the tunes, and absorbed the sights that came into view.
Bright-eyed at Brighton.
The most colourful backdrops.
Made for the most colourful afternoon.
Melbourne introduced a change of pace.
A change of temperature, sights, sounds, and tastes.
The city was chilly and wet and crowded and we got so lost one night we could barely feel our feet by the time we plunked ourselves down into the plastic patio chairs of some random restaurant.
It also offered up a gritty urban scene that reminded me of Berlin.
And graced us with the best coffee and smoothie bowls this fine world has to offer.
I think it’s important to live life outside of your life. Even if it’s only for a little while.
We gingerly pursued tree-lined trails, sidestepping and hopping through a labyrinth of roots, rocks and streams, weaving our way deeper into the rainforest. A chill hung in the air. The shadows were cool and damp.
And then all at once, the thick brush opened up to a wide expanse. The sound of the falls was deafening, beating down with the sun, churning out a kaleidoscope of colours.
We lay out on the grass, sipping our beers, and watching the surfers rise and fall with the swell, glide across the waves, and dive into the foam of whitewash.
I left a little piece of me in Byron Bay.
We bought a bottle of red wine and cheap plastic cups, settling ourselves on the beach for sunset. The wine sweetened our lips and swirled down to our bellies as the sun began to drop.
The ocean pulled the sun in as it cast soft violet hues over the beach in protest.
The harder the ocean pulled, the more the violet stretched out and morphed into a heavy golden blanket, draping over the beach.
Byron swayed to the notes of its guitars that placed themselves sporadically on its sidewalks.
It carved itself out from the rest of the world, inhaling and exhaling with the tide.
I’ll be back for you Australia.