It’s the end of my second week of solo travelling and I’m really getting into the backpacker swing of things (although naturally I’m lugging around a 30kg suitcase… ha, no in all seriousness I actually find it much easier to travel with but that’s a matter of personal preference!). Unfortunately my journey north was met head on by some pretty stormy weather, but thankfully I still got to experience Byron Bay in all her sunny glory; what a little slice of heaven.
WHERE: BYRON BAY + SURFER’S PARADISE, AUSTRALIA (13-19 March)
My main takeaway from this past week was really beginning to properly understand the Aussie mentality and comparing it to that of Londoners. I love London, I really do. I think it’s the best city in all of Europe and I feel I can say that totally unbiased as a non-Brit. However, Londoners are pretty miserable most of the time. Whether it be the grey skies, rush hour on the tube or those people walking too slowly on the pavement in front of us, we always seem to have a bee in our bonnet about something and I am more than happy to admit that I for one get irritated far too easily. Australians, on the other hand, seem to be on a different speed setting altogether. EVERYTHING is “no worries”, nothing is too much trouble, people smile at you and tell you to have a good day wherever you go, people will casually strike up conversation with you because they are genuinely interested (and not because they are weirdos or trying to sell you something). It is worlds apart from back home, and seriously dreamy.
In the first few days of my being here I met a really cool Aussie guy who told me he didn’t like London when he visited and I thought to myself, I can’t believe that, he must not have known where to go or gone at the right time of year… fast forward 12 days and I can absolutely believe it. As someone who constantly needs to feel like they’re achieving I can unconsciously find myself moving at a million miles per hour, putting a lot of pressure and stress on myself, and only when I’m in a peaceful environment do I realise how “tense” I actually was and am able to relax. In short, I guess I’ve learnt you can take life at whatever speed you want, though it will always be a pretty high setting for me as that’s where I feel most comfortable and function best, I need to chill the f*ck out sometimes and slow down. Sometimes doing absolutely nothing is exactly what the soul needs.
And as for the men, they’re actually restoring (some(!) of) my faith in mankind. More interested in impressing girls than their friends, being kind and complimentary to women is actually cool. Imagine! Considering Brits are meant to be the nation of gentry & chivalry, British men could sure learn a thing or two from the Aussies when it comes to having good game.
My other little reflection of the week has been the power of getting out of your comfort zone. Honestly, nothing great ever came from staying comfortable and pushing yourself is so rewarding. This applies to every aspect of life whether it be in regards to you socially, career-wise, in your relationships, or with any of your personal goals. In this particular context I’m referring to having to make a pretty big effort to make friends at every new place I travel to since my natural face isn’t the most “inviting”, shall we say, and as a very independent person my default setting is that I’m more than happy doing things on my own, in addition to the fact that it’s bloody exhausting when I’m moving somewhere new by the day. However, I’ve made a conscious effort to be the friendly and approachable girl and it’s served me so well; I’m meeting more & more amazing people with every day that goes by. So yes, my top tip of the day: Get out of your comfort zone. Oh, and move to/marry an Australian.
TEN FAVOURITE PHOTOS
TEN FAVOURITE MOMENTS
- Meeting aaaaall the Scandinavians (and actually getting a pretty good ear for Swedish, hope you’re proud mumma!).
- Playing in the waves at Byron Bay, which are like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my life + now I desperately want to learn to surf. Seriously so cool.
- Meeting Melissa and her sharing her spag bol with me, of course not quite up to the secret family recipe but one of my favourite comfort foods and something I’ve not had in what I can only pretty accurately guess to be over a year. (Ollie, the order has been placed for May 8-)).
- Visiting the hippie (weed smoking) town of Nimbin + salted caramel slices.
- Dancing on the tables at Cheeky Monkey’s with everyone covered in UV glow paint. R.I.P dress however.
- Overcoming solo dining fear #2 with brunch at Bayleaf Café.
- Walking along the beach to Cape Byron Lighthouse at sunset and getting caught in the downpour + dancing in the rain.
- Abrakebabra. No further explanation needed.
- Sunbathing whilst listening to Tony Robbins’ audio books. What a man.
- Falling in love with every corner of Byron: the people, the beach, the waves, the lifestyle, the beachy homeware shops and bohemian clothing stores. I will be back for you.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”
– Neale Donald Walsch