When I booked my ticket to Australia, it took all my self control to not tell Guy. We would talk everyday and he would ask about my plans after Bali. I would make up itineraries and try to hold back laughter of my make believe trips. When the day came to finally get to the airport for my flight, I was out of my mind excited. Until I tried to check into my airline, Jetstar, and was told I would have to check my bags for $70 or get rid of stuff so they only weighed 7kgs. I had been traveling for 6 months at this point and was flabbergasted at how I could make my bags weigh less. I wasn't about to pay $70 so, I tried to beg for them to let me through anyway. No such luck. I then went through the hard process of lightening my load. I did and hid my yoga mat behind a wall while I got checked in.
The extra stress was worth it and soon I was on the plane! It was a short flight, thankfully, and when I came out Guy's brother was already there waiting for me. I met Guy's Mom in Vietnam so, his family helped me get to Guy to surprise him. Thankfully, I had that connection otherwise it would have been a lot harder. The ride from the airport to the Guy's house was short but, it felt like forever! I couldn't wait to see him and see his expression. I knew he would be so surprised, he thought I was still in Bali, and overwhelmed with excitement. We finally pulled into the driveway and I ran up to the house and slowly creeped to his room. I did a quick knock and burst in and the look on his face is one I will never forget. The surprise worked! For the next two weeks he still couldn't believe I was there. It felt so good to be reunited with him! We both were over the moon.
Guy is currently living in Brisbane and our plan was to explore the area and in between travel up and down the coast. Brisbane is actually incredibly beautiful! It's surrounded by rainforest, eucalyptus forest and mountains. I loved the area so much- running through the park that wove through the forest or riding bikes to the huge reservoir 10 minutes from his house that was surrounded by , you guess it, forest. The thing that really struck me about Australia was the sheer amount of nature everywhere. And there are so many outdoor spaces everyone can use for free! Cool pools in downtown Brisbane, outdoor bbq's, showers, bathrooms, picnic areas, you name it! Being that there was so many things to do outside we decided to car camp and regular camp our way along the coast.
Our first stop way the sunshine coast. Noosa is the dreamiest beach town! It was my second stop at an Australian beach (we had a stop before but, it was almost dark) and holy cow was I blown away. The whole time we were India, Guy would be like this beach? Psh. This beach has nothing on Australia. And you know what? He was totally right. The water in Australia is UNREAL. It's turquoise, clear and crisp. It was winter when I was there (winter means it's only high 70's or 80 degrees most days). so the water was cold but, refreshing. I felt so clean when I was in the water. The ocean is so good for us in many ways but one of them is it cleanses our Auras. Let me tell you, my Aura is squeaky clean after Australia. In Noosa we hung out on the beach and then went shopping for dinner. When we were walking out of the market I spotted The Source, a bulk food store that Loni Jane (a vegan influencer I love!) always posts about, and I geeked out. Australia is very clean and there are tons of bulk stores. It was waste free heaven and we stocked up! For dinner we found a beautiful park with picnic tables, under cover and with a built in stainless steel bbq. Guy has a trangia, a steel all-in-one cooker, that was his Uncle's in the 80's and we used to cook our food while we traveled around the coast. It's incredible. Guy made a big, beautiful meal for us in it. While he cooked, I did yoga and stared up at the open space and trees in wonder. After dinner we packed up our gear, after washing up, and headed back to the car. We picked out a spot right in front of the beach, parked and climbed into the back of the car to sleep. Guy has a Suburu forrester and we laid down the seats and fit a small mattress in the back to sleep on. It was very comfy! We did have a few scares of the police coming to shoo us away but other than that, it was heaven. Even more so when we woke up with the sun at 6:00am and opened the back door to the waves crashing on the rocks below.
After Noosa we headed back to Brisbane for a couple days to recharge and get ready for for our next adventure. During our time in Brisbane we explored the downtown area-- it's gorgeous! and has all these free outdoor spaces to hang out-- so, I could get library books (perks of knowing a local), took proper bush walks and fell even more in love with each other. My relationship with Guy has been incredibly healing. I am able to be my full self with him, the good/bad/ugly, and he loves me anyway. We never had drama or games or baggage, it's always been pure love and friendship between us. We love hanging out and generally just have a lot of fun doing nothing and everything. He encourages my creativity and my dreams of writing and because of him, both are flourishing. Spending a month with him in Australia was absolute bliss.
Speaking of bliss, Guy took me to his favorite place in the entire world, Inskip/Rainbow beach. He had grown up beach camping there for three weeks every summer. He told me so many stories about the area and how much peace he felt while being there, we knew it was a must stop for us. We packed up all the equipment, luckily his family had everything we needed, and headed for the seclusion Inksip promises. I LOVE camping and don't get to do it nearly enough. Although, I will say, no one camps like Guy camps. He brought us the best set up. We had shade cloth right outside our tent to catch sand. He brought a tarp to provide cover in case it rained (it did). He even brought a table and outdoor shower! We had our trusty trangia so cooking was covered and Guy built us a toasty fire every night to warm us from the ocean breeze. The very cool thing about camping at this spot is the ability to camp right on the beach. Our campsite was a mere 5 feet from the ocean. The forest is right on the shoreline so, plots are tucked into the trees and afford a lot of privacy. I thought Bali had beautiful beaches but, truly they are nothing to what I experienced in Australia. Inskip had PERFECT water-- we often saw fish swimming with us-- the sand is pure white and fine, and it was mostly deserted. Every morning we would wake up, put on water to boil for tea and jump in the ocean with no one else in the water. We did have neighbors, who always had a dogs (score) but, we barely saw even them on the beach. We spent our days swimming or lounging around camp and our nights cooking by the fire and painting while we listened to podcasts. Guy also took me on a couple small adventures in the middle of our big adventure. One was to go four wheeling through the rain forest to reach Rainbow beach so called because the cliffs above the beach are all different shades of rust. The views heading to Rainbow beach and at Rainbow beach were breathtaking. How is it possible our world is so beautiful? And how is it possible we don't do everything we can to protect it?! Another day, Guy took me to the sand blow. The sand blow is a desert in the middle of the mountains right behind the beach. I'm guessing it's called the sand blow because the sand has been blown up in this spot to create a mock desert environment. It's very random and cool to be walking through the woods and then have it open to a desert. It's a fantastic place to watch the sunset as well because you can see the ocean, river behind and the allllll the trees.
On our way out of Inskip and Rainbow beach we stopped to feed wild dolphins! Yep, we fed wild dolphins. Way back in the day, when indigenous tribes were still in control of the land, they fished in a bay, now called Tin Can Bay, near Inksip. When they fished, the wild dolphins would help push fish into the nets they set out. As a thanks, the indigenous tribes would feed the dolphins fish they caught. It turned into a friendship of sorts and has continued on to this day, even though the indigenous tribes are no longer the ones feeding them. Today, there is now a cafe that sits out front of Tin Can Bay the wild dolphins still swim into the shallows every day to get their fish. The cafe has volunteers to protect the dolphins and to help the people who show up to feed them, do it safely. We arrived at 8am, on our way out of town, and paid the $5 for our fish ticket. When we arrived the alpha male of the pod, Mystique, and his right hand dolphin Harmony, were already in the Bay swimming around the volunteers legs. I got to stand in the shallow water and watch them roll around, smile and nudge the volunteers with their noses. It was MAGICAL to be in the water with hump back dolphins, which are smaller than bottle nose and indigenous only to Australia, that are wild. I have been to Sea World once in my life and feel deep remorse about it. I believe animals should all be free and only want to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitats. We had actually seen wild dolphins when we were camping and the volunteers said it could have been this very pod as, they are known to frequent that area. At 8:15 on the dot, we all lined up to get our one fish to feed the dolphins. We sanitized our hands first, got a small bucket with one fish and then waited in turn to get in the water again. When it was my turn, I walked back into the water and gave my bucket to the volunteer. Mystique was rolling on his side, getting a good look at me, while the volunteer gave me the fish to hold in my hand. I then put the fish in the water and Mystique very gently, took it out of my hands. And that was it! It was so sweet. Guy decided to feed himself at the cafe and take pictures of me feeding the dolphins so when I was done, we packed up and headed out!
Byron Bay was our next stop and we planned on resuming our #wagonlife while there. Byron Bay is known as the ultimate hippie paradise and both of us were eager to explore. Guy had obviously been before but, only as a kid. He is in the process of moving down to the beach town and it was really fun for me to go with him to see what Byron Bay is all about. First thing to know about Byron Bay, you cannot camp in your car in the area. We tried the first night and got a ticket! Blast. There are basically only folks in camper vans there but, everyone drives to a rest stop just outside the shire limits. We would head to the rest area at night, get cozy in our makeshift bedroom all night and then wake up around 7am. The rest stop was right next to a huge field full of horses so, we would wake up, say hello to the horses and then head back to the beach. We always jumped in the ocean first thing and then carry on about our day. I really fell in love with the area. It's a very chill beach town with cute cafes, a couple health food stores and plenty of outdoor spaces to hang out in. We spent all of our time outside and that is the wonderful thing about Australia, it beckons you outside always. We usually made our dinner on the grass in the park, under the stars. After dinner we would go for a walk on the beach and Guy would ask me to dance as we peered up at the milky way.
We stayed in Byron for a week and then headed to a mountain retreat outside of Nimbin. Nimbin is a the true hippie town. The town is all tie dye and pot smoke. We passed through just to check it out and then carried on to our AirBNB as there was not a lot to do besides sit in a circle and smoke pot. We found an adorable AirBNB nestled in the trees where the host promised we would see wallaby's! We saw two! Between all the tropical birds whose chorus woke me up every morning, the dolphins and now wallaby's, Australia was really feeding my animal obsession. At the AirBNB, we cooked, lounged and took nature walks in the woods. It was incredibly relaxing and romantic. Guy is such a good cook and I love that he always wants to cook me amazing vegan meals. We only planned on staying one night but, ended up staying two because it was too lovely to not. Our second day, it rained on and off, and being holed up in that cozy studio with my love was the perfect way to be rounding up my trip. Before we headed back to Brisbane we stopped in Coolangatta to swim in yet another beach, Rainbow Bay. Again, gorgeous, gorgeous beach. Perfect water and fish riding the waves with us.
We slowly made our way back to Brisbane to spend out final days exploring the rainforest around Brisbane. It seemed crazy to me that a whole month had passed so quickly and it felt like as soon as I got picked up at the airport, I was once again being dropped off. I had been traveling for 7 months when I left Australia. I had never expected to meet Guy and travel with my partner or spend a month in Australia. It goes to show that the Universe always has much bigger things planned for us, if we give the space for it to co-create with us.