Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Byron Bay

It was time to leave the northern Sydney suburbs. It was more than accommodating to welcome me to stay for as long as I liked but I missed my independence I had gotten used to. I was itching - literally - to start travelling, really do it backpacker style, to meet people, see some beech beech places, and have some horrifying hostel stories. Baby Ryan was on the way and my time was running out. I booked an overnight bus to leave Sydney at 11pm and was heading to Byron Bay. 12 hours on the bus is worth it, I suppose, when a night's accommodation and transportation are included. 

Byron Bay is a really cute beachy town. It definitely has an eco-friendly, hippy, surfer vibe to it that's very laid back. There are a variety of restaurants from kebabs and pizza by the slice to vegetarian Indian, dining by the sea, and dietary-friendly cafes. I wanted to buy everything in the boutiques and everyone other person was eating an ice cream.

Since I couldn't check in until 2 I wandered over to the beach, Main Beach. It was really quite striking. I've found that beaches either take your breath away right away, try desperately to, or just stare right back at you blankly. This one made me smile and I knew right away I wanted to stay in Byron Bay for longer. To the right the beach was quite crowded so I headed to the left where I found myself amongst wave-lapping dogs and topless sunbathers. The Australian sun is impressively strong, but I was quite happy lying there in my clothes soaking up the fresh sea air, listening to the waves, and knowing that sand was mischievously tucking itself away in all crevices, wrinkles, and folds. I looked up at one point to see a standing older woman drop her stuff off in front of me as her dog ran off into the water. With her back facing me, she started to take off her cover up and I thought, that's awfully brave of her to be wearing a two-piece. Then she took off her cover up and she was topless! Just sauntered down to the shore through a group of boys, no problem. Brave. That was not even the right word! 
I took a walk to the end of the beach where I found a look-out that I had entirely to myself. I sat down enjoying the peaceful silence, watching the surfers below, and looking back onto Byron Bay quite proud of myself for having embarked on this adventure on my own. With a bit of nervous anticipation, I had no idea what to expect, who I would meet, how I would meet anyone, and what I would do. 
I felt really lucky in Byron Bay. I had booked in a 6 person all-female dorm (I didn't want my first hostel experience to smell like feet) and on the first night, there were 4 of us in the room who were traveling alone so we decided to go out to dinner together. Each of us had our own reasons for traveling: one girl from Canada was divorced and was using her alimony money to travel, another was an Australian flight attendant who had three days off inbetween her international flights and decided to come up to Byron for the weekend, and another English girl had always wanted to travel and her boyfriend urged her to follow her dreams. 
I had booked three nights to stay in Byron as I had read that people come for one day and stay for a month. I stayed for five nights. Mic, the English girl, also decided to stay on longer with me. We got along so seamlessly well. We met some really funny people together, in groups of three of course, and had a lot of laughs - of course of course. Although I had a list of places I wanted to see along the coast, she proved to me, or really made me realise that it's not about the place, but about the people who you meet who make the place memorable. I could just travel to see places, check them off a list, but it wouldn't be the same trip without the people you meet along the way and share these experiences and places with. Part of the reason I planned my trip the way I did, as in not having a plan at all except to head north, is because I wanted to have the flexibility to have these experiences, meet people along the way who might be doing something I had never heard of or be open to their suggestions, I wanted to be able to stay longer if I liked a place, and have to sleep on a beach if my no plans actually turned into no plan at all! 

I had a lot of fun in Byron Bay. I like it. I like it a lot. 


funkystyle said...
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samson smith said...

There are many types of villas and resorts available for weekly as well as monthly rentals. They offer the best accommodation at affordable prices. Byron Bay is one of the best place to stay and fun.
accommodation byron bay

Craig wollonbar said...

this is really a nice blog