My first couple of weeks in Australia
I have been super MIA since landing down under at the beginning of November. My first week consisted of doing all of the things with my brother and his girlfriend. They took me to all the coolest spots around Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. They spoiled me rotten and I felt so comfortable.
Then I decided to experience my first ever solo trip and headed down to Byron Bay for a week by myself. It was my first time staying in a hostel and living somewhere where I didn’t know a single person. Not going to lie, this was very hard for me. In the past I relied on my friends to go everywhere with me. I hated to be alone in public and there I was, all alone yet surrounded by other travellers. I knew that I had to get over my fear of being judged by others so I just started talking to the first person I saw….. He was super weird….. But it helped me get into the groove of talking to strangers.
Byron Bay was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Stunning beach, scenic walk to the lighthouse, cute cafes and bohemian shops. Yet I felt so shitty. I was surrounded by such beauty but I felt so alone. I kept asking myself “what the hell have I done. I’ve made a huge mistake coming out here for a year.” I didn’t know what to do with myself. I started to feel really guilty for being on vacation and sitting on the beach doing absolutely nothing. I sat there thinking to myself “sooooo how am I supposed to fill my days?” I didn’t want to do anything and I slowly started to feel depression creeping back in.
I put off travelling for a year because I didn’t want to feel like I was running away from my problems. I waited until I was happy with where I was back in Canada before I made my decision to move to Oz. A week into my trip I was back to that old familiar feeling of emptiness. From there I was able to see that the depression was coming from not having a purpose. I felt as though I had nothing to offer the world and I was wasting my life away on the beach by myself.
A voice in my head said “chill the F out. Focus more on BEING rather than DOING.” This is when it finally hit me. I don’t have to be productive 24/7. I don’t need to fill my days working when I've spent thousands of dollars to come experience a life different from what I was used to. I just needed to be present. Simply just BE. Whatever that means.
I ended up back at my hostel with a bottle of wine and sat down with all the other backpackers and just started chatting people up. I must say alcohol is a great social lubricant for me, so thank youuuu wine! (yes yes in moderation, and you shouldn’t rely on it blah blah blah).
I met such wonderful, kind hearted people in Byron. I made friends who gave me mini therapy sessions when I was feeling lost. I had lovely people offer to let me tag along with them on their journey up the coast as well as down the coast. I felt so cared for and finally felt as though I could survive this year long journey.
I loved Byron so much that I purposely missed my bus back into Brisbane and stayed an extra night. Byron does that to people. You will stay longer than you intended. You will make plans to come back right after you leave. You will meet the sweetest people. And you will cry a little bit when you realize that there are people living in mansions that get to wake up to the most breathtaking views ever. (AHEM Chris Hemsworth)
So Byron Bay kind of broke me and then pieced me back together. And truthfully, I can’t wait to go back! :)