So my trip up the East Coast of Australia from Sydney to Cairns has officially come to an end. Well actually it came to an end a few weeks ago and I’ve been from Cairns to Darwin and back again in that time but I just haven’t had a chance to make a proper post about it until now because…Alcohol.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who knows Australia from a backpacking point of view that the East Coast is mostly very beautiful. Blindingly so at times in fact. Having started in Byron Bay, a sweet little town just a flight away from Sydney that’s a lot like Ed Sheeran in that its just slightly too famous for its own good, the bar was set very high. Whilst in Byron Bay I hung out at the beach with two of my German besties from back in Sydney. We drank a lot, failed miserably at surfing, went kayaking without seeing a thing and after having listened involuntarily to Galway Girl about 15 times started to wonder if Ed is just a little bit too far past the age where its considered socially acceptable to be making up girlfriends. He is, that’s the last mention he’s getting and FYI I hate that f*cking song!
One of the best things about travelling the East Coast is that almost every town and city on the way has a beach and even if God didn’t intend it to most places that don’t have made a fairly respectable attempt at creating one anyway. This means that there has been plenty of opportunity for yours truly to live up to my Italian heritage and obtain that hearty tan that I’ve been chasing since birth. Its in my bloodline and mine by birth right damn it! I’m somewhat bitter about this by the way but despite first attempts leaving me looking like the Japanese Flag there has been progress and even a few compliments. Some were even from real life girls!
Due to the route being very well travelled I’ve also met a large variety of locals and other travellers. Everyone from the fire circle loving Hippie types who look and dress like The Others from Lost all the way to the Piss-Heads and Surfers are accounted for. I’ve even met a guy who tried to convince me that we “Choose everything in life…Even our parents” and a girl who after 6 cups of Goon let me know that “I’m actually quite attractive” but that “She really didn’t think so before” whilst out on the Whitsundays. Hey, its a compliment and when they’re as beautiful as she was I’ll take it.
Like with anything some of these people are absolute friends for life who I would even consider getting out of bed before 10AM to see again. Whilst a couple are despise able caricatures and stereotypes who, kind of like takeaway places that do both Chinese and Indian nosh, were trying a little too hard to impress and please their audiences. I’m sorry and I know this is an awfully close-minded comment to make but if your the same colour as me and you have dreadlocks, do Reiki (whatever that is) and are convinced that the stone around your neck that you paid $60 for is protecting you then I detect at least a 74.9% probability that we are not going to be friends.
Honestly when it comes to actual activities I haven’t really done much since leaving Sydney. Apart from rekindling my love of diving in Cairns (nearly died equalising but totally worth it), falling off a surf board (calling my attempt at hitting the waves ‘Surfing’ sullies its good name) and a bit of lighter-than-light-beer hiking I’ve done very little. Although I’m more than okay with this I have started to observe that I’m growing a bit of a Dad-Bod, things like shaving and cutting my finger nails are starting to feel like legit effort and when I’m standing in the shower with the water off longer than necessary because the concept of drying myself when I step out is genuinely distressing I am starting to believe that I have hit a record high on the laziness spectrum.
Its true that as I start to saunter not-so-elegantly towards the two-year anniversary of my one-year trip that when I do eventually make the jump to Light-Speed and back to the real world that I will need to make some serious lifestyle changes. Look, I don’t know when exactly that will be so please don’t ask! Though I do know that wearing vests to bars is probably frowned upon in the Wales that I left behind, eating store brand noodles for dinner 5 nights in a row will almost certainly make me unproductive, showing up to job interviews drunk is likely not going to bare the same fruits as it has out here and immediately greeting strangers with the classic ‘Name? Origin? How long will you be here for? How long have you been travelling for?’ question structure might gain a few strange looks. The real world is scary.
Earning a fairly decent penny back in Sydney working a job that I was in no way qualified to do but somehow held onto for over 4 months has gained me a rather privileged and leisurely run up the East Coast and for this I am very grateful. Hopefully when I get back here from Japan at the end of October a few of those pennies will still be left over to tide me whilst I look for new work. Oh, I’m going to Japan on the 3rd October by the way and I’m buzzing like a Bee in a Honey Pot. As I keep telling myself I have had a very fortunate run, especially these last couple of months, and am very fortunate to be in the race in the first place.
To anyone looking to travel the East Coast of Australia I would recommend it wholeheartedly. Onto Japan and new adventures and I hope everyone (if anyone) that’s reading is doing well and I thank you for your support!
I’m Tha Bozz and that’s my opinion.