The photo you see above is the most beautiful sight my eyes have seen.
White Haven truly is a haven. 6 hours previous to this sighting, we departed from Abel Point in an ocean raft that took us quickly (and not to mention so fun!) across the sea. The weather could not have been more perfect and after 20 minutes or so we spot a pack of dolphins! Not even 10 minutes after this we spot another breed of dolphin, just flipping around. Looking back, I wish I would’ve gotten these moments on camera but I wanted to experience them solely and not through a lens.
White Haven’s sand is made upp entirely of Silica sand; a sand so white and fine that squeaked when we walked. The contrast to the ocean’s deep aquatic blues and the white sand made for a view that could easily have been a desktop background on a computer.
Throughout the day, we had two snorkels. One was located mainly to see fish and the other, Coral. The first snorkel was probably the most fantastic moment of my Australien journey so far. The fish were completely unafraid, so beautiful in an entire spectrum of colours. Hundreds upon hundreds frolicking about under the surface so closely. Just as I am coming up to the surface I hear “turtle!” so I duck down and see the most beautiful (and massive) sea turtle swimming below me. For 10 minutes or so, I was actually swimming with a sea turtle! (The photo below is thanks to a friend.)
The second snorkel was absolutely stunning and I got to see lots of Nemos’, doris’, puffer fish, clams and aquatic life so peacefully and naturally. The coral were 1000s of years old, completely preserved,
and only a meter below us to explore. White Haven’s look out point was our final destination with a 20 minute bush walk up the mountain (first photo). We rafted back to the mainland and were lucky enough to finish off the day with yet another pack of dolphins!
After being in Airlie over a month we finally stepped onboard into the Whitsunday waters. The 5 of us sailed with Captain Coco, a friend of a friend who hospitably offered us what turned out to be quite an adventure.
I’d never been before on such a small boat and the waves reminded us every motion of it. Both days were quite stormy and for a bit I felt as if I was holding on to my life. Lets just say it was one hell of a roller coaster.
The island we camped the night at was gorgeous and completely secluded. What a thrill it was to be the only human inhabiting an island for 2 days. We brought with us our needed sustenance and BBQd on the beach.
So I had a fantastic birthday in Airlie Beach. My expectations weren’t more than out of the ordinary as I suppose I wasn’t making the biggest deal about it. I accidentally slept in, Emelie woke me, and I had missed my first shift at Magnums. Bitterly and tiredly I got up and she hollered a quick “Happy Birthday!” as I was out the door. Coming back to the bungalow I was surprised to find that Emelie had decorated the ENTIRE bungalow with balloons, streamers, and other colourful birthday things! Her and Andi had made breakfast which was waiting for me on the table along with cake.
Just before lunch, the girls at the reception told me they had a present waiting for me and it turns out my boyfriend Emir had sent me flowers and a bear all the way from Sweden. :’)
I got other most appreciated gifts from my Aussie friends and had probably the best night out in Airlie! Unfortunately no photos were taken. Thank you to everybody for making my day legit perfection!
Although it saddened me not to be home for christmas, the only logical thing seemed to be on the beach! We all met up at the BBQ pits and got pretty drunk in the sun whilst listening to “Let it snow”, playing games, messing about, and giving presents.
Got to see my beauties Pauline and Charlotte once more! (And soon again, I hope.)
In lack of snow, one builds a sandman.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Roughly three months into my journey, I already feel a little changed, a little wiser, a little more worldly. Travelling throws you from something familiar into the unknown leaving room for growth. I want to share with you what I’ve learned so far.
- Money matters, but doesn’t conquer. If one thing is for sure I have learned the value of dolla’ sign through my travels. Everything in Australia is insanely expensive; even it’s own-grown produce! I understand the significance of money and with what it bears yet I am with purposive conviction it isn’t the most important aspect. Stay tuned why..
- Optimism is key. Emelie and I have stumbled our way through some unlucky adventures and clumsy mistakes but also pulled through using our adopted “no worries” mentality. Oh, how we prospered with this mindset. I’m not sure how the universe works but positive energy attracts more positive energy.
- I am beautiful. How cliché is this! I’m giddy and high off of life rambling about how I’ve found my inner beauty blah blah. But it’s true and I cannot stress this enough! I was in a pretty self-loathing state prior to my travels and when finding myself completely independent and responsible for my own, my inner strength began shining through.
- Appreciation to the utmost. When you are a poor backpacker you are delivered some fresh perspective and I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of the invention called the air conditioner. Or finding toothpaste on sale for under a buck! That I haven’t been consumed by dingoes och killed by the venamous snake living under our bungalow! Or having a BBQ on the beach with good friends! Being appreciative of absolutely everything is what keeps me smiling everyday and what a weight on my shoulders it was to be angry before. I’ve come to think that happiness is the most important thing.
- Miss my man. Time and distance either tears or makes stronger and I feel a certain strength now, a new dimension to our relationship, and I cannot wait to be in his arms again.
Conclusion: Everybody should at some point in their life, if they haven’t already, travel.
Arriving at Airlie Beach, even in rain, was breathtaking. The beaches, the water, the rainforest was beyond stunning. It’s a paradise. (Photos will be coming, no worries.) The first on our agenda was finding work for accommodation and paid work. After experiencing Tully, a horrid little town in the outback which I won’t even waste blog space on, we were pretty bitter, tired, and without hope. We came to Airlie beach only to hear that work opportunities were scarce. Great.
Apon almost giving in for the day, we tried a last Hostel called Magnum, where we directly got to work for accommodation and informed about work needed in renovating a bar down the street. We got straight to work the same day! The two locals were incredibly friendly and offered us even more contacts. I can tell you how our moods vastly changed.
Magnum Hostel is something of a tropical dream where we live in small bungalows in the rainforest among parrots and exotic nature.
For now we have a little work, amongst a work trial at a bar close by, to keep us going but we’re searching for something steady and full time. Wish me luck!
Australia has given me this vibe of artistic expression and it is in everything I see. I feel inspired. There is always some guitar nearby softly strumming in summers hot air. Art being produced, drawn, thrown, and sung all over the streets of Cairns. I’m writing a lot and feel a closer connection to my surroundings.
We picked coral shells on Fitroy Island in which Emelie made beautiful necklaces for all of us.
My art is slowly transforming into a style that is my own, and soon enough I’ll be uploading my charcoal creations here. :)
We heard from a group at our hostel that Fitzroy Island was one of the finest places to see in Cairns. After a heated discussion at the travel agency we got a really cheap deal and on monday morning, with grainy eyes and a slight hangover, made our way across the sea and to adventure!
The views were completely stunning. We were in paradise.
For the first time in Australia, we camped out under the stars on the beach. I had never seen brighter stars and as many shooting stars before in my life. We grilled some fish that Marcel and Thomas had caught along with corn, steak, and marshmallows! Some alcohol was consumed and some guitar was played. I’m pretty sure the best part of that night was that we awoke in the morning without having been eaten by dingoes.
The two days consisted of swimming, snorkelling, harpoon-hunting, guitar playing, rock climbing, ball-throwing, tent making, fire building, lizard catching, and star gazing. I never want to leave.
We hope our next adventure is to Green Island and later on to Cape Tribulation before making our way down the east coast. Australia, I’m in love.
After arriving to a culture so differently from the one I have experienced at home, it has vigorously affected the way I view myself and others. Being Swedish at heart, I have a calm, collected, and somewhat reserved mentality. The customs and rules of social behaviour is to be polite yet keep a weary distance from others. I was shocked and stiff to the Australian mindset where everyone is genuinely kind and open-hearted towards strangers.
It is something so powerful and infectious. I find it inspiring and something that I want to adopt as my own. Perhaps its the sun or something taught through generations. Either way I want to pass it on. Possibly, open your eyes to it.
For a long time I felt exhausted to give strangers the time, effort, and energy to get to know them, or even just talk to them. Wrapped in a bubble, I found no solution in which that would benefit me. Here, I was bewildered to find people with so much energy give the benefit of the doubt that each individual has a story to tell and something to learn from.
Years ago, I was caught it a weary long depression and now I can’t believe I was thinking the way I was. In Sweden, from september to march, the sun rises late and sets exceptionally early. That has a massive impact on the psyche. A part of me felt the need to blame the darkness for my depression. But it was also the way I let it affect me. Perhaps the endless light Australia has to offer impacted my “lit” mentality, the people warm and almost blatant with generosity, but mostly it came from my wanting to feel better about my self, my life, and the world within I am surrounded.
I am taking this home with me and where ever I go. I am trying to incorporate and share it with everyone! Give that stranger the benefit of the doubt and remind yourself of everyones entity.
Luzie had met some locals from work who invited us to an “off-the-map” waterfall in Wooroonooran National Park. At 6.30 we crammed into a minivan that led us 30 minutes into the bush lands where we then set on a 40 minute trek up the mountains. The trip was certainly worth it.
The views were incredible and the photos can’t give justice as to how majestic the waterfall looked. As it is dry season it was possible to swim, snorkel, cliff jump, and climb all over the falls! It was my first time snorkelling in Australia and the experience was so different with the pressure of the falls and deep spring water pools strewn across the rocks. We had the chance to see some cool aquatic life under the surface and film it with our GoPro.
Today we visited Palm Cove, a small paradise roughly 40 minutes drive from Cairns city. I arrive in awe as everything in Australia is more perfect than imagined. The ocean is salt on your lips and your feet walk a warm bedding of sand. Palm trees frame the horizon and wave ever so gently in the breeze. I feel thankful to be here everyday and have so much to look forward to in the coming months ahead. Plans keep changing for the better and the sun keeps shining brighter.
A couple days earlier we visited “Calypso” where we got to befriend some reptiles. I had already held a crocodile in Florida years ago but the feeling of a snake slowly tightening its body around your waist was quite new and terrifying I assure you. (The smile above is prior to experience) Either way, I was glad to check that off my list!
Tomorrow, I have the day off and plan on spending some time lining up a couple posts for you! Life is busy and there is so much to tell!
Just yesterday we moved to a new hostel located on the esplanade with the beautiful view above. Living off of noodles and tuna cans, we’ve been job hunting all over Cairns. After a bit, we happened to come across the owner of Sugar Hut nightclub at a café and were offered bartender positions after a brief exhange of words. Before we knew it, we were put behind the counter and serving drinks! With some extra luck we’ve applied for some other jobs as well so I’m hoping all the best with that said.
The people here are wonderful and have generously mixed backgrounds and personalities. The openness of others is revered. The sun is constantly shining and the pace is slow with room for conversation with everyone.
Hopefully if work is plenty, we’re planning on staying here for 3 months before venturing down the east coast. If not, to the fruit-picking farms we go! Either way, it’s fun with some new experiences.
22 degrees at 2am.
Now we have arrived in Cairns! The flight went exceptionally well and the hostel arranged a free shuttle bus for us from the airport. Slowly we’re familiarising ourselves with the town, getting the hang of the “backpacker lifestyle”, and are planning more in detail about what we want to do from here. Cairns is a remarkably beautiful town and I’m so excited to be here! A more in depth post will be sure to follow soon.