BYRON BAY

TRAVELING SOLO

Leaving my friends behind in Bondi left an emptiness in me that followed me the 14 hour long bus ride, all the way to Backpackers Inn in Byron Bay. I pulled some jokes with the boys at the desk but didn’t make an effort getting friends with them. I just missed everyone who really knew me. The hostel was quite impressive. It had a pool, a big garden with hammocks, and a path at the back off the house, leading to the beach. I studied some in one of the hammocks and waited for my room. When I finally got it, something unusual happened, it was empty! I couldn’t remember last time I had space to myself. But it didn’t take long before I got tired of being lonely. I need to shape up I told myself, went to the kitchen and made some dinner, deciding to be social. I was rewarded at first try. The girl I spoke to was Norwegian and we silently agreed to be best friends, from that moment we did everything together.

SECRET LUXURY WEEK

Spending my days with Kristin made it easy to treat myself a little extra for a while. We happily traded the cheap and non nutritious backpacker food cooked in a crowded kitchen and visited the many cafes and restaurants in town. It didn’t matter I had just emptied my backpack on stuff to make it lighter, the shopping only made me fill it again. Byron is probably the place where I should have learnt how to surf. It’s the only place I can remember where the water is so calm you can rest in it for hours. No hysterical waves to look out for.

WIERD PLACES

Not only had I found new friends, one of my friends from Bondi, Michael, came to visit. I was so happy to see him! Byron Bay is like no other town in Australia. You just can’t miss all the hippie vibes floating about. There are fire shows at the beach, art factories and a hippie inspired weed-town called Nimbin next door. Me and Kristin tried our luck searching the local spots for non-backpackers to hang out with. Luck was not on our side. Instead of finding cool people we ended up in weird places and situations we could only laugh at. At least we got a free ride to places. We considered ourselves privileged not to have to walk all the way to the lighthouse, after all, this was our lazy week.

One time we both had the strange feeling things would go really bad. We thought some guys would drive us to a sacred waterfall, instead they drove us to their farm. Rain was pouring down and the car made suspicious sounds. It turned out to be a garden of various plantations and a gathering place for hippie — inspired events. The two men were in truth really kind but they were harder to relate to when telling us about forest parties and we decided to go home. The same night one of them sent us a recorded techno song explaining he was so inspired by our visit. Ok, thanks.

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