After a 12 hour overnight bus ride that was just as unpleasant as you would imagine, I made it to my next destination: Byron Bay. This little surf town is definitely a change from the big city of Sydney with only a few main streets lined with little shops. Upon arriving, I walked to my hostel and was able to check into my room right away, which is uncommon when you arrive at 7 in the morning.
The hostel I’m staying at is called the Aquarius and is super nice… I mean, it has a pool, how luxurious is that?! It’s known for its party scene and has a cute beachy bar downstairs that opens into the pool area, but honestly the only reason I spend a lot of time down there is because it’s the only place with wifi and not because I’m having fun and socializing… I know, shame on me. There’s also a rooftop terrace with hammocks to relax in the sun right outside my room which is lovely, and the room itself isn’t like a typical dorm style hostel but instead has a beach house feel to it with its wooden walls and stairs leading up to a loft. It’s really cool and different from others I’ve stayed in, and though it’s not quite as “nice” in terms of newness or cleanliness, it is very unique and cute.
On the first of my two days here, I wandered into town and got an acai bowl which is my new addiction. They seem to be on every corner in Australia yet are nearly impossible to find back home, so I am taking full advantage of their popularity here while I can, even if they are a little bit pricy. I then walked along the beach and was seriously amazed. The water was that turquoise blue that comes to mind when you picture a tropical paradise and the silhouettes of mountains in the distance made it that much more breathtaking. I thought it couldn’t get any better when I arrived at a lookout point where my mind was blown yet again. From up there I could not only see everything from a whole new angle, but I spotted some private beaches just over the rocks which I decided to adventure into.
When the sun started to fade behind the clouds, I went back to the hostel and enjoyed some crumpets and peanut butter that I had bought, which I have found to be the cheapest and easiest thing to eat without having to do any preparation. I know this seems like irrelevant information but I needed to share that I am buying affordable grocery store food to make me feel better about spending 12$ on a smoothie bowl everyday… but come on, I gotta make sure I’m getting that fruit intake (I know my dad won’t argue with me on that one) and smoothies are the easiest way to do that when travelling (he may argue with me on this one though, but plz just let me justify my obsession).
That night, I intended on going down to the bar to get the free drink that was promised by the reception when you fill out a card about where you’re travelling to next. I went to quickly drop it off in exchange for my voucher when I got sucked into the travel advisor’s web. It turned out to be a good thing, though, because I got all the excursions I was already planning to do booked with her expert advice, but dang that girl was very talkative and exuberant and I ended up sitting with her organizing my trip for 3 whole hours. 3 hours!! I never even got around to getting my free darn drink because I was exhausted after making travel arrangements all night and just wanted water and sleep. It was worth it though and I now have lots of adventures to look forward to. I still managed to be in bed at 8, even at a party hostel. I’m a little disappointed in myself but who am I kidding, I wouldn’t have wanted to go down there alone anyway. It’s hard enough to approach someone who seems to be travelling alone too but it’s a billion times more intimidating when everyone is already in groups.
This morning I was up bright and early, of course, not just because I hit the hay so early the night before but also because the room was already warm and bright at 7 am. I decided to go back to the smoothie bowl place (I’m trying to become a regular in my couple days here) and then headed out to the beach. Sadly, it rained for a bit and if I’m being honest, I ended up sitting in the free wifi area for 2 hours. I’m not very good at this whole socializing thing.
That said, today at the beach I made a ton of friends! Unfortunately, they were the kind of friends that squawk incessantly and only liked me because I had food. Yeah, seagulls don’t make the best of friends but they kept me company while I ate a salad on the beach, although I can’t say I enjoyed their loud and somewhat frightening presence. I’m not necessarily afraid of birds but when you look them in their devilish eyes as they verbally abuse you, it’s not exactly pleasant.
Anywho, all this to say that I haven’t made any friends here in Byron, other than 2 nice German girls in my room who I spoke to a couple times but never actually hung out with. Why is it that only the Germans seem to want to talk to me?? They must be able to tell I have Germ blood myself, or maybe my square face gives it away. I always thought that was a very German trait, to have a square face, but now that I’m actually writing it out it sounds a little silly… Either way, gotta love the friendly Germans.
So yeah, my time in Byron Bay has been so beautiful and it is such a sweet little beach town but as far as friend making goes, it’s been a bust. I’m not gonna lie, I was feeling a little lonely here, especially after my time in Sydney where I was just THRIVING as an independent human (lolz) but in a small town with not too much to do, it’s easier to feel alone when you don’t have people to spend the day with. It’s okay though. I really love it here and think it would be a great place to visit again one day with better company than some pesky hungry birds.
So that is how I’ve spent most of my time here. Tomorrow I am hoping to do the sunrise walk to the lighthouse and then I will be catching a bus to Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast!