Hello again my friends. Let’s back track a bit since I haven’t yet written about my time on Magnetic Island as I was too excited about my skydive and wanted to get those thoughts out while they were still fresh in my mind!
I spent three nights at Base Hostel on the island and let me tell you, it felt more like a resort than a backpackers accommodation. Sitting right on the beach with a big pool and pathways lined with palm trees, it was a tropical paradise! Even better, the rooms were separate little huts which made it feel like a cheap version of those Bora Bora overwater bungalows… kinda. They were not over water nor were they anything like those fancy bungalows, but for a traveller they felt pretty luxurious.
I met up with my Dutch friends, Esmee and Ellis, who I met on the sailing trip, and we spent three days together on the island. Our first day was super relaxing and we did absolutely nothing but soak up the never ending sunshine. The second day was more adventurous when we rented a topless car and drove around the island with one other girl we had met at the hostel who was also Dutch, go figure. Thanks to the freedom that comes with having a car- a luxury I hadn’t even realized I missed- we visited a bunch of different beaches and ventured out on a quick forest walk where we spotted two wild koalas! We also came across a snake that suddenly appeared right at our feet out of nowhere and sent us straight into a state of panic. When I say snake I mean a really really tiny snake, but a snake nonetheless! It was quite scary, especially considering it was basically ON my foot, but it quickly slithered away and we started sprinting as soon as we saw it, which is probably not how you’re supposed to react to a potentially dangerous creature. Luckily, it was just a small and harmless little guy, so we were fine. We then finished the day checking out a spot known for being abundant with wild wallabies who have become very comfortable with humans and wait around to be fed. I was amazed by just how many little fluffy Aussie creatures were hanging around and how carelessly they approached us. They look like a mix between a kangaroo and a rat, and I mean that in the best, cutest way possible.
The next day was Esmee’s birthday so we celebrated by eating lots of good food at the hostel restaurant and spending countless hours laying by the pool. I got a little too much sun and suffered a bad burn under my arms the next day, but as the Dutch saying goes: tomato today, chocolate tomorrow (it actually rhymes in Dutch but sounds pretty lame in English). That night we went to the bar and shared some tasty jugs of cider at the irresistible Happy Hour price, but we only lasted a few hours before we were off to bed nice and early. Can you blame us?! We spent the whole day eating and suntanning! The relaxing island life is truly exhausting!
So that’s a quick recap of my time on Magnetic Island. It was so beautiful and lush and tropical and we got so lucky with sunny weather every single day. The next day we ferried back to Townsville to catch the bus to Cairns, my last bus ride of the trip! I was actually sad about that, not just because it meant my trip was coming to an end, but because bus rides are my favourite time to retreat into my own bubble while I listen to music and think about life… I will dearly miss those therapeutic window gazing sessions between beautiful towns along the east coast of Australia.
Cairns was jam packed with busy and exciting days, starting with the sky dive on my first full day, which you’ve already heard all about. The next day I was on a snorkelling trip with Esmee and Ellis and it was absolutely amazing. Getting to see the Great Barrier Reef was high on my list and I can now happily tick it off. Even though I’ve been told many times that the reef isn’t the same as it once was, I was still blown away by the bright tropical fish and all the coral and underwater life. I felt like I was seeing the non-cartoon version of Finding Nemo… but better because it was the real deal!
That night we went out to a club called Gilligan’s, which is well known for being the craziest nightlife in the city. It was certainly wild in there and I felt pretty underdressed in flip flops and jean shorts, but it was fun to dance the night away. I ran into so many people I met earlier during my trip and it’s weird to think that once I go home I will actually never see them again… it’s kind of sad. I’m actually really sad about leaving, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The next day was a relaxing day to recover from the late night. Esmee and I went for waffles (yes I found a place with vegan waffles and it was AWESOME) and then met back up with Ellis to hang out at the city “lagoon”. I say lagoon with quotations because it’s more like a giant outdoor pool, but it was very refreshing on a hot and humid 28 degree day… and this is winter weather for northern Australia, so I don’t think I’d be able to survive if I came here in the summer. I also think the humidity would turn me into a real poodle and that isn’t exactly the look I’m going for, so I think I’ll stick to summers in dry Calgary.
My last day in my last destination (so sad) was spent on a long day tour in Cape Tribulation. We got to see the beautiful rainforest and went on a little boat ride through the Daintree River, where we saw two crocodiles. That night we went out for my final dinner in Australia and I said my goodbyes to Esmee and Ellis. It is a weird feeling that I won’t be seeing them again any time soon after being together nonstop for 10 days. Once again, the saddest part of meeting new people from all over the world is that you will eventually go your separate ways, which are often very separate and on opposite sides of the world. We’ve had so much fun together and it was really sad saying goodbye. I think I’ve already used the word sad a few too many times. My vocabulary is shrinking and I’m too lazy and exhausted to try to think of a better word, so I apologize for all the sadness.
I then proceeded to get a peachy two hours of sleep before my 2:45am wake up call to get to the airport. I didn’t get much sleep the night before either and I am already starting to get sick, so 25 hours of travel is just what I need!
The end of a trip is always very bittersweet. I am so excited to see my boyfriend and my family and friends and most importantly my dog, but I don’t really want to go home. I’m sad to leave, a lot more sad than I thought I would be, especially since I’ve made some good friends in the last part of my trip. And then there’s the fact that Australia is heaven on earth and I’m going home to be a normal human who actually has to work instead of waking up everyday and getting to do whatever I feel like… but like I’ve said before, a little cash flow won’t hurt. I suppose all good things come to an end, but I know for sure that I will be back in Aus in the future. There is far more to see here than I could ever cover in five weeks. Along with exploring new places, I plan on returning to some of my favourite spots, like Sydney.
Even after everywhere I’ve been, I think it still stands as my #1. I am already dying to go back.
Wow. I just can’t believe it’s really over! What a trip it has been. I never ever thought I would be one to travel alone, like never in a million years. But I did it and I survived and it turned out to be one of, if not the most amazing experience of my life! Solo travel is honestly the best and I’m really happy I pushed myself to do it. I’d like to think I’ve become a tad bit more confident and outgoing, but it’s always a lot easier to not give a hoot what other people think of you when you’re in a foreign country.
So that’s it! Now it is over and I just can’t wait for this long day of travel to be over too. At least I am doing some time traveling and will arrive in Calgary the same day I leave Cairns, even with 25 hours of planes and layovers! Magic!
I can’t wait to see everyone at home and to have some food from my favourite vegan Thai restaurant! No matter where I go, my life revolves around food. And stay tuned for my vegan donut shop… this idea will probably fizzle out pretty quickly as all of my random dreams usually last only a few weeks before I change my mind entirely, but I do plan on attempting to perfect the vegan donut recipe. We’ll see how that works out for me, a very below average baker.
See you all soon my lovely blog supporters aka mom, dad, siblings, aunts and uncles. Thanks for joining me on this edition of Tal Travels. Let’s hope I can be rich enough to travel again soon so my travel blog career can finally take off…. ugh, getting impatient here… why doesn’t anyone want to pay me to travel the world yet?!?!
As the Dutch say: doei!!!! (that means bye for all you silly monolinguals)