If you ever get an impulse to book a flight to a random place, please do it. That’s exactly what I did. One morning, I woke up and said to myself, “I wanna go to byron bay”. And so I got onto my laptop, bought a plane ticket, and that was the end of that.
Solo travel is one of those things that seems so scary that so many people just put it off until they’ve run out of time. But I promise you, it is NOT as scary as it seems. When my mum dropped me off at the airport, I was physically shaking, and I think the airport security must have thought that I had a bomb strapped to me or something. I was SO nervous that I couldn’t think straight. But once I got on the plane and realised that nothing had gone wrong and I had managed to check in and get on the right plane without the world collapsing, I realised that it all was a lot easier than it had seemed.
When I arrived in Byron Bay, I was living off of 2 hours of sleep and an overpriced fruit salad that I bought at the coffee club at the airport. I checked into my hostel and met my roommates, who were all so lovely and friendly! The thing is, everyone wants to make friends, because that’s what travel is about. I was so terrified that I would be alone the whole trip with no one to do anything with, but I was so wrong. The challenge was to actually do something by myself!
I spent the first evening wandering around the beautiful town of byron bay, admiring the local beaches, shops (and people) and listening to the beautiful buskers on the street. I loved how I could get away with walking around in no shoes and no one would give me a second look. Everyday feels like the weekend in Byron Bay.
The next day I went sea kayaking to sea dolphins. Turns out I am very prone to sea sickness and I spent the whole time vomiting over the edge AND we saw no dolphins. But on the plus side, I learnt that I get sea sick and I know that I won’t be getting in a kayak on the ocean anytime soon. Here is a piccy taken of me post vomit that I just had to share.
One of my favourite experiences was snorkelling. As soon as I put my head under the water and saw the vast amount of activity that occurs under the surface, I was completely sold. Turns out I much prefer being under the ocean than on it. I could have swam around for hours exploring, admiring the beautiful ocean life, fish, turtles and sharks. I had always thought I would be afraid, but when you are under there, everything is so peaceful and there isn’t any room to be afraid.
My second favourite experience of the trip was DEFINITELY the acai bowl that I ate at a place called Combi. Sure, it was a little pricey, but I can tell you, I enjoyed every single mouthful of that thing. I was that close to buying another one for lunch, but I knew my bank account wouldn’t like that. Byron bay has some delicious options for food, and if you can afford it, I suggest trying as much as you can. There is another lovely mexican place (another one of my weaknesses), called Margarita, and I ate the best burrito that I have ever had there. I also recommend the coconut and cookie gelato from Bella Rosa.
On the Thursday, I visited the town of Nimbin with a new friend of mine from France. Nimbin is an interesting town to say the least. If a lady invites you to look around her ‘art gallery’, don’t expect to just be shown a bunch of cool artworks. She also sells some lovely ‘cookies’. I didn’t try one, but I heard that they were the best in town. The streets were colourful, the locals were even more colourful, and the bus that we arrived in was even more colourful. There’s something about being in the weed capital of Australia that brings out the colour in everything and everybody.
My last few days were much less eventful, as my ankle decided to give up and develop a case of ‘acute tendoneuropathy’ which I think is a fancy way of saying, ‘you have walked to many km in shitty quality thongs’. I spent the last 2 days icing my foot and watching netflix in my hostel room, which I probably would have preferred to do at home in the air conditioner, but anyway, I enjoyed it nevertheless.