Restarting #TravelTuesdays on this blog! I can’t promise a weekly post, but will update as frequently as I can as memories and moments from my past backpacking trip come to me. Since being home, I haven’t dedicated nearly enough time to keeping up with writing. I’m hoping to change that. Thank you to my readers for sticking with me. This quick story takes place on Moreton Island, off of Brisbane, Australia.
My friend Kathleen (who I mentioned in this post about Tasmania) and I took a ferry over from Brisbane last Easter morning to Moreton Island. We started off our journey sprinting to the ferry as its walkway was being drawn up. Anyone reading this who knows Kath and I, this won’t come as a surprise in the slightest; we are the queens of lateness/last minute nick-of-time arrivals. Not proud of it, just stating facts. The captain was kind enough to lower the walkway and let us onboard. After making fun of us, of course.
The island was gorgeous. We stepped off into clear water and soft sand, taking off our sandals and walking the beach to find a good spot to drop our stuff.
The day, as most Aussie days were, was extremely hot. Swimming in the ocean offered some relief, but soon the water bottles we brought were empty and we were getting hungry. We were situated near the island’s one resort, but didn’t realize that in order to get drinks or lunch, you had to have paid for a pass ahead of time. We pulled up maps on our phones and saw that there was a tiny grocery store on the other side of the island; it looked far, but still walk-able.
We. Were. So. Wrong. We’d been walking for 3 hours with no water and no shade; this store was way farther than we thought and we realized we would actually have to turn around, or we’d miss our late afternoon ferry.
As we admitted defeat/were checking each other for sun poisoning, we heard a loud “OY!!!!” Classic Aussie greeting. We turned inland and saw a group of friends sitting outside their house holding beers and motioning to us.
“He wants to know if you guys want to join us for a drink,” one of the girls laughed, motioning to the guy who’d yelled for us. Kath and I looked at each other and shrugged. We were so parched we were past caring that this was a group of completely random people.
“If we can make that drink water, we’re in,” I yelled back (I’m SO SMOOTH #not) so we climbed up the stairs from the beach to where the friends were sitting. There were 2 guys, 2 girls, and an entire family barbecue going on in the home behind us. What started as a tentative meeting turned into Kath and I hanging out with these strangers for hours. Water also eventually turned into beer.
The guy whose family home it was, Haymich, talked to me for a long time about Bali since we have both been to surf.
“One good wave can change your whole day,” he said. “But it’s also impossible to have a bad surf session. Just being out there is enough.”
Kath & I snorkeling a shipwreck off MI
There will always be waves in the ocean just like there will always be hard times that we’ll go through. I remember as a little kid standing at the water’s edge with my cousins at the Jersey shore, pushing our hands up against the waves to “stop them” from ruining the sandcastles we would build. But we could never stop the tide. It’ll crush our creations sometimes, no matter how hard we try to anticipate and avoid the disaster.
Sh*t happens. We are forced to regroup and rebuild. It’s learning to roll with it that matters. It’s having the determination to keep showing up, again and again, that matters. Just being out there is enough.
BY the way. Haymich, if you’re somehow reading this, please thank your mother again for bringing us aloe for our faces that afternoon. Don’t think we’ve ever been so burned in our lives.