dreams of what life would be like in byron bay years from now.
Byron Bay, Australia // November 2019
I wake up to the sound of the waves crashing and sunlight streaming through the window. The subtle smell of salt in the air brings a smile to my face, and I quickly hop out of bed. There’s something about being so close to a miracle of the Earth that makes me feel like I could survive with no sleep. I wake up early every day, and don’t fall asleep until many hours after the sun sets.
I quietly make my way through the house, being careful not to wake my roommates. A tee and shorts along with a bikini underneath is my daily outfit, and soon I’m out the door. I throw my bag into the bike of my bicycle and off I go, letting the breeze brush out the tangles of my hair.
Through the brush and trees, I see peeks of the ocean causing my heart to flutter. I pass by one house after the other, all colored in pastel shades and brightening the scenery. I shout greetings to others with surfboards in their hands, and high five other bikers going in the opposite direction as me. This place is one of the friendliest towns I have ever seen, and it has really helped me get out my shyness and transform into a social butterfly (something that I desperately needed).
I arrive at the Peach Diner and set my bike against the wall. The orange-pink color of the walls makes me smile as well as the checkered floor tiles. I sit at the counter and ask for a cup of Coca-Cola and an order of chocolate chip pancakes and begin to doodle in my journal. The owner of the diner strikes up a conversation with me like he does every morning I’m here. He tells me stories of his past adventures and makes me want to run out the door and go on my own. His life fascinates me, and it makes me remember why I came to live in Australia in the first place.
I came to live; to put all of my worries away and find myself through the craziest adventures while surrounded by the most diverse and beautiful scenery. I couldn’t do any of these things trapped in walls of small towns or while confined in the middle of nowhere. I had to go out and get lost, before I could really find anything.
My order comes out and I begin to eat, humming along to the Elvis song that softly plays in the background. I see a sign about a live gig playing tonight, and jot down a note in my journal to tell my friends. Live music is one thing that I thrive off of, late night shows leaving me inspired and singing songs for days.
As I finish my breakfast I shout a goodbye to the man behind the counter and I am off to the beach! I shout a few more hellos and lay down my blanket on the white sand once I have reached my destination. Guitar strums and waves crashing make me smile as I strip down to my bikini. My skin keeps getting tanner and tanner, an achievement that I am proud of. The freckles on my face are doubling and my whole body feels healthier from the amount of sunshine I’ve been absorbing lately.
I lay back on my blanket and close my eyes. I focus on breathing, inhaling and exhaling with the rhythm of the waves. I feel as if I am on top of the water while I sit still on the sand. I don’t know how to describe this feeling, but it’s one of peace. I feel so calm and so full of love for my surroundings as I bask in the rays. I stay in this same spot for hours, changing positions to write some thoughts in my journal, doodle in my sketchbook, or to read my book.
Most of my days are like this, filled with creating and thinking all while the ocean roams in the background. These are the days that I live for, where I don’t have a care in the world and I can focus on being me and doing what I love. I’ve learned that you should always live your life like this. Focus on yourself, and make sure you enjoy every minute of it.
I stay at the beach until noon, then I am cycling back to my rental house to greet my roommates (whom I absolutely adore) and grab a bite to eat. We all eat together, one happy family made up of three Aussies and one American that they were kind enough to let be a part of their lives. I mention the poster that I saw at the diner, and we all plan to go watch the band play tonight.
I gaze at these three lovely girls, all similar to me yet different in so many ways. In the short time period that I have known them they have influenced me in so many ways. They have given me countless memories and candid film photos that I will cherish forever. The teal walls of our living room is filled with countless photos of the four of us, and I cannot help but smile and appreciate even more the decision that I made to study abroad in Australia.
After lunch we all go our separate ways, my bicycle leading me to the campus to go to my classes for the day. Most of my classes are in the afternoon, so I spend my time at the beach in the quiet mornings. Right now, I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I am taking classes with all different paths, expanding my horizons and really trying to find what I love and what I don’t. One of the best parts about living here so far is how many different interests and activities I have taken part in.
First, I go to my Intro to Health Sciences class, and then next is Journalism. I go from one extreme to the other, but right now, life for me consists of doing new things and taking part in all my interests. Both of these subjects fascinate me, but right now I am not sure what I want my future to consist of. For now, I will continue to learn about all the things that excite me, and decide later.
After my two classes I head back home. It seems that I am always riding my bike from one destination to the next, but I embrace these moments. I enjoy looking at all the scenery and people wandering the sidewalks. Watching others inspires me, and I always get my best ideas on these small trips within Byron Bay.
I see many different people, girls in bathing suits, boys carrying surf boards, people driving to the beach, people leaving the beach, men in suits walking home from work, and so many more. That’s the thing about Australia that I have noticed; no two people are alike. But, they all have something in common. Everyone looks around them while walking. No one gazes at their phones or stares at the ground as they travel. Instead, they take in the scenery, talk to strangers, and embrace the life they’re living. That’s what I love about it here.
We all get dressed in one of our favorite outfits, mine being a simple tee paired with a denim skirt, all tied together with a pair of canvas shoes. Silk dresses, sparkly eyeshadow, and wavy hair is all that can be seen from the photos that we take. We always take photos to commemorate the moments that we share, and I know that when I am older, I will look at them with a smile on my face.
Silly faces and simple candids make up the rolls of film. One of the girls laughs and makes a note to get her many rolls of film developed later this week all within the same breath. I smile at these beautiful people surrounding me, and thank my lucky stars that I ended up here in this moment with these humans.
Laughter and love is what can be seen from our small group as we make our way to the diner. Nights like these are the best, where we all don’t have a care in the world and focus on being in the moment together. When we make it to the diner it’s filled with all of the people that are just like us.
Beautiful girls, surfer boys, and everyone in between gathers at this diner for the live music and enjoys time together. We say hi to everyone we know, and introduce ourselves to the people we don’t. Everyone mingles and soon becomes a family as we order drinks, eat and wait for the band to start playing.
As the music starts I feel my heart fill with joy, and I already can’t wait for the moments tomorrow will bring.
(based on day 6 prompt of The Messy Head’s 30 More Days of Journaling)
[I made these collages, but do not own the rights to the photos used]