01 Feb Highest high, lowest low…
Holy smokes guys! It’s been a month. One full month of being in a different country all alone. And it’s been an absolute blessing.
I look back at pictures from my first post and it feels like so long ago and that whole “not real life” comes to mind. In one month I’ve experienced so much. From being 14,000 ft above land skydiving to being 18meters below the surface scuba diving. Not just in the adventures and traveling, but in my personal growth and soul. I couldn’t, and I know this for sure, that I would not be able to be here and happy if it weren’t for all you people back home. Continuously supporting and encouraging me. So for that, I thank you.
I left off last when I was in Byron Bay. I decided to move hostels the last night because I was just not feeling the teepee for another night. I left midday the next day on a greyhound bus aimed to Brisbane again. Before leaving i ended up going to a movie, alone. See, these are the things I would’ve never done back home. It’s a really unique feeling being alone and actually feeling comfortable. I’ve begun to enjoy these moments.
After a quick bus ride up the coast I was greeted at the bus station by a familiar face. Well not one I’ve ever seen in person, but Facebook made it familiar.
When I told my family that I was going to Australia, I immediately was told by my aunt that we have some family out there. She gave me names and addresses and I soon enough I was chatting with (I’m still not too sure) my 3rd cousin from my dads side of the family’s wife. That could be totally wrong and forgive me but family trees are confusing. Haha but the point was that they lived on Brisbane and welcomed me into their home. Ahhhhhhhhh, like their house. With bathrooms and kitchens and my own bed!? How could I not agree!
It was absolutely beautiful. Their home and family. I enjoyed home cooked meals and my own warm shower and bedroom. The family is made up of my relation to Ian, his wife Liz and their two children Sam and Emma. They were so wonderful and welcoming, I actually contemplated staying there for my full year…
I stayed for 5 days. I did a lot of nothing, which was nice. But Liz was also very kind to show me around!
We went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where I got to hold and cuddle up on an actual koala. It was so fun!
We went on a family bush walk in Mt. Glorious and had a delicious and beautiful lunch.
We went to the Brisbane botanical gardens. So beautiful even in the pouring rain.
They also had their own gym which I about fainted when I saw it because I have not seen one in a month and I’m kinda freaking out.
So I did a good amount of working out as well ?
After some much needed R&R I was ready to get my adventure on.
I booked a flight and was off to Cairns. This is the most northern point of Australia that a lot of people fly into and stay. It is also the home of something pretty amazing. The Great Barrier Reef. This was one of those places that I obviously had to see while I was here. I also knew the best part of seeing it would either be from above or below. I decided I wanted to make the Reef my home for a few days and the only way I wanted to accomplish that would be to dive right in it.
After a pep talk with my dad I booked the next open water certification course they had. Which happened to be the next morning.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, I flew into Cairns on Australia Day. This is their day of celebration and it sure was being celebrated. I just walked around on the Esplanade and people watched (my best quality) and then went to bed. Hahaha I’m a grandma.
So the next morning I was picked up by a van with ProDive on the front and was off to their facility. My course consisted of 2 days of classroom and pool work and then we loaded a boat and finished with 3 day 2 night diving on the reef with 9 dives and I payed $800. Usually introductory dives on the reef with only a few dives would be more than half of that and there’s no license. So since I will be here for a year and it lasts my whole life annnnnnddddd I’m doing things that make me happy it seemed like the perfect choice.
My class was small, 2 girls from Denmark on holiday, me and a 70+ man from the UK whose purpose was to dive the Great Barrier Reef. He was by far the most entertaining man I’ve met in a while.
When you dive you have to have a “buddy” so since their was 4 of us and the two girls were friends my buddy was Peter. We got in the pool and I quickly realized that my buddy was going to struggle. Haha poor guy was trying so hard but he was just not getting the hang of it. Breathing underwater calmly was not his forte. Sooooo I was pretty prepared to drown in the ocean with him.
During the second day of classroom and pool work our instructor decided that he was only going to dive to 10meters instead of the 18m that we would. Peter didn’t care he just wanted to dive in the reef. What an amazing soul he was. Still chasing his dreams!
So the third day we loaded the boat with 25 other people. Some snorkelers and then the rest were already open water divers. We did 2 dives with our instructor, practicing basic skills. Then the next morning we did the same. After those 4 dives and some tests I BECAME A CERTIFIED DIVER! Like what!? I never thought I would say that. I’ve always wanted to dive but to be certified on the Great Barrier Reef… Uhhh… Not a bad way to start.
after we got certified we were set free. We went on the next dive alone. Just free to roam the ocean. Not going to lie. It was scary. I’m not good with direction on roads and cities I’ve lived in with gps, soooo yea. Coral that all looks like a magical world filled with fish and colors made me realize, quickly, that I didn’t trust myself. But I jumped in anyways.
Honestly, I know I’ve said this like 5 times already but it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen. The colors were so radiant and the fish were massive or itty bitty. I saw sharks and clams and sea turtles. It was unreal.
FYI: We did get lost.
Then at 7:30pm that same day we got to go on a night dive. We put glow sticks on our tanks and had a flashlight in hand. And we were off. In the pitch dark swimming with the creatures in the ocean. It was surprisingly more calming then I thought it would be.
The next day we got in 3 more dives in and headed back to Cairns. I am so glad I got to experience this and I took the plunge. Now I can dive the rest of my trip, and I kind of feel like an unofficial mermaid as well.
So I say this with a heavy heart and an aching soul. It’s been five years since my mom past away and days, moments and experiences like these that is when I miss her most. To think about the laugh that would radiate from her lungs after funny stories. Or the way she would say “mmm bye” when she hung up. How her voice was so sweet and easy but her jokes were crude and usually really bad. I miss the way her bangs would stick up, and she wore crocs 90% of the year. I feel like I miss what she would say right now, to me chasing this wild dream that I have of being the happiest version of myself regardless of the cards I was dealt. But I also don’t think I would’ve done this if she was still alive.
If there is one thing I know, it’s that she was the absolute best mother I could’ve had. She set me with expectations of what a wife, mother and woman should be. So today even though I am fortunate and thankful that I am here living this beautiful life. A part of my is heart is missing. Not only with her being gone, but because I’ve never spent this day alone.
Thankfully technology helps.
But today I miss my mom, I miss my family, I miss home and a past life that I’ll never know.
“The reason old souls enjoy spending time alone, is because they never really are.”
From my highest high, to my lowest low.