After I finished high school, I spontaneously decided to move to Australia in the autumn of 2013. I arrived in Melbourne without knowing one single person, and on top of that I barely had any money. During that half year in Australia I had so many ups and downs, so many funny, crazy and weird experiences and most importantly, I met so many incredible people. But Melbourne is another story. Right now I would like to share one of the best parts of my half year in Oz; our three week road trip up the East Coast.
It started with me going to visit Essie in her home outside of Sydney, to celebrate Christmas with her family. This is her house. Right next to a massive forest. Up on a hill. Right by the sea. Not kidding. This was an interesting contrast, since I’m usually used to celebrating Christmas in minus degrees and sometimes even snow at home in Sweden (Not sure what I prefer?).
This was just minutes away from her house. Such an idyllic environment to live in.
Here’s where Essie stayed, in her own van in the garden.
Best hang out spot.
Me and Essie had talked about going on a road trip over New Years, but neither of us had a car or even a driving license, so we dropped that idea. However just in time, Essie’s friend Mikaila was about to drive up the east coast together with Simmo and Warwick, and wondered if they could make a stop at Essie’s house. Obviously they could, and it so happened that they had two free seats in the car! So me and Ess invited ourselves to join them.
Mikaila and Simmo when they arrived.
And Warwick of course.
And the road trip was on! This photo almost makes me tear up a little. I grew to love these souls so much during a very short amount of time.
We were five people literally squeezed into Mikaila’s small (but lovely) car. Sitting on piles of stuff with our legs tangled and pushed against the seats, some food stuffed in the back trunk and some banging roadtrip-hits playing through the speakers on the highest volume. We headed towards the East coast without really knowing at all where to stop or stay for the night.
While on the road, we stopped at some of the many stunning coastal beaches…
Wandered around in the most beautiful nature and forests…
And ended up at countless random places out in ‘nowhere’. Not knowing where we were, or even where we were going was one of the highlights of this trip.
At some point we drove past Newcastle and couldn’t find anywhere to stay for the night. We made a random stop and went through some bushes, and suddenly we had this perfect little sleeping spot right under our feet. It was summer, so we just put down our sleeping bags and slept right under the stars. Waking up to this view the morning after was unreal, to say the least.
<3 Just as unreal as these beautiful ladies.
(Favorite photo ever)
Not sure exactly what was going on here, but I think it shows quite nicely how we just made things work (or it actually just shows that Simmo is a good friend and I’m a lazy bum).
By the time it was New Years, we finally got to Byron Bay. Once again, we weren’t sure where to stay. But an acquaintance of Mikaila invited us to crash on the couch in her very own jewelry-making shop. Thank god for kind and hospitable people.
Byron Bay was actually somewhat of a shitty place to be during New Years, mostly due to the amount douche bags that took over the town. We ended up at this really strange house party and celebrated the start of 2014, surrounded by all kinds of quirky high people and loud grungy music.
We still had some fun in Byron though and spent most of the time by the beach.
Besides what is captured on camera, there were so many more crazy and amazing things that happened during these three weeks. When we danced to drums a whole night at a street party outside of Nimbin, when me and Mikaila got yelled at for bathing top-less by the waterfalls, when I fell in love with the hot waiter in Byron Bay who turned out to be gay, when we couldn’t find a sleeping spot and broke the gate of an abandoned house and then got chased away by a guard the next morning. When I freaked out on New Years eve because no one was counting down and Warwick freaked out with me just to make me feel safe, when we stayed with all the hippies at the Rainbow Temple, or even just when we all got cranky from the heat, dehydration and hunger and wanted to kill each other a little. To me, it was almost as if there was a magic spell over these three weeks. We didn’t plan anything at all, everything was completely spontaneous, and we didn’t even know each other from the start. But even so, everything just happened to work out along the way. All of these things perfectly showed up just in the right moment when we needed them. All the times Warwick and Mikaila played the guitar, all of our talks that got us deep into the very questions of life, all the silly songs we sang loudly in the car, all of this is still quite clear in my head even though it’s been two whole years since we went on this trip together. To me, these moments are exactly what makes traveling worth it. LOU