You may wonder, how it is that “visit Byron Bay” made its way onto my cherished bucket list? Well, I assure you it was no easy feat curating a list of a mere 101 things to do at least once in this one wild and precious life.
101 may seem insurmountable at first; however, over the course of a lifetime, it really isn’t, is it? There are 365 days in a year and 365 opportunities to do whatever it is that sets your soul ablaze.
So, again, why did I think it was so vital to my existence to visit Byron Bay? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. If you were hoping for some great tale of enlightenment, I apologise.
I just had…a feeling. That’s it: a feeling. 2017 had absolutely kicked my butt and I needed some sort of reprieve. For whatever reason, I felt it was there; in Byron Bay.
So, this isn’t going to be a list of the best places to stay, to eat and to play. (*Ahem*, that will happen at another time, in another blog post.
Potentially a few, actually…). Rather, this is about the power of travel, and a destination in itself, to change us.
A storm is brewing
A storm is brewing in Melbourne. The sky is turning an ominous black and the media has us thinking it will be the storm to end all storms. I sit at home wondering if I am capable of crossing a snow-covered country on foot à la Dennis Quaid in The Day After Tomorrow. I decide it is probably beyond my capabilities. Just.
This day, this storm, is almost a physical amalgamation of my year. Black clouds; a constant, heavy rain; the vague sense of foreboding. I am desperate to escape the darkness, and today…I can. Byron Bay, an eternal salute to sunshine, is patiently awaiting my arrival.
Even from above, the views are pretty spectacular
Views from the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse trail
A salute to sunshine
It’s unlike any other place I have seen.
One might think every beach town is the same; the same sun, the same sand, the same waves. This sun smiles down at me, gently warming my face. The sand shines clean and bright, welcoming one and all. The waves are powerful, yet calming. They are not the same. This is different.
The smiles that welcome us are warm. We are greeted like family members, returning home after a long journey. Settling into a local cafe, the flow of people along the footpath catch my attention. French, English, German, yet more French. This is what I love. This coastal town, in northern New South Wales, has created a world to welcome us all.
Walking the streets, I can almost feel the stresses and strains of the year slide off my shoulders and disappear into the haze of blue ahead. Somehow, this is no ordinary holiday; it is home.
The palm tree-lined streets of Byron Bay are the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle
A bucket list for Byron Bay
This is one of the more vague entries on my bucket list. It wasn’t the Cape Byron Lighthouse that I simply had to see in this life, or the smoothie bowl bursting with colour that I simply had to devour. I did, however, do both of these things and I highly recommend them to anyone who does visit Byron Bay!
Rather, it was this destination as a whole that intrigued me. I may have been influenced by the hippy tendencies of this town, but its “vibe” had me hook, line and sinker.
In curating my bucket list, I’ve tried to focus on experiences that have the power to change me. I arrived in Byron Bay feeling hopeless and hopelessly exhausted. I left with hope, optimism and the knowledge that this place would always be here for me.
So, in the wise words of the Bay: cheer up, slow down, chill out.
The best way to chill out? Ice cream of course.
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