Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Kindness of Strangers!!

It’s been just over a week since I left the ashram, and it’s been a ridiculously awesome week!!!!  I'm super high on life and I think it's attracting more good stuff!!!!   I must update on the awesomeness!:
Last Monday night my bus arrived late to Byron Bay, like 9pm.  Marejada, who I had met and stayed with before, opened her home to me again.  She says I am always welcome:).  Since it was so late, I hitchhiked. Thankfully got picked up within just a few minutes-- a guy named Tyson. Really nice guy.  As is usual, he has done some backpacking himself so is returning the favor.  (Remember him for future story). The next day, my first priority was laundry since everything I owned was wet and moldy!  ickk. I really wanted to use a dryer for my stuff so it didn’t have any chance to mold again, so we went to the Arts Factory. I had originally tried to stay at this place, amung other things its a hostel, but they were booked. Oh soooo glad we had an excuse to go out there! It was awesommmmmeee!  A real unique experience type place. A hostel yes, but a bar, a cafe, a camp village, tee-pees, a volleyball court, tons of hammocks, a lake... just an overall atmosphere that I love and AM going to incorporate into my life when I am done traveling!  

Super cool place!

Then Mare took me to the tea tree lakes. This was awesome as its just off the beach and actually is feeding out into the ocean! Its totally brown/orange/yellow though because of the oils. We were the only ones there so decided to tan our white parts :) 

Tea Tree feeding the ocean!

After that Mare had to go in to work, so her awesome neighbor asked if I wanted to tag along to a West African dance class.  HOLY awesome- LOVED it!!! First off, we had 3 live drummers in a little church hall, so the sounds sunk deep in our bodies! The teacher was fantastic, and the first hour+ we learned different moves in slow progressive steps. Its lots of pounding, jumping, athletic movements almost-- so I was loving it!  I thought we were done, but then we spent the next hour putting the moves together and actually doing a dance!!! Which rightly so ended with us all shaking our asses at the drummers as proper thank you’s- HA! We were totally dripping in sweat, so as a wonderful ‘cherry-on-top’ to a great day, Bree and I took a dip in the ocean, under only the moonlight! Wow that was fantastic, cold but exhilarating!  LOVE in Byron Bay! 
Next morning it was off to Brisbane-- Three words: Lone Pine Sanctuary! Wow!!! Totally touristic, but yes, I held a koala. #1 observation? They have a reallllly rough scratchy hard ass! hha! Still cute though :)  They must have close to 100 koalas... just doing the cutest things! Way more active than the ones I saw before. I spend 20 minutes just watching this one set: a baby on a momma’s back, who was just wandering here to there and now there... nowhere in particular, and a second baby (super energetic one) was bouncing all around chasing them, sometimes trying to climb on too. SOOO stinking cute!!! 



Then went and lounged with the kangaroos like old mates!!!! Seriously, like 15-20 of them, so accustomed to humans they didn’t even move!  Bunch of them were laying down so I did too.. right in the middle! Must have stayed there for 45 minutes just petting them like dogs!  Coooool! Especially the one that was with a joey (baby) in the pouch! Super cool!  AND then, there was a wild lorikeet (parrotish bird) feeding. They were awesome! Everywhere and all over, flying on your arms your head, inches from your face! :)  

Look how big that baby is!? Doesn't even fit!!

Kangaroo party? Don't mind if I do! 

We were having a moment ;) 

A few people had told me to skip Brisbane, not much there. Screw that, I loved it!!! City bikes - all day for $2, de-litter campaign with free lunch, actors in the streets. stopped at a cutsie gift shop and chit chatted with the wonderful owners for 30 mins. (check out www.dandelyongifts.com)... And of course the Botanical gardens. Pretty sure Australia has got this down pat! So impressive, these massive chunks of land in the most primo locations in all these big cities I’ve been too! Good job AUS, hug a tree :) 
I had to take care of lots of business here... I was dealing with getting my Indian Visa (prob 5ish hours total...a pain in the rear but had lots of perfect timing moments)!  Made my first big rookie traveler mistake:  It’s gonna take 10 business days! I was planning to leave on the 13th, but that’s only 6 days :( Plus, I had to send it in! So Im addressing it ahead of myself to the post office in Cairns. Im reallllly nervous about not having my passport in hand! acckkk! BUT it WILL work out and WILl be there when I arrive! I also was trying to find someone to help me unlock my iphone.... met him (Kirov, thank you!!!) twice, no dice, but it was still quite pleasant and he’s giving me connections in Malaysia:) (anybody work for AT&T and want to hook me up with a code* or something???!!)  Lastly, thank goodness for a hostel w/ free wifi!  After 3 weeks of accessing the internet only enough to upload a blog here or there, I had a lot of catching up to do!  
I was going to head up to Rainbow beach next, but I got an interesting email that made me switcheroo the plans. Recall my hitchhiker guy Tyson from Byron? We had been chatty cathy’s on the ride, and conversations let to my blog so I gave him the address as he dropped me off.  Couple days later, he emailed me up and said he had liked my vibe and was loving the blog, and thought he could tell I was a good soul and would be happy to show me around where he lived, Moreton island- one of the largest sand islands. SWEET!  I took a ferry over, and he picked me up in a dingy (called a tinny here) and we boated up 2 hrs (ended up being a sunset ride!)  to the bar and beach house--- 50 meters from the water. Niiice.  First day we meditated on the beach with our feet in the water (awwww yesss) then kayaked for hourrrrrs-- saw a jillion big ol’ turtles, sting rays, and shovel head sharks-- of which he caught a baby one and I held it! (LOVE!)  

Me and a shovelnose sharkey!

We hiked up into the sand dunes... which were WOW! First of all.... it looks like a normal mountainous island with trees all over (which are really still also growing in sand) and then you just have these patches of pure white sand dunes! We swam in an oasis, climbed ( major leg burn!) to the top and wow the view was just so cool. Two different worlds with the tree/forest vs. the vast desert!  We bounded (so funnn) down the sand cliffs, to the the tide being out, and beached kayaks! We had to drag them foreveeeer to water...through razor clam ‘mine fields’!! I wasn’t too lucky and had a few cuts, but it was worth it for the shark sightings! There were four, prob 5’ long shovelheads all together at one point. Tyson tried to catch one like he did the baby, and it totally drug and made him fall over when it tried to get away! hhhhhaaaa awesome!!!!  We’re both super into self-help, appreciation, philosophical and inspirational things, so we watched a couple such movies/clips and talked about the awesomeness off life... over nutella :) yum!  
Moreton Island!
Next day, we decided to go farther, so took the tinny...with me as captain! :) We boated up to “Big Sandhills” for some sand sledding!  What an adventure!! So much like snow sledding! White snow? White sand!  Snow angels? Sand angels!  Sled? Boogie board! Bundled up? ...in my case, yes! hahah. The UV rays are so crazy here, and I’d gotten some serious burn the day before, so I was in long pants, long sleeve, a neck wrap, a hat, socks and goggles! HA! Pretty styling!  That was sooo fun!  

I give fashion lessons ;) 

THEN, it gets better! We were heading out in the boat and Ty asks if I want to “ski” behind.  Of course I do :)  We stop and I jump in... and guess what???!?!? We were right above a massive starfish area! Maybe a breeding ground or something cuz there were literally hundreds! ACKKKK SOOOO COOL!!!!!! 
How cool is that??!!?

Up close and personal! Def a highlight of my trip so far!!!

We  took turns with the snorkel googles and must have stayed 20 minutes, just oohing and ahhing over such an ridiculously awesome finding!!!! Woohooo! As we continued boating along, they didnt stop, and what we thought was hundreds was really more like thousands!!!!!!  Also at this point seeing turtles, sting rays and shovelhead sharks is commonplace! Crazy! At one point we found really deep water.. I made lunch while Ty fished for dinner... and a HUGE turtle came up to check us out.. must’ve been 3 ft WIDE!!  We also saw birds diving into the water to fish, and got stuck in the oyster farm and had to drag the tinny thru mass muck and another razor clam mine field (luckily no cuts this time!)  Back home and thoroughly impressed and satisfied w/ a great day! We watched movies/ chatted more and then to cap off the day, went night spot light fishing... where Ty caught a squid which proceeded to ink him! HA!

Our last day I woke up and felt something strange with my mouth. Took pics to see myself--- with a GINORMOUS lip! Majorly swollen from the sun burn! Ouchhh!  
Whoaaaaa! Not plastic surgery!! 

Doesn't even look like me!  Who needs collagen? Just get a sunburn, its cheaper ;)
After I ran to show Ty my best Bubba Gump impression, we took the tinny back down to Dunwich and rode the ferry back to the mainland. We drove down to Currumbin and went to the Springbrook National park waterfalls----- amazing!!! There rain has been so heavy in prior weeks Ty said it was the most intense he’d ever seen it.  We climbed into the waterfalls and had to jump and push and swim hard to get behind the falls-- supppper cool! 

Drastic heat and sun calls for umbrellas and wet towels on head in the boat :) 
Right in the middle there is where we climbed behind the falls!

Sooo cool, thanks Tyson!!!!

So basically this first week after the ashram has been phenomenally awesome.  Im so happy I think it’s radiating out of me... maybe thats what Tyson felt?!!?! At this point you’re wondering what’s up with Ty?  Why is he doing all that for me? Is he asking for ‘favors’... and the answer is no! The world is filled with good people, people!!!!    As we’ve become better friends (and friends we will totally stay!) he’s told me that he just felt I was a good person, got some really good inspiration from my blog, and thought why not spend some time with a likeminded and fun person?  Oh there is so much beauty in people, just look for it!  Before the trip, many people asked me if Im nervous, aren’t I scared, etc.  The reality is Im not! The media portrays the world as sooo awful-- It’s NOT!! It’s incredible! I’ve been gone for 8 weeks already, and aside from one semi uncomfy (but still positive) episode, I’ve had all extremely positive “stranger” encounters!  Ty, Marejada, Bree, PK, Pete, Gail-- all people I’d never met, but are totally welcome in my home in America (whenever I go back!)

Look, Im not naive. I know there is bad in the world. I know I’m only in ‘placid’ Australia and I haven’t seen nothin‘ yet.  But, there IS more good than bad and I choose to focus on that.  I trust my instincts and intuition wholeheartedly. Yes, horrible things have happened to good people, but you can’t live your life in fear of the ‘what if’.  You know that saying that the majority of children are taught, “Dont talk to strangers”? That seems like a quite ridiculous piece of advice.  That’s WAAAYYY to general!!  Almost everyone is a stranger, not just to your kid but to us adults!  First of all, who are they supposed to talk to if they get lost? And second, it seems to me that would promote some social awkwardness, or at a minimum a bit of an ego and maybe even the start of being judgmental. Sensitive subject,  but the point is just that learning to be comfortable with people you don’t know is something we all need more of, and judging a book by it's cover isn't a very good way to walk thru life.  If we all started from very young and safely grew and practiced those social skills and nurtured our intuition, we’d be soooo much more confident!! Listen to your body and those clues that tell you yay or nay, not your mind that says "oh he's got lots of tattoos and long hair he must be a hooligan" !  Learn how to identify and then deal with that feeling you get when you're next to someone :). Its similar with dating really!  You go out with 10 people who all have picture perfect ‘resumes' but maybe just maybe you get a feeling with one. An indescribable feeling deep in your body that after you leave you say, ohhh I want to know more about them and be around them again!  Happens with friends too. Think about your aquaintances vs your real firends.  There is a feeling you have, of comfort, deep down that makes you click with some people and not others. Trust that click!  Anddd it happens with strangers.  I bet you can recall a time you met someone and just barely chatted with them, and as you were walking away wished you could get to know them more.  Tyson did!  And we all should! Go back and say, heeyyy, blah blah blah, lets be friends!!! hhaah!  

I think “Talk to strangers!” is excellent advice. Perfect example this last week, an incredible series of events all from the kindness of strangers. As far as the proper advice for kids? I don't know cuz I'm not there yet... but I’d imagine it'd be a bit more specific
Whatever it is that connects people,  Im loving it, loving life, walking around w/ a perma smile!  (well, technically, right now it's a blistery nasty looking half smile as my lip is healing ;)  but I try! 

*see all the pics here on Facebook, days 50-56 belong with this blog!
*Iphone help? Please!  It's an iphone4, firmware 4.11.08.  Not seeming to accept any unlocking stuff from online :/ Help please!!! Just want to be able to use this with my local countries sim card!


  1. Lone Pine. Awesome. Glad you made it there. Not sure if you remember me telling you about it when you were inn Melbourne or you just found it, but glad you did. Totally agree with your post. Strangers are just friends you haven't met yet. And I've made a lot of friends so far on my trip using your same philosophy.
    -- Daz

  2. Wowee. I was living the dream as I read this blog. Amazing even in print and pictures. Your new friends are my new friends too. They are as welcome to visit me as they are to visit you. Today I have a log home in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas with an open door. Tomorrow will bring new digs in a new locaton! But our friends are always welcome! I don't know anything about Iphones. Sorry.

  3. Becky! Love your blog and very inspirational.

    Reading one of your last paragraphs regarding your Iphone issue, I encourage you to visit the following link: http://unlockiphone4info.com/unlock-iphone-4-5-1

    Unfortunately Apple will not help you unlock your Iphone that was purchased in the States, and you’ll have to search through 3rd party websites in order to do so.

    Many countries outside the USA sell unlocked Iphones, but you might have to pay full retail price for it (Worst case scenario).

    Let me know how it goes and how far more I can help.

    Good luck!

  4. Love this! Lacie and Madisen loved all the pics with the animals :) Love Mandy