To me, there is no better feeling than the first big, early morning stretch in my van as I slowly wake up and take in my surroundings. When I peel back that curtain to take my first look of the morning, and the place I woke up in. Traveling is something I was born to do and experiencing new places is definitely a massive bonus of my work.
On this particular morning, I woke up in the well known “hippy town” of Byron Bay. I instantly felt at home in this place. As I stepped out of the van, I was greeted by the sounds of Lorikeets flirting in the Red Gum trees above. The street was lined with bananas trees which gave the place the typical tropical essence that you usually find on the coast.
Once I got dressed into my halter neck, beachy dress, I was ready to soak up the Byron culture. I drove to the end of the main street and parked. I had three options; to walk up and down the street window shopping, grab a bite to eat at a popular cafe or walk to the park and check out the markets. I chose option number three. I walked through the markets scanning through each store and admiring what was available. There were a large amount of eco friendly, tie died and/or hand made clothing, lots of freshly squeezed and organic juices and drinks, and one place even had vegan dog treats. I was impressed and almost immediately the “hippy” term crept back into my mind.
I fit in pretty quickly with the locals though as every second person was driving a van and every other person was riding a vintage bike. For the first time since I bought it, my van didn’t really stand out…..or maybe I just felt like it didn’t!
After I spent over an hour in the markets, being consumed by the interesting items each store held, I decided to peel back before I spent my savings and head towards the street to grab something for breakfast.
To my surprise, the cafes were extremely busy. Being from the country, I guess I am impatient as I’m not used to having to wait a while for food so I changed my mind and went for a walk to check out their shops. Obviously Byron is a tourist destination but I did think their prices for clothes would be cheaper. That’s not completely a bad thing as I did save a lot of money. The styles they sell are really great and the attitudes of people in the stores and on the streets are so happy and polite. I couldn’t help but walk around with a permanent smile.
When my stomach started to rumble, it changed my direction back towards the cafe I had my eye on earlier. It quieted down a little. I had a delicious breakfast but couldn’t help my urge to discover more before I left for Port Macquarie mid morning. After I thanked them, I crossed the road and walked up a nice little alleyway, past a surf shop, which led me to another couple of cafes. I found that the best and quite ones are those that are tucked away so you need to discover them. I’ll be sure to visit those ones next time!
The clock was rushing me but I had to obey so I dawdled back to my little van that was tucked away in between a combi and a ute. I tracked back through the town one more time before finding the road towards Ballina. On my way out, I had to make one more stop. There were numerous garage sales that day right across town. I slowed down many times but there was one that I had to stop at. I found some really nice pre loved clothes, paid about $20 for all five pieces of clothing, then hopped back in my van with a big smile on my face.
Byron Bay really hit the right place for me and while I was driving away, imaginations of myself living there kept floating around in my mind.
If you haven’t been to Byron, be sure to make the trip. Pack your surf board and your dream catcher then head off to a great adventure. The main thing I took away with me from Byron’s culture is to enjoy the little things and soak up all the goodness around you.