Tag Archives: byron bay

It’s all in the cards

Travel Injuries, NO FUN. At first I just thought my fall would yield a nice scar and a good story…but its also costing me weeks in the sun and water, the cost of bandages and disinfectant, and has gotten me nowhere near enough pity.

I’ve been eating out WWWAYYYYY too much, and going to tarot card readers and solo movies because there`s NOTHING else I`m allowed to do .

On that note, I went to a tarot card reader and got the disturbing news that I already know my future husband…vomit. Obviously I don’t really believe this…it’s a massive party trick. But it makes you think…surround yourself with awesome individuals….cause one day you’ll marry one of them….double vomit.

She also said I’d have a career involving media…with social media’s constant evolution I don’t see how that could ever not be true…but whatever…what else…oh she said 2013 would be a year of dramas in my love life…but that she wanted it because it was so passionate. I just want Marissa to teach me how to knit and never leave my house again if that’s the case…I’m all drama-ed OUT. Jesus. Travelling with mostly people in their early 20s that have dropped out of school to travel is dramatic enough. Its’ like first year lister drama on heroine, wasted on goon. The best part is NOTHING is going to work out because you don’t meet people in ‘real life’. You meet them in ‘I’m drunk, you’re drunk, we’re both half naked (swimsuits), and you look alright, I can’t keep upping my ‘number’ want to be together’ land. Once you’re back to ‘I’m going to use my brain, go to my job, pay my rent, and cook more than sandwich tuna on rice cakes land’ which I will add is probably a different continent….let’s see how that goes for you.
All of this angst because I was running away from 19 year olds on rocks while drinking goon. And also because the doctor didn’t want to use glue or dissolving stitches.
Then I walked down the street of Nimbin, where I forgot to bring my camera like a total genius. Basically it’s a drug filled hippy town of grannys trying to sell you special cookies…not because they’re made with love ;). There was a palm reader…best 10 bucks spent so far (I paid him even though he said I didn’t have to)! He started by telling me he knew what I wanted to know. I was confused, palm readers aren’t psychic or typically very descriptive future clairvoyants, they mostly stick to the personality trait stuff. But Peter came out guns a blazing “you’ll be married by 35, you’ll probably be with him a solid decade though because of your intense trust issues. By the end you’ll have anywhere from 2-4 kids to show for it…it is somewhat unclear, maybe 2 pregnancies, and more children?” My thought: Frick that’s old, I better deal with my trust issues…and THE STRETCH MARKS WITH TWINS….but if I’m 35 I could afford a surrogate, “continue”. He got very excited just as Alberta, the tarot reader did, and said oh my! I will read you forever without charge. At first I thought, sweet Jesus…then I figured, I have one life to live…might as well be a sick ass, complicated, exciting, passionate one, right? He continued to say I have a gift for writing and that I was boundlessly creative. I continue to find it hilarious when people tell me to be creative. Mostly because Ms. Wheatland told me in grade 12 that I had terrible writing and a lack of imagination. I have always held on to that and believed I was just inherently a terrible writer. Anyway, back on point, he told me that a day without creativity must see intense adrenaline, and a day without that results in binging on sugar. I feel like the man knew me. I’ve been eating this damn passion fruit chocolate daily in Byron because I can’t run and I’ve yet to really figure out this ‘creative power’ people seem to think I have. This ‘gift’ as they call it. He said I am self-disciplined, mildly irrationally anxious, and appreciate beauty. I feel like that’s traits of a Libra? I ruin every relationship because I always think long term and can’t handle accepting a fling or short term commitment. I love to present in front of people, being the center of attention gives me a thrill and I have the energy to project and share so I might as well. I’m witty. I am competitive and driven like one parent and reserved to keep harmony like the other. Then he started talking about the beauty and purity of my skin and how they would have hid me in the hills and taught me tapestry until they found me a worthy mate to keep my beauty pure…I think he saw me tune out to ‘dude how many shrooms have you had today’ land. He brought me back by saying that I have a busy brain. He told me to discriminate between thoughts, to smile at every thought that wasn’t sound. Somewhat like what Anna told me, and this will be my mission for the next month. The other thing he told me was to give and take instead of compromise….but I feel like that one will be a good long read after some introspection so I’ll leave it with you to contemplate for a few. He said I’m strong, but too strong sometimes as I can give and give and give and receive none in return until I’m so far exhausted that I break. That I’m compassionate but only if I find it to be a worthy cause, if I don’t I have no empathy at all because I believe it was ‘their fault’. My emotions run at extremes; I’m elated or irate, not happy or mad. I relate strongly to young and old, but the group in between I judge severely. Probably because I only want to associate with people I find to be equally as brilliant as I, and that doesn’t leave many people. He said I don’t enjoy much of life because I’m too busy moving to the next bench mark, which is probably the most true thing he said (next to the busy brain thing….if you haven’t realized how jumpy this post is…I didn’t actually take drugs in Nimbin, promise). What else…that I’m serious. I have a great smile, but it takes a lot to earn a genuine one. ….all based on the wrinkles in my hand. For those who know me…CREEEEEPY…for those who don’t, you now know me better than I know myself.
Oh Byron, it’s been a slice: A lot of introspection, way too much time with my busy brain, way too much junk food, not enough running, and a lot of rain. Either way, since being here I’ve felt ok with leaving Australia, and I have started to genuinely believe that this next little while of not having a clue what I’m doing might just work out in the end. Even without counting all the psychic, hand reading, commune party stuff, I had a hell of a time, and as promised, you will always have a special place in my heart. Namaste.

Bites in Byron

As if I didn’t love it enough already Byron Bay has an unreal, diverse food scene.  As my friend Danny would say, they replicate things VERY well in Australia.  I feel like my taste buds have already travelled the globe.  Favourite spots so far?

1)Belporto Portugese style chicken burgers.  SO fresh, healthy, and tasty.  They have their own chili sauce that adds a mad kick to any of the options on their small but deadly menu.  Hidden in a bit of an allyway, even though it’s not a secret at all it adds to the ‘whole in the wall’ appreciation. Less than $8 for a massive burger that will fill you up!

2) slice pizza.  Also down an allyway close to the beach.  It was a bit pricy…for a backpacker ($10 for 2 slices and a pop).  Seriously better pizza than I had in Italy.  All sorts of amazing flavours from veggie, to bolognese definitely a worth while stop pre or post sunset walk!

3)I can’t remember the names of 3 or 4…but if you see a Mexican joint and a bakery next to each other they are the ones I’m talking about.  (Byron is small enough that you’ll figure it out).  Mexican burritos etc. …pretty good…$4 fish tacos: amazing.  You probably need 2, but they are so flavorful…and they have cilantro, so I’m happy.

4) the bakery, savory croissants that put Edmonton’s Duchess Bake Shop to shame. What look like amazing baguettes and macarons as well.

5)Vegan/vegetarian place….name also forgotten.  If I had those recipes I wouldn’t eat meat or dairy every again either.  I’ve only tried the pumpkin cake…but it was amazing. (Aussies love their pumpkin & Beetroot…)

6) Mokha.  Treated myself to a good breakfast today to counteract the damage goon 3 nights in a row has probably done.  I got the “Bay Omelette”…$15 for a 3 free range egg omelette with salmon, cream cheese, dill, avocado, and a roasted tomato.  Served with home made organic sourdough bread.  Not greasy at all. Simply great.

7) some Indian place down the asian allyway…its an ally parallel to the beach that has japanese, thai, indian, and a random greek place.  The indian was so flavorful and less than $10 for a bowl of rice with 3 curries.  So full, and such great flavors for a relatively excellent price.

8) Euro Sushi.  $2.50 per role which is about 3 inches wide…like an uncut 3 rolls in North America.  Super fresh, TONS of options…and pretty cheap considering 2 rolls typically fills me up.  It is interesting how sushi in every beach town so far has meant rolls…never just fish…and rarely any cooked Japanese food.


On my backpacker budget that’s been as far as I’ve gotten….although I think I’ve done pretty well and found some pretty good deals along the way as well.  I’m currently trying really hard not to let myself indulge in the handmade jewlery as much as I have in the food.  Both because metal is heavy to carry…and I’m really not as loaded as I seem to think I am these days.

Lose the ego, this is Byron Bay <3

The energy in Byron is irreplaceable. It has created so many great revelations for me…not necessarily good ones, but ones that will only be repaired if they are faced head on. I’ll pre-warn you that this post may jump around, be spacey, make no sense at all, or make me look like a terrible person…but I know that there is a bit of learning in it for everyone if you’re willing to take a gander.

My introduction to Byron Bay went a little like this…

Arrived at 6pm Sunday, just missing the monthly markets, to be greeted by my friend Anna that I met in Noosa. We stocked up on flavored tuna and headed to the beach where there was to be a drum circle. Drum circle there wasn`t but new found friends there were. Frederic is the only name I remember. Upon meeting him he asked `what is your sport?’ Admittedly a bit put off by his insinuation that perhaps I was butch I asked why he would ask that when he replied ‘those are the legs of a strong woman, an athlete’. And I looked down and read the graffiti ‘lose the ego, this is Byron Bay’ and instantly I knew Byron would be a place of realizing some uncomfortable insecurities about myself. He told us there wouldn’t be a drum circle because they were tired from the market, but invited us to a party with their friends. Following suit with my ‘say ‘yes’ when you would normally say ‘no’’ mantra for my travels, we went. For some reason Frederic requested that Anna drive…initially he said it was because there was loads of cocaine in the back seat…we weren’t really sure if he was joking, but we took the risk anyway. We went to the hostel bar at the Arts Factory then headed to the northern part of Byron “the industrial” place. Where we entered a house that smelled of curry, chai, and a hint of B.O. which was showing independent films projected on one wall and through a door we saw dancing. We entered what looked like a room for spiritual dance and found that as well as a nude woman being painted, many adults in costumes dancing with eyes closed, and communal painting canvases. All of this being recorded attentively by several video cameras, one in particular a mother filming her 11 year old daughter as she interacted with the unique ‘live art party’. I will never know if my company that night was high on drugs or life, but either way the energy let my little worries float away for an evening.

A day, maybe two, later…I’ve really lost track…I had a conversation with Anna about friends that was enlightening in both good and not as good ways. I realized that travelling has brought me together with people I ordinarily wouldn’t associate with back home…not because they are a world away, but because I have become so judgemental that without realizing, I am very picky with who I associate myself with at home. I could argue this as a positive…I am after all a master at bullshit…but let’s be honest, those who I hold near and dear are those who know my crazy and love me more for it, so who am I to judge. Without realizing how problematic, even rude it is… The first questions I ask most people at home are “What do you do?” “How old are you/how long have you been doing that”…so I can instantly judge whether or not that person is successful enough to be ‘worth my time’…when clearly with that mentality I really wasn’t worth theirs. When I’ve been travelling, it’s taken me weeks to find out what some people do for work at home. It’s like we all have the commonality of not working at the moment because we prioritized travel, and for whatever reason we chose Australia, and that is a reason to be friends. I have spent nights becoming friends with 18-45 year olds, self-employed hippies to business men, book worms to bar stars…We often have very little in common…but that’s not our focus. And as people who have chosen to open our minds, to travel, to throw ourselves in uncomfortable situations with the hope of learning and coming out even a little better off in the end, we accept and learn from traits we don’t share. I look at the collection of people I’ve met…and to somewhat of a bittersweet realization see that I wouldn’t have given most of them a time of day had I met them while in the midst of the career grind I call home.

As I vented about my [actually irrelevant in the grand scheme of things] problems to my friends Anna and Danny whilst walking along Byron’s beach to the most easterly point in Australia to watch the sunset, Danny said, “Forget the plan and just be your crazy self”. Sometimes I really like the slight language barrier (he’s Italian) as it can hyper-simplify concepts. Quite an interesting piece of advice though, as so often in our social or romantic lives we create plans [maybe its just me] to make sure we fit into the status quo and act socially acceptable…or ‘not crazy’. Society has created a picture that women are crazy because they are over emotional and vulnerable creatures that act on our emotions. As a woman who has always been super career focused and determined to play on even playing ground with the men, I’ve found myself attempting to ‘act like a man’ in any emotional situation. I’ve grown up seeing crying as weak, making fun of over-clingy girls with my guy friends, and being on a mission to be the one that cares the least in the relationship. As a few [now realized to be] poor decisions would teach me…that’s not necessarily always a good thing. I may have been burned badly in the past for expressing feelings, but just as I don’t want to be generalized as the negative stigma of a girl, I suppose I can’t do the same generalizing about men. So all of that abstract out loud [in print] thinking to rationalize the oh so simple statement by my new found friend in Byron bay. Forget the plan, be your crazy self. Sooner or later it’s going to come out. Planning to keep it hidden is only wasting your own time impressing people who don’t [and may not like] know who you really are. And really…why is any given trait impressive…I am such an advocate for being opinionated, but I’ve come to realize half of my opinions [these beliefs I think make me strong, independent and unique] are opinions I’ve adopted to impress somebody…and tried to live out for so long that I almost genuinely believe they are true.

That can sound a bit depressing, but as I quoted Liz Gilbert in my blog prior to my departure, it is these [sometimes disturbing] realizations of self that lead us to the answers we want…and I will say, that I’m sure they aren’t answers we want…because once you let go and open your mind, you see that there were questions you didn’t even know needed to be posed. It goes with ‘say yes when you would normally say no’. If you plan a whole trip, if you only stick to what you know, you will only ever know what you do right now. I know not everyone’s heads are as busy as mine…but that’s a boring and terrifying thought to anyone. I would have never agreed to get in the car with Frederic and his friends…but my choice to say yes granted me the most unique experience to date in Australia.

On a sunnier note, I have also realized who my real friends are…who I can tell every embarrassing, perhaps shameful, or totally inexcusable things I’ve done, and who will make sure I still feel amazing. Those who know the crazy inside and out and love it anyway. The people that even met under the circumstance of judgmental pre-friend screening, are legitimately good people. For that I give myself some credit. So to those of you, you know who you are, thank you…for being one of my most prized accomplishments; because without you to share life with –and of course family—what does the job, house, and handbag mean anyway? I feel honoured to say that when asked who my best friend is I struggle to come up with a single name, as [although it’s only a handful] I have a good group of people that I would trust with my life…that I run to, to share my triumphs, tears, and biggest of dreams. I look at my post about the wedding theory…it still has merit…but I’d say I’ve moved on to the crazy theory. Whoever has seen it all, full blown Anika craziness….and is still around….they can come throw some rice in my perfectly coiffed hair and eat well-planned poorly executed catering…because they will be willing to listen to me complain about it later. …and there’s still a week left in Byron.