I can’t believe it’s August.
More than maybe ever before, I feel like time has truly escaped me this year. I don’t know whether it’s my bouncing between seasons, the mirage-like month I spent at home between Melbourne and Broome or simply getting older. Whatever it is, I’m having a hard time keeping up. This morning, a friend at the hostel even called me out when I said I’d been in Broome for a month.
“Well, I’ve been here four and a half weeks,” she said. “And you were here first…”
Five weeks, then. I’ve been living in Broome for five weeks, and in Australia now for nearly six months. It honestly blows my mind.
Somehow, despite my current confusion with (or denial of?) time, my plans for the rest of 2015 are quickly shaping up. It’s a little scary in that I’ve been made to confront the reality of how late in the year it really is, but more than that, it’s really, really exciting. From Broome onward, all of my travel plans center on one big event: my sister’s coming to visit!
One of the best parts of living abroad over the past couple of years has been traveling with family on the other side of the world. Last year, my dad and sister made separate (but overlapping) trips to visit me in Thailand, and my brother (who was living in South Korea at the time) met me in Vietnam for ten days of travel between Hanoi, Sapa and Cat Ba Island. This time around, my youngest sister Casey will be meeting me in Melbourne in mid-December. Not only do I get to show her around one my favorite cities in the world and return to the staggeringly gorgeous Great Ocean Road, but we also get to share the experience of visiting one of my two biggest must-see destinations here in Australia: Tasmania!
We’ll have almost three weeks to explore Tasmania. Our biggest plan there is to hike its famous World Heritage-listed Overland Track, which will take us from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair over six days. This, in fact, is the reason my plans for December have started to come together so quickly. According to Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service, this year has seen stronger bookings for the hike than ever before. Compared to last year, the number of people who booked spots on the trail during this year’s opening booking weekend doubled. I’d planned to reserve our spots on the trail to celebrate my sister’s birthday last week, and it’s lucky that I did — three weeks in December and January were almost completely booked! Our options were slim, but I still scored perfect dates. We’ll be starting our hike just in time to finish on Christmas Day, making this year’s Christmas one for the books.
Besides the Overland Track, we’re planning our Tassie trip around Falls Fest at Marion Bay, a popular music festival that takes place over New Year’s Eve (requiring advance planning as you have to enter a lottery to get tickets) and road tripping along the island’s incredible coastline. This, I know, is going to be one of the best trips of my life.
So that’s December. What’s in between? Well, it’s looking like I’ll be sticking around Broome working, saving up and exploring locally until the end of October. That will give me six weeks to travel on my way back to Melbourne, during which I’m planning to road trip the other of my two biggest must-see destinations here in Australia: the West Coast. I’ve been dreaming about exploring WA for awhile now, and hearing about how incredible all of the beaches and national parks are between Broome and Perth from other travelers here at my hostel is only getting me more excited.
I have a lot to look forward to the rest of this year. For now, though, I’m happy to be living the Cable Beach life here in Broome. Even though I’ve been here for five weeks, I still have a lot to explore. I can’t wait.
I still haven’t made it all the way through Anna Karenina yet, but I’m working on it (I promise I’ll finish soon, Mom!). This week, I’ve also been reading essays from The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013, an anthology I’ve been carrying around for awhile. I’ve been obsessed with the Best American anthologies since college, and this is one of my favorite series.
Spending an hour and a half on the phone with my sister last week got me psyched for everything Tassie. This week, I’ve been listening to artists from the Falls Festival 2015 Lineup Playlist on Spotify, especially Gang of Youths (check out “Magnolia”), Meg Mac and Toro y Moi.
& Feeling Inspired by…
I spend possibly far too much time daydreaming about places I have no immediate plans to visit. Case in point? This week, Flying the Nest’s “Visiting Antelope Canyon: Everything You Need to Know” left me dying to plan some home country road trips, while this AFAR list of swimming holes around the world sent me on a spree of googling Mexico itineraries and trying to convince my friend to come with me.