A different trip up the coast

  1. I wanted to think about where my “home” in Australia could be.
  2. I wanted to visit three good friends of mine.
  3. I was running a leadership offsite for a company I have been advising.
  4. I wanted a contrast to my trip from 2017. While I returned in 2017, telling myself “it was an amazing trip,” that was only half the story. Looking back, I realised that my disassociation had accelerated during that period of time and led fully into my mental health crisis in the last three months of 2017.

On your mark, get set, get crook

The week before my trip I didn’t eat enough and my immune system crashed, and I woke up just three days before my trip feeling crap. I had to skip Yanksgiving, which tore me apart, and climbed into my car on Sunday morning feeling half-alive.

Apparently an infection can also cause severe overpacking for a 9 day trip.

A burned country

Past Forrester but before Port Macquarie, there’s a section of the Pacific Highway where the recent forest fires crossed over the highway. The tree trunks are burned, some highways signs are pitch black and completely burned.

We’ve seen the smoke in Sydney. I hadn’t see the damage.
This section of the road where everything is burnt goes on and on and on.

Yamba

I’ve had a soft spot for Yamba and thought that might eventually be a home for me, and maybe it still will be some day. I’ve been to Yamba on four separate occasions and every one has been great. This time I stopped off for two days, to get in a swim, enjoy the quiet, and try and recover a bit from being sick.

The day after a light rain gave us beautiful skies.
By the next afternoon, the smell of smoke was strong and the sun struggled to pierce the clouds. The fires in Yamba reached the closest ridge in this photo in weeks past, and the fireys responded with a 737 filled with retardant to prevent it from burning the homes in Angourie.

The Gold Coast

The Macademia Castle. I think this is King Macademia, or at least one of his knights. BJR is actual size.
Yes, golf courses can be beautiful, too. It’s just their inhabitants that are an issue.

Noosa

Sunshine Beach in Noosa. I wish those people next to us would not crowd us.
Jackson and I having some mid-day noodles.
I did get one partial workout session with Coach RMK. I stand behind my use of the pink kettlebell.
Baxter, the dog of the house, and I had a lot of great moments. Mostly fetching things.
The walk from Main Beach around the coast is spectacular. Ah, Australia.
A neighbourhood holiday party complete with Santa on the riding motor. Note that Santa’s pants were actually a bit too tight. Not sure he can accurately judge who is naughty or nice after four G&Ts.

Ballina

My overnight stop on the way back to Sydney was in Ballina, with Andy & Kayte, who I’ve known since I first moved to Manly, and have always looked after me. I must really come across as pathetic to have so many families throughout my life take such good care of me. (I kid, I kid — I know how absolutely wonderful I am and that everyone on the planet wishes that I could be in their lives.) Another great evening, and the perfect people to spend it with before I had to re-enter the confines of Sydney.

The Balance of Patience and Motivation

Some things in life are worth waiting for. Mostly it’s nice not to be in a rush to solve all of life’s questions right now. I know that there are changes ahead for me in the next year, and maybe it’s the influence of meditation or the new scrambled tofu recipe I’m using (hint: way too much cumin), but I know I will answer those questions at the right time. Sometimes I wonder what happened to the impatient BJR of just two years ago. 🧐

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