Travel log 4 “Studying Abroad….It’s More Than Just a Walk in the Park”

I decided to do my walk in Byron Bay, which is home to the most eastern point on the Australian mainland. There is a pathway there that leads all the way to a very iconic lighthouse, one where you can see the ocean, the bay and the mainland from one vantage point. I decided to walk with my two friends I had traveled to Byron with, along with a guy we met in our hostel, who was from Sydney. He had been living in the hostel for 6 months, and had become one of the locals. So he took us on the trail to the lighthouse, which was about 4 miles away. On the way through the small town of Byron, I noticed how relaxed everyone was. It was my first full day there so I had not fully experienced it yet. Everyone was wearing surfing attire with brands such as Billabong, Ripcurl and Hurly. Many of the guys had long hair, looking like picturesque surfers. The shops in Byron are very trendy and have some really cool, really unique designs mixed in with the various surf shops. Once we walked out of byron we passed numerous beautiful beaches on the walk up to the hill where the lighthouse was located. Every single beach was filled with people surfing, relaxing and just loving life. This was the Australia I had come to see. While I enjoy my location in Broadbeach, Byron Bay had the very laid back, typical Australian attitude I was looking for.

We walked up and up this hill until we got to the lighthouse, situation right next to the most eastern point in Australia. There is a small sign that lets you know you are at the end, and it is a great feeling of accomplishment when you reach it. It is a very strange feeling to know that you are at one of the ends of a continent, let alone that continent not being your own. The view from lighthouse was beautiful. If you looked to the left you saw the endless ocean, to the right was the beautiful Byron Bay, straight ahead was a picture perfect white lighthouse and behind us was a town hidden in the trees. It was truly one of the most amazing panoramic views I have ever experienced. At that moment, I truly appreciated being abroad and reminded myself to not take my situation for granted. On the walk down, our local guide introduced us to his Australian friends and we adventured a bit more with them. Just having the opportunity to talk to locals helped me gain insight into the way they lived. From what I gathered it seemed like they all had jobs that provided with them with the bare minimums, such as the hostel room and drinking money. They really seem to play much more than they work, which I don’t neccesarily think is a bad thing. In America this lifestyle would be frowned upon, but being there and experiencing the way they lived really opened my eyes to this new lifestyle and now I really do understand why people live this way.

This week my picture is of the Eastern most point of Australia which I took while I was in Byron Bay. It was really cool to look out into the ocean there and think “wow, this is the end of Australia”. I have made it from the east coast of America to the east coast of Australia, and my journey is just beginning. If you look to the right in the picture you can see what appear to be small waves crashing on the rocks. When we got closer we realized that they were actually huge waves. There was one rock in particular that the waves were crashing onto, but it was pretty dangerous to get onto the rock from where we were. My friends and I contemplated jumping across a whitewater river that separated the rock from us for sometime. We ultimately decided that it was worth the risk and I am very glad we did it. Even though I know it was very dangerous, being up that close to the crashing waves was one of the coolest and most rewarding experiences of my trip thus far. This will remind me that I am here to conquer my fears and live life to the fullest.

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