We went away for Christmas. Ten of us drove some 1250km to spend Christmas with my Mum up far north of WA. Our first visit to the North West in 2010 was an eye opener for me. Being a devout city girl, I have never been that interested in the outback or the bush. And red dust had not made my must-see list. But as we stepped off the plane on our first trip I fell instantly in love.
There is something staggeringly peaceful about the outback. The dense scrub, the red dirt, the ‘nothingness’ that goes on for miles and miles and miles, it’s strangely comforting. Driving in two stretches of 7+ hours to reach our final destination wasn’t near as boring as I thought it would be. If you are after quality time with loved ones, do a long car trip. No phone calls, no tv, nowhere to be but the road. Lots of good tunes, good conversation and laughter, I loved it.
Exmouth, like last time, was just beautiful. If you are ever planning on driving up the coast of WA I highly suggest you go as far as Exmouth. The beaches are, in my opinion, up there with the best. I am a mad beach fan (hello, ‘beach sand’) and although our local beach is my ultimate favourite, a couple of spots in Exmouth rank highly in my tough beach critic opinion.
Turquoise Bay is pristine. The sand is as white as white and water crystal clear. Snorkelling is a must. The fish are friendly and the coral is just beautiful. Turquoise Bay is a set-the-tent-up-and-laze-for-the-entire-day kinda beach. You need a whole day there. You want a whole day there.
Bundegi Beach is also one of my favourites. This was the first beach we enjoyed during our first trip, it reminds me of my Mum. There used to be a jetty there which is now gone due to storm damage, which I missed. But it’s close to town and the beach is lovely. Coral Bay was also dreamy, this was our first time to Coral Bay and given the distance from town it’s another spot that needs an entire day. Beautiful snorkelling and blissful.
We rented a fabulous house on the canals in Exmouth. Every morning I would drink my coffee on the deck overlooking the canal. The view across the canal is red dust and half finished homes, it is still sparsely housed and not much life fills the air. But in an unexpected way I found this comforting, relaxing. I could hear people across the canal building a home in the early hours, and not much else. It was so serene. I think without the water it would not have made for much of a view, but being a beach bum the water below brought comfort and a nice familiarity with it.
On the way home, hours of music and laughs later, we hit Denham to spend one night, just the three of us. The funny thing about my boys is, they share a very similar sense of humour. We all do. So this was a night of inside jokes and laughter. I would say this was (after Christmas dinner with my Mama) my favourite night. We were so relaxed after our amazing stay in Exmouth, and although we knew we had a long trip home ahead of us, we were still very refreshed.
I had a nana nap (which if you know me, is not a regular occurrence) and right before sunset I woke up and took a walk across the street to see this.
Peaceful. This is what I love about traveling, your eyes are opened to new sights and without the rush of the normal working day and the mundane of the every other day, your heart is open to new, unfamiliar things. I doubt much else can give us the same experience as traveling does. This explains the rush I got from traveling in my 20s, I just couldn’t get enough.
I wish I could tell you I took amazing photos of food, but I didn’t take even one. I even forgot to take a photo of the family at Christmas dinner! We drove 1250km, we cooked fabulous food, I set my tripod and camera up, then forgot. Silly me! Anyway, the memories of Christmas dinner will forever be etched into my memory, it was a once in a lifetime thing.
I almost took a photo of a Hungry Jacks whopper junior that I ate over my lap in the car in a service station in Geraldton (can you picture it? All class!) but I was too engrossed in the burger to stop and pick up my camera. I am all about ‘good’ food and rarely indulge in Hungry Jacks, but let me tell you although that burger was not ‘good’ food, it was GOOD. A habit I will not be encouraging, saving that one for the service station stops on 1250km car rides.
As we enter the new year I reflect on what was an amazing year. Faced with many challenges and taking the leap of my life to end over two decades of full time employment to follow my creative pursuits, I look back and smile at how far I have come. I have much to learn, we are in fact always learning. I have much to achieve, I don’t think I have even touched the tip of my food iceberg. And most importantly I don’t forget how far I have come and how I got here. Each day brings with it exciting creative challenges and I am grateful for that.
Thank you for another wonderful year, having you share my humble little space has been simply amazing. This year will be all about food and photography – along with writing, these are my true passions.
I wish you all a creative and joyous new year, and hope you also get to spend your days doing what makes your soul shine.
Happy New Year!