when you move to australia.

Have you been keeping up on all my matador network articles? Check out my latest and be sure to share them with all your friends and family! 🙂

13 THINGS THAT INEVITABLY HAPPEN WHEN YOU MOVE TO AUSTRALIA

1. Most of your income goes towards beer.

The rumors are true. Australians love their beer. Unfortunately, it’s also true that shit is way more expensive on their massive island. Remember the good old days (before you lived in Australia) when you could get a 30-pack of PBR from the local liquor mart for under $20? Those days are long gone. Add a beer category to your monthly budget because $50 for a carton is bound to take its toll on your bottom line.

2. You miss the sound of geckos when you travel.

To answer your first question, yes, geckos make sounds. You immediately learn this fact when trying to fall asleep in your newly-renovated Queenslander. Chirp chirp chirp. At first, you are disgusted that tiny lizards wander in and out of your house as they please, but after a while, they sound like home.

Read the full article.

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day four: the blue-ies

with three sisters standing tall ready to fall like the ones before, the blue mountains exist just two hours from sydney.

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any rock climber’s perfect getaway. small mountain towns tucked away awaiting the city dweller’s escape to nature.

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our final stop before heading back to the desert.

it has taken me four months to complete my one week circuit of sydney (in writing). when you step away for so long, each day makes it harder the finish the story. and yet, time helps to sift the simplicities into their complexity.

the beautiful sunny farmer’s market with delicious macadamia nut butter and seedlings for oliver’s garden appears crystal clear.

the panoramic view of the blue mountains and her majestic valleys from a friend’s wall to wall, floor to ceiling, back porch window loses none of its magic.

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the fear of placing a loose bolt plate over a carrot stuck into stone for the first time…that never goes away. pitch after pitch to get to one of those views that simply defies words.

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the old letterpress finding its home in a friend’s garage, creating handmade designs that people like me pay way too much for.

and the stories that come from old friends.
about the good old times.

but now, october’s city rendezvous has become those good old times. but the sentiments of sydney echo eternally as we wander back to the desert and face the future.

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get published. check!

remember last year when i shared my list of 35 things i wanted to accomplish before 35? (if not, you can refresh your memory now.) well i have officially checked off #16: publish travel writing!

be sure to check out my article “12 things Aussies love to hate” on matador network.

even though it’s not an epic travel narrative, everyone has got to start somewhere right? enjoy!

day three: a quick 5k walk

the benefit to sydney is its proximity to the beach and the mountains. as we were determined to take in both to the fullest, on day three, we boarded a bus (after unboarding a bus when the driver informed us we needed to purchase tickets prior to riding) and headed to the well-known bondi beach.

but not before strolling to a side street cafe we had walked past the day before, robocog, and filling our bellies to prep for our adventure to the seashore.

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after a painless 20 minute bus ride, the skyscrapers fizzled into the background as the standard australian beachfront took over the foreground. surfers in spring suits paddling out for a morning wave. tourists in bikinis forcing themselves to get a tan despite the cool temperatures. and a coastal boardwalk that meandered along the cliffs for kilometers.

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i wandered up the main drag perpendicular to the ocean and found a cafe appropriately suited to become my office for a couple of hours. read internet and outlets.

i’ll spare you the boring details of me catching up on various projects and deadlines and skip to the part where we soaked in this hipster sydney beach town. streets lined with used bookstores. the smells of fresh made something or other wafting through the salty air. various languages spilling out of crowded cafes.

we were going to meet an old friend of ryan’s in coogee, a town up the coast slightly. a quick walk i was told…

step by step along the cliffside path taking in every ounce of the ocean view. stopping in amazement at the sprawling cemetery overlooking the sea.

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pausing for romantic moments to hug, stare out into the deep blue, and point out distant landmarks.

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and ogle over the brilliant sea water pools that are scattered along the coastline. what a brilliant place to do some laps without the fear of sharks chomping your body in half unexpectedly.

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i was totally content…for the first 3 kilometers. everyone that seemed to pass us on the path was jogging, or power walking at least, with comfy-looking tennis shoes laced up to stay fit. as i looked down at my sandaled feet, i wished i could trade with the fitness fanatics. my arches were lodging complaints, and the balls of my feet were unsure if they were being punished for some past indiscretion.

a quick walk eh?

we hit a cove that offered a shortcut to the path by cutting across the beach. i slipped off my sandals and indulged in the soft sand massaging my tired feet. the shoes never went back on.

barefoot we went. up and down and around the ins and outs of the cliffs. it was getting windy, and the sun was nearing her daily farewell. if there were any taxis hanging around, they would definitely have gotten our fare. but alas, there were none. so we just kept walking. almost right through a film set. fortunately, they had a young man (probably about 12 years old and dressed in board shorts and a blazer) acting as security.

his hand went up into the universal sign for stop, and he formally explained that filming was in progress and asked if we could walk around as he gestured like a flight attendant to the alternative route.

yes i wanted to hug him for being so dang adorable, but that would totally ruin the persona he had so amazingly perfected. so i let him be and followed his instructions with a smile.

and then we were there. a “quick” 5k walk to coogee. a great place for drinks by the shoreline and dinner in a cute neighborhood tucked away from the scene.

the night ended as any night should… catching up with good friends and eating pretty good mexican food (hard to come by in australia).

tomorrow we head to the mountains. (and by tomorrow i of course mean last week because this blog is way overdue, but just roll with in ok?)

day two: city cultured comfort

i’m sure sydney has a fantastic nightlife full of seedy clubs in king’s cross and swanky skyscraper cocktail bars overlooking the harbor, but my week in the city was all about the morninglife. the poached eggs. the cappuccinos. the ricotta hot cakes.

nowadays, it is so easy to find things to do in a new place. you pop onto google and browse through the hundreds of online reviews and event listings. aimlessly wandering becomes purpose driven direct pathways to five star rated restaurants and galleries. but you never know until you arrive exactly what you’re getting.

i had stumbled upon a small well-reviewed cafe attached to a garden shop that looked promising and set the iphone google maps app to guide our feet. each street we walked along perfectly embodied the sunshine smiling morning. birds chirping. nowhere to be. the way walks to breakfast should be.

as our wonderful walk through surry hills transformed to a personality-less strip of shops, i saw that my “hidden gem” of a cafe might be hidden for a reason after all. tucked right off a side street, we took a seat outside looking out onto a noisy auto repair shop. the inside seats did look cozy and surrounded with greenery, but they were filled.

with our day loosely planned out, we filled our bellies with underwhelming food and took in the underwhelming atmosphere. we had been trying to figure out when to meet up with ryan’s uncle and cousin that live in sydney, and after a quick phone call, it was determined that the day’s agenda needed a bit of rearranging.

within the hour, we were at central station boarding a train out to merrickville to meet his uncle at cornersmith, an unassuming, trendy corner cafe owned by ryan’s cousin with delicious gourmet dishes, portland-worthy coffee, and jars of pickled vegetables and homemade jams lining the shelves. just browse their instagram and fall in love…

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i felt home. you don’t really find these type of spaces in the desert outback or even in small coastal towns. you find them in cities. they prosper in cities. an immense audience of hipsters looking to sit and sample gluten free toast smothered in homemade yogurt, fruit, honey, and pine nuts.

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and yes. i am totally one of those hipsters. although my motives might be different than the usual coffee catch-up suspects, i feel home with the aroma of filtered coffee brewing and the buzz of conversation filling up the rustic tile walls.

comfort comes from familiarity.

as cousin james brought out some snacks for us to indulge in, we drifted into the unconscious conversation of family. but ryan does not see this side of his family very often. he had actually not seen this cousin since he was about 10. there was a lot to fill each other in on over the last 18 years, not to mention explaining the new american gal touring around sydney with him.

comfort comes from family.

an impromptu meal with relatives is always a pleasure in my eyes. digging roots deeper into the story of ryan. hearing his uncle reminisce about his father. losing myself in the laughter of yesterday’s memories.

and then we were back on the train. fully taking advantage of the public transportation systems that are synonymous with city living. (clearly ryan is not an experienced user yet.)

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a quick walk out of the way to our apartment was necessary to drop off some cornersmith loot we had been given from james. luckily, i had a checked bag to get all these delectable goods back to port hedland with us. although, i did make ryan agree to buying me new clothes if i end up with shattered glass and pickled choko all over my bag.

after all this, it was only about 2pm. the day was young. we had fancy dinner reservations at 6:15pm and tickets to the theatre at 8pm. but what should we do in between?

you can’t spend a week in sydney without flying across the harbor via ferry. so after introducing ryan to the magnificence of uber (yes it’s in sydney too), we abused his free first ride and got to circular quay just in time to catch the next ferry to manly beach.

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and just like that, we were out of the city and back on a standard aussie beachfront lined with surf shops and fish & chip stands. we knew how to do this. ryan grew up doing this. we bought some calamari & chips and popped a squat on the grass to watch the surfers catch their perfect waves. we also acquired a bodyguard seagull who ensured that no other gulls bothered us as we munched on our fried squid.

with time dwindling away, we strolled the footpath and found our way to a second story lookout for an afternoon brew. sitting around an old wine barrel looking out over the main plaza and off into the ocean. it was cold, but the sun was waiting just around the corner to warm my skin as we set back off for our ferry ride return.

standing at the bow, the wind tangled my hair as the sun started setting illuminating sydney’s skyline. now it’s no chicago, but there is something beautiful about the harbor bridge and opera house silhouetted in the evening hours against the shimmering sea. arm in arm, we stared into the fresh wake and watched the water disappear.

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the evening was here. we shifted personalities as best we could as we took a seat at our reserved table for two at baroque in the rocks district. although we are both probably more comfortable eating fish and chips on the grass, sometimes it’s nice to have the waiter drape the cloth napkin over your lap and serve you a three course chef’s choice pre-theatre menu.

i didn’t do a ton of research prior to arriving in sydney, but i did sniff out the dance scene and purchase tickets to sydney dance company’s world premiere performance of louder than words.

wow. the two contemporary pieces performed were pretty packed with powerful partner work and integrated immersion of lighting and movement. there was one dancer in the company who absolutely held me captivated through her ferocity.

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(above photo from the daily review powered by crikey)

of course, sitting through the pieces made me miss performing, but i was so happy to have caught such a great work while in sydney. and expose ryan to a side of my life that he has not gotten to experience very often in the art and culture void known as port hedland.

again i was home. seamlessly slipping into the city culture i’m used to…

day one: sydney strollin’

after standing for 30 minutes in the sydney post-customs airport lobby trying to figure out why there were numerous cameras and crew members running around, i gave up and attempted to navigate my way to meet ryan. i know i could have simply asked one of the people running around with yellow badges, but i was hoping the queen or someone equally as important would just walk down the ramp and the commotion would all make sense.

when awkwardly trying to lock eyes with someone involved failed, i just hauled my overly heavy hodgepodge luggage onto the bus to the virgin australia domestic terminal and eavesdropped on two aussie teachers explaining to an older gentlemen about their field trip to america. i wish my school had taken me on a field trip to australia when i was in grade school.

oh well. i was here now. in sydney finally. after six months of traveling around this epic country, i finally was going to explore the one place everyone assumes i’ve already seen.

take a taxi to our airbnb rented third floor one bedroom apartment on the corner of taylor square in darlinghurst, or surry hills. we never quite figured out exactly which neighborhood we were temporary residents of, but with a view of this building from our window, i knew i was going to like this part of town:

taylor square sydney

“they” always tell you to get good walking shoes. that advice has never really computed with me, but i don’t think my pons handmade spanish leather slip ons appreciated the kilometers forced upon them. from the random coffee shop on the corner, we acquired a recommended breakfast nook, and with cappuccinos in hand, we strolled through sydney’s city streets under a gray wednesday morning sky. lined with small two story victorian flats stacked side by side. intricate iron lace fences framing petite patios often left empty to ryan’s dismay.

caught in our love bubble (after being apart for two months), we wandered into orto trading co. and took a seat in the back. walls lined with windows, dangling vases with fresh flowers, a cheerful, flirty waitress, and a side of pork belly to introduce us to sydney’s emerging cafe culture.

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and it began. our week as sydney dwellers. we meandered up and down hills, through parks, alongside giant buildings until we reached the harbor. that picturesque body of water so synonymous with this new south wales city.

look to the right and there it is, the sydney opera house. surrounded by tourists snapping selfies.

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look to the left and there it is, the harbor bridge. miniature human ants marching along its arches.

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look across the water and there it is, luna park. years of entertainment smiling at you from the past.

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so now what? what is left to do in this sydney after standing at the edge and taking it all in? we headed to the left. under the bridge and along the water.

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through “the rocks” district with cobblestone beneath my now aching feet. up some stone steps to find the observatory and back down when the supposed high tea was a myth.

then onto to glebe. as life would have it, my american friend daisy happened to have just arrived in sydney a few days prior. we met up with her and her friend for some snacks and drinks at a local pub, friend in hand pub.

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what a place! complete with hermit crab races and a complimentary shuttle to get you home safe and sound. not to mention some “regulars” over the age of 65 who truly embodied aussie fun. nothing like ending day one with three drunk old men telling ryan to take care of me.

late night pad thai on oxford street and into bed. good night sydney. it’s 6am in los angeles, and my body clock is fully confused…

television coworkers.

the experts say you have to write everyday. sadly, between my work writing, journal writing, letter writing, email writing, social media writing, and imessage writing, my blog writing seems to have lost its title of champion. i have a list of topics that i think of in the moment, jot down to come back to, then return to them thinking: what the heck was i planning to write about this?

this morning i was tempted to delete the whole list and start anew, vowing to always sit down and write the dang story when it pops into my head. but alas, there are some gems in the list, so i figured i’d better just pick one of the random ones for now and get on with it already.

i’ve been back in the midwest for almost two months. away from australia and catching back up with my life. of course, doing so always involves explaining what i have actually been doing down under.

it is an explanation that has led me to some startling discovers about myself. namely, my extreme need for human interaction.

i get it now. the need for companions. working in an empty house is not for me. i need others. they don’t even need to be friends. strangers in coffee shops will work. travelers rushing to catch their flights in a crowded airport hallway will work. anyone will work. i sit in my home office, alone, in the middle of a small desert mining town where everyone else is on the job 12 hours a day, leaving me to fend for myself when it comes to entertainment.

daytime television all makes sense to me now.

studio 10’s morning band of hooligans were my gang each morning as i ate breakfast and started work on my laptop in my pajamas.

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the term coworkers doesn’t mean they have to be physically in your presence right? they were working. i was working. therefore, we were coworking. and coworkers.

when you’ve reached this state in life, every character of every major television series you watch starts to be your friend. the crappiest soap opera becomes your lifeline. something you know. something comfortable. a cast of friends to keep you company while alone for endless hours.

television takes on the meaningful role of human interaction in a town desolate of places to sit with strangers. places with a proper seat, electricity, and wifi don’t really exist. so i have to work from home…everyday…all day. i am not complaining about the ability to work from home. we all want that. i love that and am very grateful. but when you have to work from home, it’s just like having to work from an office.

i have watched more television in my time in port hedland than in the past several years of my life. it is the first time i have even owned a television since 2009.

it’s crazy to me. but it makes sense to me. i am not a hermit. i like my alone time, but usually only when i am writing or painting or reading. all other moments of my life are traditionally filled with activity and people. people i know. people i don’t know. people i want to know, but don’t.

yes there are those people in the desert, don’t get me wrong. i understand that i could leave the house and seek out some faces to fill my social quota, but i do actually have to get my work done once in awhile. i can’t be going to hang out at the yacht club or ymca for hours on end soaking in one human interaction after another. i need people while i work.

and so i have developed a new gratitude for public spaces. generous clients with extra desks and spacious libraries and bustling coffee shops and random parks with wifi, you are a gift to us officeless entrepreneurs. you are the reason i stay sane. i cannot wait until you find your way to small australian desert mining towns. or i find my way back to you.

but i am also grateful for my television coworkers. their stories unfolding in an one-sided, effortless conversation as i click clack away on my keyboard. without you, i would probably do so much more with my time. yet, i am still glad you are my friends. see you in a couple weeks as i return to the summer desert heat for a couple more months of love.

newsflash: snorkeling doesn’t suck.

my mother often called me a fish when i was younger because i found instant relief in the bathtub. whether i was grumpy or sick or had a migraine or something else, once my head was submerged underwater, everything was reset. i was washed clean.

water still has that effect on me. a quick jump into the freezing winter waves of lake michigan. a leisurely sink into the pacific. a float down some winding river. it’s all magical. and yet, i’ve never spent much time underwater. deep underwater.

i have snorkeled, or attempted to, a couple times at various tourist destinations in mexico and florida, but the masks are always crap. and therefore, the experience is always crap. i usually end up swallowing a gallon of salt water and choking half to death on seaweed particles. the visibility tends to be similar to when i wouldn’t clean my fish tank for weeks on end. so needless to say, my impression of snorkeling has been very underwhelming.

but after a week in coral bay and exmouth, western australia, i need to retract every nasty thought i have ever had about snorkeling because i have learned what everyone else already knew: snorkeling doesn’t suck (if you do it in awesome areas).

even though scuba diving has always been on my to do list, snorkeling can show you so much as well. in just one day, the ningaloo reef and caravan park town of coral bay absolutely blew my mind.

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despite the fact that i try to avoid tours and group tourist activities at all costs, sometimes you have to succumb. you pay the absurd amount of money and cross your fingers that it is worth all the hype.

well let me tell you, swimming with a whale shark is definitely worth the hype.

if you’re like me, you’ve probably never even heard of this marvelous ocean giant. it’s technically a shark, but it eats and looks like a whale. they are in various locations around the world, but hang around in western australia from march to july for the coral spawning. educate yourself more on wikipedia.

we bit the bullet and paid almost $400 to book an all day tour with coral bay ecotours. the day included a bit of snorkeling around the reef and the main attraction, swimming alongside a whale shark. now, no company can guarantee a whale shark siting, but they try their best to spot at least one each day. since it was nearing the end of the season, i was sending all the positive thoughts i could into the sea as we set out on the water. the tour the day before had gone home empty-handed and was joining us on our tour for a second chance at success.

as we arrived at the first drop around 9am, i zipped up my wetsuit, de-fogged my mask, and started to prep my breathing. i jumped in ready for my mouth to fill up with salt water as i tried to catch up to ryan (scuba and snorkeler extraordinaire).

and then something wonderful happened…it didn’t suck.

i swam stroke after stroke with a completely sealed mask and proper breathing through the snorkel. then i saw a black tipped reef shark swim quickly through the coral. a green turtle gracefully glide near my head. thousands of brightly colored fish jetting left and right through our bubbles. i finally understood why people love snorkeling through coral reefs.

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i dove down and investigated the amazing living organism spanning the ocean floor. this alternate universe that has gone mostly unknown to me (except through video and photo) for over 27 years. how? how have i gone this long without knowing the magic beneath the waves?

as we boarded back onto the boat, i peeled off my wetsuit and found a spot in the sunshine. and then, the wait began. with a spotter plane in the air and an experienced skipper scanning the waters, the search for a whale shark was on. and on. and on.

we soared through the ocean for hours just waiting for these precious animals to make themselves known. nature was obviously not at our beckon call. and yet, it was…

as we waited for our chance to jump back in the sea and meet a friendly shark four times our size, mother nature gave us some other creatures to enjoy. heaps of humpback whales flipping their fins and splashing up a storm. several dolphins coasting through the waves without a worry in the world. all of them taking me by surprise every time they popped up into my gaze over the water.

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as the clock pushed 2pm, more and more people started pulling off their wetsuits and giving up hope that we would locate a whale shark, but i refused to give up. i refused to take off my wetsuit and submit to failure. instead, i laid on the deck and sent my mermaid messages down into the deep blue sea.

“and we’re on. everybody get ready!”

our guides came rushing around the boat. mr. whale shark had heard my prayer and decided to join us today. i was already smiling ear to ear, but i was nowhere near prepared for what happened next.

we slid in off the marley board and into the open ocean. face mask down and eyes open. inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. kick kick kick kick. holy shit!

there in front of my face was a massive head swimming straight for me. i quickly remembered the instructions from our guides and moved to the side to let this beast pass. and then i got lost in his movements. lost in his unique design of white dalmatian dots. here i was, in the indian ocean, swimming alongside a 5.5 meter whale shark (a baby by size standards). watching his tail sweep side to side and feeling the water ripple through my soul.

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(there is video footage and more photos, but australian desert internet is not fast enough for my patience level, so you’ll have to wait a week or two until i’m back in the trusty land of unlimited bandwidth for more.)

i was lost lost lost in the moment, until i heard our guide call us back to the boat.

and then i saw something else…

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was that what i think it was…

is there a REAL shark behind us? underneath us? swimming at us???

i quickly popped my head out of the water to see if anyone else was having a mild heart attack like me. without taking too long to process the details, i put my ten years of lifeguard training into overdrive and hightailed it back to the boat. when safely out of the water, i inhaled and spewed out:

“did you see that shark?!”

ryan (of course the last one out of the water) confirmed my sighting and immediately consulted with our guide to see what species of monster was taking the time to grace us with his presence. the conversation went something like this:

guide: yeah, that was a bronze whaler. you can tell by the head and color.
ryan: ah yeah. back on the gold coast, we don’t really mess around with those.
guide: nah man, here they are fine. he was just curious. you could tell by his smooth movements. if he was aggressive, they would have been sharp and jagged.
ryan: ah, well awesome then.

me: so what was it?
ryan: bronze whaler. he said he’s fine.
me: so i won’t die?
ryan: nah, just keep your eye on it.

heart attack over. the guides put 18 tourists back in the water. if they were cool with it, so was i. now i got to divide my attention between two sharks. the one swimming tamely alongside me and the one that could potentially, and easily, rip into my soft human flesh trailing my every move.

it was AWESOME.

in just under eight hours, i had been in the water with three sharks. and i am still alive.

people back home always ask me about the scary animals in australia, and well, yeah, there are tons of them, but my oh my can they be beautiful!

moral of the story: if you ever find yourself near the ningaloo reef in western australia around whale shark season, do yourself a favor and hop on the tourist bandwagon.

and if you’re like ryan and scuba certified, you should also do the navy pier dive in exmouth. apparently, it was pretty epic. a grouper bigger than a human made a special appearance amongst a hundred other really amazing wildlife (or so i’m told).

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i guess i will need to get crackin’ on accomplishing the “learn to scuba dive” item on my 35 before 35 list because there is another whole world to start exploring below sea level. and it sort of already feels like home.

p.s. catching the sunset from the exmouth lighthouse is also something to be sure to do if you find yourself in town…especially on a full moon night. as one day ends, one night begins…

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hedland headlines.

since there is not a whole lot happening in port hedland, the weekly, wednesday delivery of the regional newspaper is quite a highlight for me. as someone who spent a whole lot of money to study journalism in college, there is nothing better than flipping through the pages of the local paper.

after several weeks of laughing quietly to myself about the absurdity of the content, it’s time to share the fabulousness with you. and so, i’m starting my own weekly, wednesday delivery of “hedlead headlines.” enjoy.

first off. last week’s front page story: BROTHEL CLOSES DOORS

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you just can’t have prostitutes living in raw sewage! come on. definitely deserves the top spot on the front page, above a great article about new street art in the area…

and after giving the only legal brothel in hedland a bit of star coverage, why not follow it up with an important announcement:

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and last, but not least, a full page spread warning community members that “cannabis is not a harmless drug.” they need to be clear…which is why they took out a full page ad.

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see you next week for some more amazing headlines.

block broken.

i haven’t written a blog post since i arrived in australia. i haven’t really written anything. i think about writing a lot. the classic syndrome of a block. i have ideas, and then they fade away before i can capture them into letters. but last night i made a list.

  1. wake up
  2. drink glass of water
  3. drink glass of cranberry juice
  4. do oak tree meditation
  5. write a blog post

and so, here i am. after adding “make a smoothie” right before #4, i am at my computer pulling faces because for some reason i decided to add way too much beet to my smoothie. and it was canned. bad decision. i have learned my lesson, but i am still going to force myself to drink it. just like i am forcing myself to write.

since i sat down at my computer 20 minutes ago, i have already delayed writing by checking emails, doing some stupid survey to get bonus southwest rapid rewards points, and googling the benefits of beets. if i have to stomach this smoothie, it better be good for me. turns out it has several benefits:

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natural viagra eh? i am just feeling slightly queasy and dry in the mouth. maybe those are part of the listed side effects.

the she & him pandora channel is providing a nice soundtrack to this aimless stint of word-smithing. but that is what they tell you to do. they always tell you to just write. no matter what comes out, just the act of writing will help end your vacation away.

i remember getting really attached to a book called writing down the bones: freeing the writer within by natalie goldberg during my freshman year of college. here was this relatively short collection of chapters that was speaking directly to me. the writer within me. i’m pretty sure everyone who likes to write has probably read the book at some point in their life.

“keep your hand moving.”

i remember reading that somewhere in those pages.

and so that is what i am doing. and while you are reading this, you should probably follow a similar bit of advice…keep the eyes moving, quickly. don’t dwell on this blog post. there is nothing profound hiding in its folds.

there is another passage from that book that i recently recalled (of course i googled it, so you can read the real version and not my paraphrased sara interpretation):

“We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter…Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency. A writer must say yes to life, to all of life: the water glasses, the Kemp’s half-and-half, the ketchup on the counter. It is not a writer’s task to say, ‘It is dumb to live in a small town or to eat in a café when you can eat macrobiotic at home.’ Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist – the real truth of who we are: several pounds overweight, the gray, cold street outside, the Christmas tinsel in the showcase, the Jewish writer in the orange booth across from her blond friend who has black children. We must become writers who accept things as they are, come to love the details, and step forward with a yes on our lips so there can be no more noes in the world, noes that invalidate life and stop these details from continuing.”

i am in that small town.

and it stilled my words because i thought i had nothing more to say about it.

but truly, i have embraced the desert this time around. i looked around and found things to do.

i took life into my own hands while alone at home all day. signed up for a dinghy sailing course and afterwards joined the yacht club. i even have plans to partake in their upcoming regatta.

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headed back into the bush of karajini national park on friday the 13th under a full moon to run through gorges, swim a lap across an ice cold pool of crystal clear water, and stay up celebrating ol’ smokey brods turning 28. we even ran into a family of scary zombies…

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met up with a couple of women retraining ex-race horses. spent the evening riding three different horses with three very different personalities as the red pilabra dust filled every single pore on my body, and the sun set bright red and pink and orange into the horizon.

sat outside under an umbrella and enjoyed a sunday morning brunch with my partner in crime at the silver star cafe, an old train car turned restaurant. a staple in the port hedland dining circuit.

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cooked proper meals that surprise even me. and yes, i’ve documented almost every single on of them. you can find that on my instagram, but here’s just one:

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stretched and breathed with the only yoga teacher in town who teaches one class per week about 20 minutes away from our house. and strengthened and toned with the one quality cross-training gym in south hedland.

so why do i feel like i have nothing to say?

my task as a writer “is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life as they exist.”

i spend all day alone in my home office trying to tackle the never-ending list of projects due to clients thousands of miles away. looking out at the big, fruit-barren mango tree through my calcium coated window, i miss my coffee shops and co-working spaces.

but this is the real of now. long days of work and short bursts of play. it’s not forever. and when it does get lonely, i find solace in online shopping for proper attire for the upcoming horse races (best dressed wins $1,000) and belting out my best renditions of broadway and disney musicals while chipping away at my to-do list. defying gravity has never sounded so good.

HOLY YES!