So there I was at 4 am in the morning shivering so hard you could hear my teeth create an unsynchronised orchestra, wearing two layers of socks(yes it can be done people, I have lived to tell the tale) to help avoid possible frost-bites as I struggled to take in the breathtaking view in front of me. Never in my life have I woken up at 4 am (unless it was for a flight) but that morning I did and man was it worth it. The beautiful sunrise painted the sky in an explosion of colours as the soft waves kissed the shore.
So there I was. All wrapped up in my sleeping bag and 50 layers of clothing. On the beach, somewhere down south of Sydney and I remember feeling so at peace that my eyes got a little misty (or maybe it was just from the lack of sleep). I looked to my right to find my friends with similar expressions painted on their faces.
All of us had the worst kind off eye bags ( the ones that make you look severely ill), sand in our behinds and other private places sand is NEVER meant to go, frozen fingers and hair that looked so severely messed up a bird might’ve tried to lay an egg in it thinking it was a nest of some sort. Despite all of this we sat there, with our half eaten hot-dogs (that turned into our breakfast, courtesy of last night’s leftover meal) cup of hot chocolate and simply smiled. It was kind of like those rare movie moments where everything seems so perfect you want to stop time and capture that moment in one of those genie bottles or something. So how did we get to this nirvana you may ask? It was simple really. It all started with that one idiotic friend suggesting that we go camping in the middle of winter to a beautiful scenic beach in the middle of nowhere. I of course profusely declined this suggestion and in the heat of the moment tried to distract the rest of my friends by suggesting we go shopping. However considering half of our group consisted of boys you can imagine that suggestion got shot down pretty quickly. Now if you, the reader have still stuck around and are still reading this post, I feel like I need to provide a small insight about myself.
I do not like camping.
I mean don’t get me wrong I’m all for mother nature and birds and beaches , heck I even voted for the greens when I turned 18!. However there is something so wrong about being separated from the comfort of a nice hot shower and secure toilet seat. As humans living in the 20th century this is just plain cruel. However I do understand the need to get away from those little white screens that we hold so close to our faces 90% of the time. And my friends being a bunch of tree huggers immediately agreed to the idea. As a teenager I was never able to function properly under pressure, especially peer- pressure.
So obviously I gave in and decided to give this experience a legitimate shot. I am honestly a firm believer in experiencing anything and everything at least once. There have been countless times where I have second guessed myself, but I am proud to say I have faced my most personal fears head on and come out stronger than ever. So there I was. On that fine Saturday morning, with my 2 suitcases and backpack, looking ready to go to war (I don’t believe in packing lightly). I had sunscreen, mosquito repellent, a spare blanket, extra socks, a beanie, a kettle, a weird noise making machine( to scare off lions and shit) and last but not least my Canon SLR ( because I love photography and am determined to prove that big foot exists). We got to the place and set camp before heading off to act like a bunch of tourists and explore the local area. Words can’t describe how well a fine crisp blue sky can complement your caramel cappuccino.
We saw the lighthouse, a weird blowhole that was oddly disfigured and sat on rocks that were dangerously close to the ocean. The best part of the evening was watching the sun set reflect off the ripples in water and not giving a crap about anything. I felt like a kid again. There was a lot of laughing and reminiscing on what the hell it is we want to do in life, whilst taking numerous selfies (because that’s just assumed when you have your girlfriends with you). Of course I being the only diligent person in the group, told everyone that we should head back because it was getting late and god forbid the coyotes steal the marshmallows I brought for the campfire. As the night settled in and everyone was full on the lamb ribs and chicken grills, we all sat around the campfire/heater and listened to my friend play the guitar.
That then led to truth or dare, which then led to ‘would you rather’ and a whole list of non PG compliant comments followed. Before we knew it, it was 1 in the morning. Now we all know there is always that one undercover alcoholic in every group. Sadly in my group there was more than a handful. After easily consuming almost half a bottle of vodka everyone became the Dalai Lama, with conversations ranging from why do girls PMS so much, to does E.T. really exist. I’m not proud to say that I managed to convince one of my severely tipsy friend’s that unicorns exist and that all she needs to do is sell her soul to the devil to obtain one.
All in all it was good fun, until the drunkest of them all decided to walk off into the woods to try and find E.T.
We all then launched off after her to try and stop her from possibly getting run over by a bull or an angry herd of cows. I will have you know that I am shit scared of the dark, but there I was marching through the knee length grass to try and find my friend because I sadly cared for her too much. All was fine until some idiot played the sound of a baby laughing. In the middle of nowhere. And that my friends is when I promptly shat myself, yelled ‘Fuck it’ and ran for my life. We all did. After running what felt like a marathon we finally made it back to camp and were pleasantly relieved to find out that the person who played the dumbass prank was indeed the drunken friend. I’m smiling while I type this because although that night gave me the worst panic attack of my life, it was also one of the most memorable ones because I did something I wouldn’t usually do.
I put myself out there and trusted my instincts. Years from now when I grow old with my partner and we look like a bunch of dried raisins I will look back fondly on this memory and smile. Hopefully by then I would’ve captured big foot and become rich and famous.
But who knows, the best thing about life is its uncertainty.