The salt has settled all scratchy on my skin. The afternoon sea breeze is a cool, gentle caress. I inhale a fresh, sharp breath through my nose from my swim, reviving my senses. The shock of the cold water has refreshed my soul, stilling my eddying thoughts in a calm, clear pool. Clarity is bright before me, crystal like the water I have just stepped out of.
I have returned to Brunswick Heads – it feels like my spiritual home.
As is usually the case, getting here has been somewhat of a drama – for starters we seem to pack as though we are camping – we stay in cabins.
We always forget things – last year it was the goldfish (since RIP) – Mr Yang had to do the dash back home to retrieve Bubbles.
The extended family holiday, an annual tradition, is sandwiched between the madness of Miss Yin’s annual dance concert (endless rehearsals etc) and the busyness of end-of-school-year activities. It’s a precious breather before the chaos of Christmas.
This year, our ninth, feels extra crazy with work frustrating and stressful, and like last year, Little Yang’s kindy concert has fallen on the morning of our departure, making last-minute preparations even more harried.
Then there is the slight problem of a rather large fridge.
Our old fridge died after 16 years and we’ve been making do with a small bar fridge for a few weeks. The new one was delivered two days before our departure only there was a bit of a problem – it wouldn’t fit through the front door.
Mr Yang intended to take off the front door, and remove the door jams (no small job), and somehow get it inside it what would still be a tight squeeze. But he ran out of time.
We weren’t all that keen to leave a brand new fridge outside under the carport for a week, so we decided to just get it inside through a sliding door into our office, knowing that we’d have to take it back outside again when we returned in order to get it through the front door and through to the kitchen (which incidentally needs ‘slight’ remodelling to accommodate said large fridge)!
This (of course) proved no easy feat either – Mr Yang had to make a little ramp and we had to edge it up the ramp and through the opening, bit by bit, to avoid scratches. Twenty-five sweaty minutes later it was finally inside, and we were finally on our way to Brunswick Heads.
Did I mention that coming to Brunswick Heads each year feels like coming home – my soul is renewed and any and every effort is worth it!
Travel is always worth the hassles that seem inevitable…where to start with the stories?
Our flight to Vanuatu, via New Caledonia left two and a half hours late and when we arrived in Noumea airport (just before midnight) they wouldn’t let us fly on to Port Villa. So we and four other travellers spent an uncomfortable night together on hard plastic chairs in an airport café, only spotting the much more comfy lounges as we departed the next morning (we hadn’t been allowed into the lounge area since we hadn’t cleared customs). Did I mention it was the first night of our honeymoon!
As we flew out early we were ready to land before the air traffic controller in Port Villa had arrived for work (seriously we saw this little man scurry up the tower) – so we were treated to a low altitude lap of the island and a stunning introduction to Vanuatu time – she’ll be right mate, Minyama.
When we adopted Miss Yin from China, our pre-departure dramas were a saga that justifies an entirely separate post – just one of the main issues being the fact that Mr Yang snapped his Achilles tendon (playing Volleyball at work of all things) two weeks before we were due to fly. He went to China on crutches.
Mr Yang has a history of accidental injuries at inopportune times – two days before we traveled to Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, he ruptured a calf muscle (playing handball?!?) and it blew up like a balloon as he hobbled around the Olympic Stadium at Homebush.
Then there was the small matter of shooting himself in the chest with a nail gun – this incident didn’t occur at a particularly bad time, not that there is ever a good time to shoot yourself in the chest with a nail gun (the three inch nail missing his heart by 1cm and piercing his liver). Needless to say Mr Yang needed a couple of months off work (as a builder), which set back our savings for our big European trip six months later. In the end he had to sell his car to get on the plane.
Travel rarely comes without baggage (and seldom without lost luggage) – problems in the planning phase, hassles getting to a destination, issues during the actual holiday or in getting back home.
In travelling, in getting away from the everyday, we journey home – inside ourselves. We gain new perspective, let adventures and foreign places open up new possibilities, or find renewal in the ritual of relaxation in places as comfortable and familiar as Brunswick Heads is to me.
I’d love to know how travel makes you feel – please share your funny travel stories of hassles that end up becoming part of the fabric of your holiday memories.
PS – I wrote this post on Sunday, the day after we arrived at Brunswick, then proceeded that night to knock a full cup of coffee over my laptop (it is not looking good). Then yesterday the steering malfunctioned on Mr Yang’s boat, forcing him to spend several hours pulling it apart. But I’m trying to think positively – the weather is beautiful, the water crystal clear.
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.