It has been two months since I came to Byron. These two months have held many of the most incredible experiences that I have had since I began traveling just over two and a half years ago in Hawaii. In this time, I have experienced pure joy, grown, and learned about myself and the world to an un-measureable extent. I began my time here living at a beautiful yoga studio and homestay. Here I found a Love for yoga and meditation, something that has and is continuing to change me and my life so much for the better. I am so grateful to have found this place, the people I met there, the experiences I had, and the skills and practices I learned will be with me forever. My health has reached an all time high as well. Many things have contributed to this, not only surfing at least once everyday and practicing yoga four or five times a week, but changing to an almost entirely vegetarian diet and being very conscious about what I take in, eliminating all preservatives and disguised artificial additives that are in virtually every product that you buy from the grocery store. Because of these small life changes, I feel amazing, I am at an all time high of happiness, and have had time to really work on myself to be the best that I can be, for myself.
Here are some pictures of the yoga and meditation studio, my friend and yoga teacher Tara and I, and a street view of sunrise beach.
Byron Bay is the Eastern-most point in Australia. It is marked with a beautiful lighthouse that stands as an icon of the town and metaphorically as a beacon shedding light and awareness on those who surround her, the beautiful feminine energy of Byron Shire.
This is Matt, Marie, and Myself who woke up extra early to catch the sunrise at the Lighthouse.
After one month, I left the yoga studio and at first lived out of my van at the amazing Belongil ("bel-on-jill") Beach, later to rent a small apartment where some great friends, Tara and Russell, also lived. Just based on the fact that I actually was renting a place to stay and not living out of my van was a shocking but lovely change from the way I had been living and traveling before. The comfort, ease, and "cruise-ability" of the place was unbelievable and by far the best part of the whole situation. I would wake up in the morning and walk 100m down the street to the beach and go for a swim, a surf, or just sit and drink some tea. Continuously going back and forth, seeing friends, maybe riding bikes into town for a smoothie, or to hear music at night, made for an incredibly easy-going, fun, and relaxing life while living there. The apartment itself was really nice looking, in a gated courtyard with outdoor seating areas, and lots of plants and palms, the inside was cozy and really all I needed to take a break from being on the road and in the bush. The Belongil lifestyle was so great, friends and I would constantly exclaim a phrase from a neighbor's sign, we would say, "We're Just Belongil Dreaming".
Aside from all the good times at Belongil, I would regularly go and longboard at The Pass with my great friend Matt. A right hand point break, The Pass is know internationally in the surfing community and is Byron's most well known place to surf or learn to surf. The Pass is an amazing place, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and good vibes. It is one of the longest waves in the world. After you catch a long ride, maybe as long as 250m, you have a long scenic walk back to the point, its glorious.
This is Jess and I. Jess met Tim and I in New Zealand, and without knowing that each other would be in Australia, I ran into him by chance at the Byron farmers market and together we enjoyed many surf and yoga sessions, meals, and nights out in town.
This is White's Beach in the Broken Head Nature Reserve. I took a trip here one day with Tara and Matt.
This is Lennox Head. Epic Surf spot
Broken Head Beach, once called "magic carpet rides"
After two amazing months in Byron, I felt it was time to move on. After learning about Vipassana (silent) Meditation, and then hearing about a Vipassana retreat from a fellow traveler staying at the yoga studio, I decided that this was just what I have been looking for and I gave it a try. At the retreat, I met many amazing and beautiful people and for three days we sat in silent meditation together. It was a very rewarding experience and at the end of the retreat, they invited me to come and stay with them at the Ashram, to live, work, and practice all forms of mediation. Of course I said yes, and after another amazing week living it up and surfing it up in Byron and at Belongil I went to live at Samaya Ashram in the bush. It is an incredibly beautiful place where simple living is key and I am surrounded by other people who are focused on meditation and finding themselves as well. I have only been here a few days now, but I am so glad that this is where I am, I am feeling such a deep happiness everyday from just Being, and I know that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing right now.
So to all my Friends and Family: Thank you for being there for me, I send you infinite Love and Gratitude and know that our paths will cross again when the time is right. PEACE!!!