Ben Hammond and Noosa:
I decided to get off the bus after surf camp. The idea was to relax, not babysit...but my last night with the group i was in Brisbane, at a really awful hostel. It was filthy, and I had to throw the sleep sack my mom made me before I left cause of bugs. I went in the room it was supposed to be 6 girls, but unfortunatley they didnt have that...there was a really big fat guy on a bed when i walked in, I put down my stuff and went to try and shower after surfing all day, that wasn't happening either...even with shower shoes. I stayed up the whole nite staring into the dark as 4 more guys entered the room drunk as all hell at 4am. Back on the bus I told shreck...im out. I want Noosa for 5 days and then i'll go to fraiser island and go camping. This a tricky trip, cause if yuor doing self drive across the island and you get a bad group...it could ruin your trip. Leaving Brisbane entering Noosa was a feeling of refreshment, I quickly surveyed the scene and saw hotels if this new hostel was complete crap. Im a trolly dolly, not a back packer...i want the experience, but im not willing to compromise cleanliness, not gonna happen.
New people had gotten on the bus at brisbane, all of which were headed to rainbow beach, i was the only one stopping in noosa. We parked the bus and started a hike through the national park together, thats when I started talking to Ben. Ben is from Maine, he is the first american i have met since i've been here, and i'd be lieing if i said it was kinda comforting. He is a professional musician, and is currently writing a new album. He came to australia for inspiration, as his last album was from new zealand, so he figured why not give oz a shot. Along the way he sometimes picks up gigs, and makes money that way. After exchanging our traveling resumes...we decided to be roommates for the next 11days. we both took one look at who was getting on the bus to go over to fraiser island...he looked at me and grabbed his bags.
We went to the closest yha hostel, which happens t be right next to the beach and tried to get a room, we ended up getting a twin room, 2 twin beds and anite stand. I figured if he was psycho...i'd for sure know after the firt nite, but nothing could be worse then brisbane and bunking with him saves money, and not sharing with 6 other people.
My initial perception of Ben was spot on. He is fantastic. Our first nite we went to the beach, swam, got dinner and passed out after traveling all day on the bus. Morning we got up, and he joined me for a 7mile run through Noosa's national park, you just can't imagine how beautiful it was, seeing the waves crash against the rocks being on cliffs, we ran through road, dirt and then the beach...when we got to the beach, i had to stop for a second because i was blind from the sweat in my eye...as soon as my vision cleared i saw a penis in the distance and screamed. we were running on a nude beach, Ben was laughing so hard he couldn't even walk. We ended up running faster through the nudy beach section, got really lost on the trails, but had the ultimate work out ending at the grocery store. We bought supplies for the next 5 days to keep in the shared kitchen so we dont have to spend extra money. Ben ets tofu, vegtables, fruit and allbran cereal. He's the perfect roommate!! Its amazing me to me how comfortable you can get with someone after a day of knowing them, but if you are kinda relying on them for half survival you have to be honest and you have to be able to open up, say whats on your mind, and be very strong to make a change if you have to. sometimes you get lucky while traveling, sometimes you meet the right people, and sometimes you dont. Ben is good, and i got lucky for now. The lesson thugh i've learned is...its okay to leave when your not comfortable. there have been a bunch of times i haven't felt comfortable on this trip and i have had to change plans, nothing is ever so set in stone that it cant be fixed or corrected, anywhere that you are. Quitting my comfy job in new york, leaving my free apartment, my dog, my mom, my dad, my friends....it wears on me at times. but then i go for an amzing run on cliffs by the ocean...i was staring off this morning, took a break and at that moment the whole world around me melted away, standing there alone i felt a bit overwhelmed, but i realized at that moment i was more myself than i have ever been before....then we started running again, and i began to run faster, but no longer homewards, no longer to what felt familiar, and no longer looking backwards..
I have no time line, I'm not afraid of what is gonna happen, I cant give people that love me the answers they want to hear, so I try to give them something. the something being that...i'm happy, and life will work out the way i want it to, because i'm taking my steps to do that, but it cant be on anyone elses timeline or what anyone else might think is best for me....i've learned this being away. It can be lonley, but at the end of the day....the only person you really have...is yourself, sure ask advice get opinions from anyone you want...but you have to be strong enough to believe in yourself and what your heart really wants, no matter how much it might feel like its hurting the people you love the most.
I have come to love the ocean, I have more surf lessons lined up, it is an addicting sport! I will take Ben tomorrow for his first lesson, see how we go. I have a friend in Noosa that I met the night of the NYC marathon...
he's a good guy, and I got to get a beer with him at the surf club yesterday after i went swimming. It was nice seeing a somewhat familiar face from my past...after the beer i got to meet his parents for coffee and they are lovely people. his mother is teaching english as a second language and had many good things to say about it...
Ben plays his guitar, listens to music...I go to the beach swim and write, we hang when we want, its a perfect arrangement...