When I was in Australia, I stayed in some really magical places.
I also stayed in some really awful places. I even managed two nights in a hostel, which for someone who used to be scared of traveling at all is a pretty big deal!
One rainy night in Palm Cove, I trundled up a hill in the dark to find my hotel for the night. The reception was closed, and I had to buzz through to the back room. A man came out and handed me a key card, and told me to go down a long dark path to the very end.
I reached a room that was up two flights of stairs with no elevator (“is this real life?” My inner New Yorker asked), lugged my suitcases up (ugh) and entered. I was immediately hit with the smell of stale marijuana and damp. There was also something really iffy energetically that made me frightened, though I didn’t quite know why.
I took a deep breath and decided to go in search of dinner. I was ravenous, plus these things are always easier to handle after a good meal, right? I walked down a dark alley to the promenade and ordered a thai green curry, something that always warms my bones and soul no matter how I’m feeling. Not fully thinking, I ordered it to go. I changed my mind after placing the order and asked if I could stay. The server said it was too late, because the pricing was different, and told me I had to leave.
I found a picnic table on the beach front in the pouring rain, eating this green curry, laughing to myself at the ups and downs of travel and life, and what they were here to teach me (- to be serene and optimistic no matter what!).
When I was done, I attempted to find my way back to this hotel. It was pitch black, the rainstorm was still powering on, and I got completely lost. I was shivering and genuinely scared at this point. I managed to find my way back to the beachfront and ran into the nearest hotel and asked if by chance they had any rooms left.
A warm and vibrant lady asked me what my budget was. I explained I’d already paid for a room for the night elsewhere, but that it was awful, and I really didn’t want to stay there. She had one room left. She asked me what I could afford. I told her. She explained that she too was a traveller, and she felt for me, and the room was mine. She even went so far as to drive me to the grimy hotel in her own car, helping me collect my luggage and returning me safely to my new room in this beautiful beachfront establishment. I was blown away.
When we returned, the rainstorm was still going strong, and I was still wearing flip flops from the sunshine earlier in the day. As I lugged one of my suitcases up the steps into this beautiful little abode, my flip flops fell off my feet through the steps and into the bushes below. Neither of us could stop laughing at the perfect imperfection of this quirky and serendipitous evening – we cried with laughter. We ended up talking for three hours while she manned the front desk, alternating between profound existential musings and pure laughter.
A couple of days later, we went to a yoga class together. On the way back, she told me to jump on her bicycle handlebars so we could go for a ride. I laughed and hesitated for a moment, before deciding that there was something so magical about this girl that she might well be able to suggest I jump off a cliff with her into the ocean and I’d at least consider it.
We rode along the promenade just absolutely loving life, laughing uncontrollably while tourists looked on in amusement. We went on to share a truly epic thai dinner (clearly well earned from yoga and cycling), and a couple of days later she came with me further down the coast for a mini-adventure in Mission Beach as I prepared for my skydive.
A few weeks later, I was ready to return to London. I hadn’t seen my kiwi goddess since our Mission Beach adventure but we were flying in and out of the same airport on the same morning. Actually I was supposed to be gone already, but there’d been a cock up with my flight, so I got held up. As fate would have it, we were at the airport at the same time. We got to share a coffee and a hug and we both had a feeling we’d see each other very soon, though we didn’t know how or where.
We just knew and trusted, just like we trusted in each other’s energy when we first met.
We kept in touch regularly and four months on, this lovely lady just arrived in London and is now my new housemate. We knew back then that we had more adventures coming together, we didn’t know when for a while, we just knew. And now she’s here! We’ve been laughing about our Aussie adventures and are now looking forward to sharing London adventures together.
Do you have a story where you followed your intuition and something magical happened? Or a sticky situation out of which an unexpected friendship blossomed? Do share!!