‘Escape the fake’ was the bold headline that greeted me as I boarded the ferry on a gloomy, overcast midweek morning. I had departed my home in Coolangatta well before any light had made the false promise of a beautiful Gold Coast morning, with the hopes of finding my own paradise on the ‘least tourist friendly’ island in Queensland, Moreton Island. Having just spent the previous weekend partying until the sun rose, I knew I needed something, even though I wasn’t sure what.
I had received a call the day before from Ivy (Thomas), as she was already on the island. Her eager voice was barely tempered by the fact that she had to 4x4 to one spot on the island to even make any phone contact. “It’s perfect, it’s perfect” she exulted. That was enough for me. I passed out across five seats on the ferry, and woke to a loudspeaker announcement that we had in fact, arrived in paradise.
Moreton Island is not your typical tourist destination. For starters, there are no fully defined roads, and all access across the island is either by foot or four wheeler. Having spent a good month last year driving off road across Mexico, the excitement of paving our own trail wherever the tide would allow was clearly on my mind. As we made our way towards our beach house at Bulwer, the first reality check hit when the car in front of ours became bogged and was unable to proceed. A shovel and tow later, Barbara the Toyota Landcruiser had saved our poor acquaintance. We proceeded to Bulwer, off loaded some gear, and then packed our boards in search of perfection.
The island is the perfect place to let your mind wander. As you drive past mountainous sand dunes that resemble the Sahara, and fly across vast sand plains with millions of crabs soldiering in unison, it is impossible not to reflect on life. Where I’ve been. Where I’m at. Where I’m going. I can not help but wonder how I came to live this life, so abundant from the natural world around me, but connected to the society of which I am an active member. I am a questioning type of human. I always think and ask how and why. I strongly suspect that being aware of why we do what we do, it is more feasible to live a happy life as we take control over our being and to be conscientious in our process and that of others. As we trekked across another unmarked trail into a small protected cove that revealed a beautiful peeling wave in turquoise water, I couldn’t help but think, no one really deserves anything, both good and bad. Life just is, and you either embrace it, appreciate it, accept it, or you don’t.
Nobody else surfed in the cove that day except for a pod of dolphins and two small sharks. What lead us to this place in time? Each choice you make leads you to the place you are at. You are not a tree, you are free to move, free to choose. I contribute to society, but will not be defined or ordered by its expectations. I am a content human, and I still wonder how I got here. But I am certainly appreciative that for a period in time this week, I passed my days in a place that encouraged me to think and explore my own mind, whilst revelling in the wildness of nature.