TBL WHITE DAY SEVEN: GOLD COAST TO VALLA BEACH

Here we are, nearing the end of our trip; countless new bonds have been made, unforgettable memories created, a myriad of experiences shared. We’re so close to the end of a journey that has been non-stop, but I guess that deep down, we all know that we’re at the beginning of something so sweet–so we’re okay with it. It’s only upwards from here–we’ve all learnt so much about ourselves, each other, our capabilities and values within the span of one short week.

So apart from the super fun bus shenanigans which I’m unable to recount properly due to my wonderful memory, this blog post begins with the super-chill site that is Byron Bay. It all begins with our plans to have Gazza drive us up to the lighthouse being thrown off (a new fee had been introduced which required extra dollaz, that was off our ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free’ budget), but who needs a tower when we can Romance and Rapunzel on a fine ole beach. Who needs that kind of expensive extravagance when you’ve already got THE most incredible people around you? Money can’t buy love, though some of you may argue, those of you who chose five million over true love several days prior, I’m lookin’ atcha–but then again, to each their own–however I still believe that love conquers all, think about it, just sayin’.

We. Are. Fam-i-ly! I got all my sisters (and brothers) with me!

We. Are. Fam-i-ly! I got all my sisters (and brothers) with me!

And so, once we picked our lazy arses off of our beloved bus seats, and the consequent wooden chairs which welcomed us metres away, we made our way onto one of the most beautiful beaches I’d ever laid my eyes on (I ain’t even kiddin’)—Valla Beach! It proved to be the perfect location for yoga on the sand for Steve and Nell, a place for Bing Lee to get her pigeon legs on, a place for romantic couple shots and individuals to embrace their inner model, a place for synchronised cartwheels, handstands, more games—a place for Alex the Emu to run wild and enjoy the privileges of living a free-range life. I think, especially, in regards to the romantic couple shots, it’s safe to say that a lot of falling in love happened that day. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Because love makes the world go ‘round.

If this synchronisation don’t tickle your fancy, then I don’t know what will!

If this synchronisation don’t tickle your fancy, then I don’t know what will!

On a level of one to cute, I’d like to call CUTE. This photo gives me ultimate feels

On a level of one to cute, I’d like to call CUTE. This photo gives me ultimate feels

Then, when we frolicked off the beach, it was off to fulfil the tradition of fish and chips in Byron Bay, that of which we polished off fine despite initial scares of not finishing (Fun Fact: I can polish off chips anyday, I dig potatoes) and for some others, some damn fine-lookin’ kebabs, and a lovely bunch of coconuts. Also, a special shoutout to the Café Byron dogs, and Pam for letting Steve, Carly and I enjoy the heck outta their company for a good “five minutes”, which in reality went for about double, or triple that—thank you. Once the lining of our intestines and bellies were satisfyingly coated with oil, our engines revved up and the flashmob was released to the public yet again. The Byron people delivered us smiles, recordings, and hearty appreciation. Byron people, you so calm, you so cool, you so collected. We like you. A lot.

THEN, onto more bus ridin’, settling into cabins, sausages for dinner, and nervously and excitedly anticipating the Bus Idol finals which were to take place in the common room. For me, dinnertime involved a mixture of feeds, practice (team #deChoir!), and the teaching of a handful of new recruits who assisted us in our rendition of “Stay With Me” by the legendary Sam Smith. For some reason I was hella nervous (being in the finals was seemingly a very serious matter to me—they say that nerves arise when you care about something), but once I was well into the performance, I had so much fun and just allowed my body to flow with the music even though my very serious face probably told the audience otherwise. A shout out to my girls Nhung, Steph, Binh for being part of team #deChoir with me. Congratulations to the winners of the Bus Idol finals—your performances were all hugely entertaining and your wins well-deserved. And Crew, my goodness, you WORKED that dance floor. Legends.

These guys sure did show us how it’s done!

These guys sure did show us how it’s done!

Oh, you beatboxing kings and queens. Y’all gotta pass your talents onto the #nextgen

Oh, you beatboxing kings and queens. Y’all gotta pass your talents onto the #nextgen

Thanks to the Ops, I also melted from the remix of 22 by T-Swizz, someone who got a load of airtime on the White Bus due to a certain someone, a He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-But-We-All-Know-Anyway.

Furthermore, after all this excitement and craze, to cap off our bittersweet second-last night, the night ended mighty quiet and nice. Before we headed off for some shut-eye (for those who didn’t stay up all night with the reward of a sexy sunrise), the White and Blue buses went off to their separate meeting areas and gathered to provide some Warm and Fuzzies (aka #feels) for one-another. The first activity involved letting the person you admire know that you do, something that I reckon should, but doesn’t happen enough in everyday life, followed by anonymously squeezing the shoulder of the person who you think a positive statement relates to as it is read aloud (a few which stuck with me was that I challenge someone; I’m an all-rounder; a person who someone can trust with a secret—thank you), and finally, scribbling short, but sweet messages on paper to one another. I was filled with so much gratitude that night, so much love—I was given an absolute, full heart.

A select few CROPS, gettin’ cosy, huddlin’ up on a cold Winter’s night, well into the A.M.

A select few CROPS, gettin’ cosy, huddlin’ up on a cold Winter’s night, well into the A.M.

For some, post-Warm-and-Fuzzies meant the beginning of a deliberate sleepless night—more games ensued; there were S’mores by the fire, Pictionary, fearing for Tarzan John as he climbed the wooden planks of the common room, and in my case, sleeping through the sunrise which I was unsuccessful in staying up for. In saying that, the two hours of sleep I managed to gather were fantastic, and I was told when I woke up in the morning that people had tried to wake me up to watch the sunrise. What matters, though, is that everyone who attended the sunrise had loved it, and I’m so glad you did, because even though I didn’t go, I felt like you all brought me along with you, and that I was there, right on the sand, by your side and in your full hearts.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for being there with me throughout this bloody beautiful journey. Here’s to the freakin’ future.

By A Very Spirited Sharon