A Year of Self/World/Life Discovery

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My first metropolitan city in months. A wave of familiarity hit me despite being on the other side of the world. My first thought was San Francisco. From hills of trolley's carrying city dwellers past old Victorian buildings to the endless array of cafe's and shops it truly was reminiscent of my time in the Californian city. I knew within the first 5 minutes that Melbourne was going to be a favorite stop.
 The food is amazing.
 The vintage shops are funky.
The streets have character.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Summer of '69

It was as if the world stood still and real life was absent. I stayed at this old school hippie compound in the forest outside of downtown Byron. The Arts Factory was like summercamp for "adults" though we didn't exhibit much maturity...Visited a town called Nimbin which is notorious for its lax legalities regarding the sale and use of "herbal medicines." Needless to say it was a trip from a trip. Met some cool friends and most of my time consisted of "walk-abouts" a favorite Aussie pastime.

Met some locals and spent an entire day at a locals-only swimming hole lying under a shady tree in the scorching Australian sun. Sometimes the simplicity of soaking up the outdoors is so much more gratifying than the world of commercialization we live in. My escape eventually had to come to a close as I headed south for Melbourne. Nevertheless for that week I was a hippie in the endless Summer of '69.
Pretty much sums up that day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The festivities were over and it was time for me to move down south. I headed to the bohemian Byron Bay for some beach town good times. The locale brings me back to my California roots as I spent most of my time between the beach and daily runs around the beautiful surrounding areas. A functioning lighthouse overlooks the bay and at night it gleams across the horizon and around the town. Comfortable in the chill vibes of Byron I decided to stay put here for the next week where many good times were to be had...check out some posts to come!
The obligatory self-pic.

In Land of Oz

Stepping foot into my first westernized country in months was a sigh of relief and comfort I haven't experienced in a while...that was until I was stopped, yet again, by airport security for an hour. Word to the wise - ALWAYS look presentable when flying as they totally discriminate us bum travelers. Like we'd ever traffic? We've all seen "Locked Up Abroad" way too many times for that.

Back to my home down unda'. I flew into Gold Coast to meet up with my buddy Will I met in Japan to attend Big Day Out music festival. It was nuts and had to say my favorite performance was LCD Soundsystem especially after I heard he's going to quit touring soon?! I stayed in Queensland through Australia Day where I partook in the Aussie tradition of "getting massively pissed with my mates"- it was definitely reminiscent of my usual 4th of July debauchery.

All in all it was a great start to what has been a fantastic time in Straya'...

I was Aboriginal in my past life...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Last Day

After my antisocial bender for a few days I deemed my final day in Thailand dedicated to the exploring a new beach. I soon found out it was going to be one of the most memorable...After a short water taxi ride I arrived in yet another beautiful beach village. I did my usual storming of the street (yes, there was just one) and I liked it all the better. No crowds of tourists to be bothered with nor belligerent young backpackers - I was off to a good start.
As I made my way through the dirt paths that led into the surrounding forest I stumbled upon a cave. Being the only person inside a huge cave was a moment of Zen I needed. Not a sound besides my own breath could be heard as my eyes traced the every crevasse of the glimmering stone walls. 
Continuing on my journey I wandered along different trails exploring what other adventures lied ahead. A tattered wooden sign indicated a lagoon up ahead and that word sparked some curiosity. Then there was ROPE...Having made friends with some fellow backpackers from Norway we decided to make the trek across this mountainous trail scaling by rope. Let me tell you, an hour later, climbing stone rocks in sandals, with sweat dripping down my face made this lagoon all the less enticing. But we knew we had to get there. Phrase of the day was "Cole, this better be worth it!" from both myself and my frustrated counterparts. 

We finally arrived in total awe. Trust. This majestic spot made "Blue Lagoon" look like a swamp. Pictures couldn't capture this memorable spot. Floating in the turquoise water with a few new friends was another piece of Zen to add to my day. We finally decided it was time to hit Railay Beach so we made the climb back in muddy disarray and laid in the white floury sand for hours...
The sun began its descent into the vast sparkling ocean and it was time for me to say "Sawatdee" to my new companions. Always the part of traveling I despise most. I knew however that along our travels around the world we would pay it forward with new adventures and new friends. The perfect last day in my Thai paradise... 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crabi in Krabi

Coming from my newfound paradise in Phi Phi was hard and thus every place after would be compared to as such. I arrived in Krabi and for the first time in a while was completely alone and didn't know anyone in town...nor did I want to! Haha I was simply in a mellow independent state and wanted to be spend sometime on myself. Having checked into a proper hotel and not spending another night in a crowded hostel was all I needed for some "BNI's" (Big Nights In). I've learned these can be even more gratifying than a BNO. Also got my American fix as I settled into my last Thai destination. Pizza - check. Ice cream - check. Pirated DVD's - check. Big comfy bed - check. A/C was my final ticket to hermitting for a few days!
Nothing like a rooftop pool for some R&R
Had some of Thailand's famous street food that I've lived on for the last month!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just One More Day!

A two night stay on Koh Phi Phi was unfathomable to me - I couldn't possibility leave this island. Time was lost but tranquility found. One night after having a chat with an ex-pat about their constant visa runs (travelers from most countries get a month) I decided to find out what date it was and that is when I realized I was now an illegal alien...

I arrived on a bus from Cambodia into Thailand and after the many dates and journeys I had done in the last 6 months my memory escaped me and I didn't realize the different rules for US citizens traveling overland (no we are NOT the most beloved country in the world) so the rules were different for me...

I was a convict on a 36 hour visa run to Malaysia whereby I was stopped and detained. Fines paid. Paperwork filled out. Thorough warnings verbally and physically ingrained in my passport. I hopped in the back of a pickup truck bound for Malay and as soon as I touched foreign soil found another truck to jump in going back to Thailand hoping to hide from the same immigration officer. Dodgy I know, but all I wanted to do was get back to my island home!

After making friends with ex-pats who lived there and fellow travelers I found myself...10 days later still unable to leave Phi Phi. I finally decided it was time to move on but I will never forget the fun I had and the people I met on that beautiful island. Will be visiting again soon...

I told you it was paradise...