With just one day left to spend in Sydney, we headed over to Manly, home of the Four Pine Brewery and a beach bum paradise complete with surfing, snorkeling and pristine white beaches. It quickly became my favorite neighborhood to sink my toes into the sand in this sprawling metropolis. It was the perfect place to kick back and relax before Eldar headed back to reality and I continued living the dream, now pushing over 6 months of traveling.
A happy man with his burger and beer at Four Pines.
However, with Elder leaving, I had to figure out what’s next. The only problem is I couldn’t be bothered to pack up my stuff and move, but I also knew it I didn’t want to stay in Sydney. Luckily, my friend Chris, who I had met previously in Thailand, was calling Sydney home for the month, so he would be my partner in crime for these few days, while I sorted my life out.
One of my favorite parts of traveling, is getting the opportunity to reunite with friends that you have met previously while traveling. Despite the fact you may only know them for a few days or hours even, the sight of seeing a familiar face in a new place is like coming back to old friends; it can be one of the most welcoming sights.
We walked more miles in this city than I can count, discovering what made each neighborhood distinct, while savoring more 30 cent McDonalds ice cream cones than should be allowed. Being back on the backpacker budget was a bit of a reality check, but nevertheless, necessary with the plan to keep traveling for another 6 months, let alone continue traveling Australia.
After a few more days of meandering the city, I decided my next stop would be Byron Bay, roughly 800 kilometers north of Sydney. However, I would need to figure out how to get there. There was always the trustworthy Greyhound, but at nearly $100, it wasn’t exactly budget or adventure friendly, so my next options were rideshares or hitchhiking. I decided I would try my luck at rideshares, as I knew that would please my parents a bit more than hearing their daughter was off waiting on the side of the road somewhere hoping for a ride north.
As luck would have it, I was able to find a rideshare almost immediately. Chris made sure to point out to the creepiest people on the streets to remind me that they could be my potential driver. Thankfully, when Jason picked me up my faith in humanity was restored and I made it to Byron unscathed and ready to start my solo journey in Australia.