Field of Light

Don’t spend all of your time trying to FIND yourself. Spend your time CREATING yourself into a person that you’ll be proud of.

-Sonya Parker

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Hey fellow readers,  I hope you haven’t forgotten about me!!   Life has been a bit chaotic the past few months, so I took a mandatory break from blogging.

In my last post  WINGS   (back in November?  Wow!)  I mentioned a work trip I took involving a private charter for an American group.  We take them from Melbourne –> Uluru–> Cairns.   I was lucky enough to get this trip AGAIN (third time now) and holy hell was I ready for a little mini “holiday”- even if it was work related.    So far, 2017 has been a whirlwind of a shit year.  Hence my lack of blogging.   Between stressing myself out with my 6 month probation check, (I get very stressed when I’m being “tested”)  still living between two houses and commuting,  ending my 4 year relationship (basically marriage)  with my partner in crime, getting royally fucked over by my housemate in Brisbane which left me homeless for a bit,  finally coming out of the “closet” I’ve been hiding in all these years (I’ll come back to that at a later date),  buying my own car with little to NO credit history in Australia, and being so ridiculously broke from ALL of this….  leaving me in a financial crisis.  But at the end of the day, the worst part was losing my best friend/nomad partner in crime.   I can understand how some couples stay friends after a breakup, but the sad reality was this:   it was just NOT possible for us.  For everyone that has been following our adventures since we moved overseas four years ago, I know this will be very disappointing to read.  Such is life.    Like most breakups,   I truly felt like I hit rock bottom and there was absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel.   It’s sad once you end things with your partner and you quickly realize  that person was your entire world.  I mean lets face it, we were each others rock since leaving America.   Neither one of us had family or close friends in New Zealand or Australia, and the “friends” we did make were OUR friends together.   I came to a sudden realization that I basically had no one to turn to.    I had never felt more alone in my life.   To be honest, I came to a point where I just wanted to throw in the towel and buy a one way ticket back to The States.  At least I would have the love and support from my family and friends.   BUT I told myself that is the EASY way out.  What better way to learn, grow, and properly find yourself then to be “alone” in another country literally starting from scratch.  Call it sadomasochist if you may, but something was pulling me to stay here and stick it out.  What that something was…. I’m not sure, but I haven’t had a “pull” like this in a long time so I figured I should  listen to it.

SO, with that said…. I was SO BLOODY READY FOR A HOLIDAY.   (Vacation)

This is back in February by the way….. I am SO slack!

Views out of Brisbane

We stayed one night in Melbourne, which of course wasn’t long enough.  I took the tram into the city, treated myself to TWO giant Belgian beers at the Belgian Beer Cafe, and a giant meat platter.  After a nice buzz, I walked around the city enjoying the crisp feel of winter slowly approaching.  I ended up by the river taking night photos of the city lights.  There’s something about cities that just fascinate and inspire me- particularly at night time.    I didn’t pack a very good coat, so I didn’t stay as long as I would have liked.  After hopping on the wrong tram, ending up in the middle of nowhere, and then catching an uber back to the hotel- it was time for sleep!

Melbourne street art
Gotta love Audrey!
beautiful city lights!
Belgian Beer… you had me at hello!
Platters are my weakness
old little wharf

Early rise for our flight to Uluru!   After wining and dining the guests on the plane, we arrived to our hotel in the middle of the desert.  I persuaded the crew to go out and do some exploring, but in order to do that, we needed a car!   We lucked out and got a last minute rental for about $90 for the day.   Ayers Rock (Uluru) is such a desolate and spread out area.  You really can’t see or do much of anything unless you have a car.  Some people are happy with lazing by the pool, but I’m not one of them.   The Griswolds are ready for a desert adventure!   First stop:  Kata Tjuta, Pitjantjatjara, also known as The Olgas.    Basically large dome rock formations with a beautiful orange/pink hue to them.   We went for a wonderful hike through the gorge.  It literally looked and felt like we were hiking on another planet.  It was absolutely incredible!

The Olga’s from the first lookout

So many snakes lurking within….. yuck!
Scenic drive

Walking on the moon

So pretty!

  Our next stop: The actual Ayers Rock!

I do understand climbing Uluru is frowned upon and probably offends quite a few people.  So for this, I do apologize.   It was a rare experience that I couldn’t pass up.  

Last time I was here,  we drove out to the rock with the group of Americans for sunset, but we didn’t get very close to the rock itself.  This time, we drove right up to it.  Ayers Rock  is a very sacred place for the indigenous Australians.  For this reason, they ask you not to climb it out of respect.   But in saying that, there’s a very famous hike that takes you to the very top of the “95 story” rock.  This hike is so steep and strenuous that there are literally chains to hold onto for the first little bit.  Many people have died having a heart attack on the way up.   The hike has been closed for quite some time due to locals cutting down some of the chains.  Some say it was the Aboriginals who cut the chains so people couldn’t climb it anymore, but who really knows.   It had been closed for so long that people were starting to assume that it would never be open to the public again.   Well, count our lucky stars.   When we arrived, the trail was OPEN.   What were the odds of that?     Our captain simply said “Hey, lets at least climb to the top of the chain part?”  Of course I was keen!   Of course I wasn’t expecting to climb a level 5 hike, or really go hiking in general.  So naturally I was wearing sandals.  Let me just say, trying to climb a straight incline in sandals was virtually impossible.  My feet were sliding all over the place and it was a straight drop right behind me.  I ended up taking my shoes off for natural grip.  Yes, we were in the middle of the desert on a giant red rock…. so it WAS hot, but what can you do? I sucked it up.  30 minutes of chain grasping for dear life, and we made it to the top of the chain area!  Since we still had day light and we seemed to all be on a natural high from this adventure, we decided to continue to the top.  I can’t tell you how magical and beautiful this track was.  THIS felt like we were walking on the moon…..  a moon with hot lava rocks below me.   Because we didn’t really plan this sporadic escapade, none of us brought water.  So stupid right??   Me and one of the other guys were both getting a head cold, so our throats felt like we swallowed razor blades.  How lovely!    Besides my feet bubbling up with giant blisters, my throat on absolute fire, I also started my wonderful time of the month with ferocious cramps crashing like waves.   I was in a very bad psychical condition, but somehow I was higher on life and happier than I have been in a very long time.

 I literally just climbed Uluru BAREFOOT on International Women’s Day!   Talk about a hell of a way to grasp 2017 by the balls.

Doesn’t look that steep…

Until you’re holding onto these chains for dear life

Once you get to the top, you will find this little red “seat” that looks like a rubbish bin. I was kind of expecting a badass sign, but this will do 😉

I love this picture because I was so damn happy…. You would never guess I was in such a poor physical and mental state. 🙂
I still can’t believe I hiked this barefoot.    My feet look pretty good considering…

We ended the day at the sunset lookout.  I didn’t take any photos (shocking, right?) because I literally could not move.   I didn’t even get out of the car to properly watch the sunset because I just couldn’t move.  By this point my body was done for the day.

For the following morning I booked a sunrise Field of Light Tour– which I was SOOOOO excited about.  I have seen so many photos of this spectacular place, and now I finally get to see it for myself!    So, what exactly are The Field of Light? “More than 50,000 slender stems crowned with frosted-glass spheres bloom as darkness falls over Australia’s spiritual heartland” – Brought to you by an internationally acclaimed artist:  Bruce Munro.    Basically it’s a giant field in the middle of the desert that looks like a magical jelly fish paradise.  (in my opinion).   Most of the tour groups experience this at night time, so it’s very busy in the evenings!     Only one tour group comes to the sunrise viewing.   I woke up at 4 a.m. to embark on this tour. I was sicker than ever and in very, very bad shape, but that was not about to stop me.   The tour bus picked me up at the hotel and dropped the group in the desert.  From here they gave us little torches to guide ourselves to the magical field.   Once inside the field, you are not allowed to use tripods because apparently it’s a safety hazard.  (Someone can trip over it)  I thought that was absolutely ridiculous.  I paid $70 for this tour…. I was going to use my tripod even if I had to be a sneaky ninja about it.     I stayed on the outskirts of the field for awhile so I could use my tripod and not get yelled at.  Eventually my group quickly disappeared amongst the lights and I sneakily made my way in.  I made sure to duck down low with my tripod, snapping as many photos as I could.   I don’t even know how to properly describe this experience.  I felt like I was in a dream and I did NOT want to wake up.  Even given the fact I was so sick and had minimal sleep, I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face.  I was in pure and utter bliss.   As the sun slowly made her appearance in the sky, I felt overwhelmed with so many feelings and emotions.   There was a certain emotion that was boiling in my heart and pumping through my veins like fire….  “You are meant to be here”.   The past few months have been filled with so many tears and sadness.  I was convinced that my tears had dried up by this point, but suddenly I was crying tears of happiness.   This sounds so incredibly lame and cheesy (I know) but from that moment on, I knew things were going to be ok.   Not just ok, but fucking incredible.   If I had met you 5 years ago and you told me  “In 5 years time not only are you going to be living in Australia, but you will also be working as a flight attendant and experience some amazing things from that.  You will be single and you will feel like you have hit rock bottom because of that.  You’re going to feel more alone than you ever have in your life,  but guess what?  You’re going to find yourself in the middle of a desert, sitting amongst The Field of Light as the sun is rising over the desolate land, and you’re going to have a giant epiphany about your life.  From then on, things are going to be so different for you.  Life is going to smile back at you…… just wait.”

Yes……. Yes it is… and yes it certainly has.

The entire experience went by so ridiculously fast.  I feel l blinked and the sun was already rising.   This was one of those moments where I truly wish I could have stopped time all together.

From the lookout it looks like a bunch of christmas lights.
And then you approach this magical field

And here comes the sun

The famous Ayers Rock. Always changing colours
“In this moment, you are happy.”
Here comes the sun..
The beautiful Olga’s in the distance
I just can’t get sick of this view!

They say that Uluru is the most spiritual place in all of Australia.   I’m not a spiritual person by any means, but sitting in the middle of that desert- by myself- I suddenly felt a spirituality that I have never experienced in my life.

We spent less than 24 hours in Uluru.  Can you believe that?  In that very short time frame it has left a beautiful imprint on my heart that I will carry forever.

At the end of the day, starting this job has properly opened my eyes for the first time in a very long time.   Because of this, I started to clearly see so many aspects in my life that were toxic and unhealthy for me.  Not only is it assisting me on the right path, but it’s also enhancing my life with these random and sporadic experiences that I probably would have never experienced otherwise.   It’s also helping me see parts of Australia that I probably would have never see on my own.  For that, I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be here.   THIS is why I’m here and I am so excited to see where it takes me.

My new journey:  The solo blissful nomad.  Here I come 🙂

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