Today I drove 2 hours inland from Coffs Harbour. Along meandering roads through mountain side rainforests with trees so ancient they were alive long before our grandparents, through scrubby farmland which was spotted with black and cream cows. Until I reach deciduous forest. I arrived at my first look out point. Ebor falls.
The drive was worth it. The falls are spectacular. As the water drops it creates a mist you can see from 500 m away. And that’s with one days rain. I can only dream what they would look like after heavy rainfall.
I continued on my journey until Susie, my GPS, told me to turn off onto a gravel road – for 10 kilometres. I questioned her but as she is a computer she wasn’t the best conversationalist I’ve ever met. But she was right, we reached my chosen campsite in the New England National Park. It beautiful and deserted. Which I guess is a blessing and curse. A blessing because I have the entire place to myself but a curse simply because there’s no one to chat to. Which currently is not a problem. But later on there’s a high possibility I will get bored.
I thought that having no phone signal would bother me hugely, but it really doesn’t. I think in our world of constant communication, having signal and no response is more anxiety causing than having no signal. If anything it’s allowed me to chill and concentrate on the present moment. To really taste my food, tonight is gourmet meal of sweet potato chips and baby broccoli with pasta. Who said camp food had to be unhealthy?! To actually concentrate on the task as hand, today this was creating a fire with damp wood and no fire starters. To become absorbed in my book and not constantly check my phone for the next message. I am obsessed with my phone and it’s not healthy. I’m trying to work on using it less and being more in the present moment and I think this experience will help me a lot.
Learning to be on your own is hard. And a year ago I was freaking out in a very similar situation to this. But this year I’ve grown as a person, I researched more and I’m a lot more prepared with equipment! I’ve grown more comfortable with myself and somehow managed to grow the confidence to do a lot more on my own. No more being scared of going into a pub to watch the game on my own, jumping in the surf solo doesn’t frighten me anymore and sleeping in a tent by myself is no longer the most terrifying night of my life. By no means am I done, I still get very lonely, but I think this is only natural as humans are pack animals. So I’ll take that.