Not to be confused with the precious stone,
this thought is about the beauty of Location No 8:
Emerald Beach, Mid North Coast, New South Wales
In 2011, Dean and I were discussing taking another holiday to New Zealand.
We’d been in 2005 and, at the time, we hired a car and simply drove around for five days. We had no plan, no idea what we were doing or where we were going, but at least I had a spare scarf* just in case I needed one.
Those five days were amazing and the highlight of our 10 day trip.
If we were to return for another holiday though, we wanted to hire a motorhome and drive around in that. Given that in our opinion, based upon what we’d seen, New Zealand was well suited to this type of driving holiday.
However … Here is where fate intervened and set us on the road to where we are right now.
Back in 2011, we thought it would be best to ‘try before we buy’ and have a driving holiday on home soil first. After all, we didn’t know how to plan for this type of holiday, we had no idea what to do or where to go and, heaven forbid, I didn’t want to find myself without a spare scarf should I need one.
We decided to throw caution to the wind, there are some things that you can over think, and in November 2011 we hired a motorhome, pointed the nose south and proceeded to drive adjacent to the sunset for 12 days and nights and, at some stage, found ourselves at Emerald Beach.
It’s not a thriving metropolis, it doesn’t have a local hotel for a cold drink on a hot day and, last time we were here, the local store that doubled as a fish and chips shop closed at 5:00 pm. A devastating reality for the tourist wanting nothing more than to enjoy a traditional English meal on the beach with the added bonus of tormenting seagulls with left over chips.
What Dean found at Emerald Beach was a wave just waiting for him to conquer – a perfect little left-hand break on the south side of the Look at Me Now headland. The ideal wave for a goofy footed surfer like my husband and the best waves Dean surfed during those 12 days we were ‘on the road’.
It was a sad day when we drove back into Brisbane. It was a sad day when we returned the motorhome to the hire company and it was more than sad when we returned to work, because like the greater population, we too have to work for a living to pay our way in this world.
With heavy hearts we trudged along, one foot in front of the other, one day after the next, and all the while Dean dreamed of returning to Emerald Beach and another holiday, he dreamed of that little left hand break.
He dreamed of calling this slice of paradise home and even started looking for a house that we could buy. For more than two years, Dean kept saying we should just do it, sell up and go, or “What about going on a trip around Australia, let’s buy a van and just go!”
But I kept saying, we can’t. We can’t leave our girls. We can’t leave our home. We can’t! We can’t! We can’t!
But our girls are adults with their own lives and our home is only bricks and mortar and it wasn’t “We can’t”, it was “I can’t!” – “I can’t leave my job!!”
The only thing that no longer keeps us firmly entrenched in the life we had.
It is incredibly sad we didn’t get an opportunity to return to Emerald Beach until now, but as John Lennon once said:
“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”
The township hasn’t changed all that much in three years, the beach looks exactly the same to me, and the kangaroos are still the keepers of the headland. That little left hand break is still working and Dean has just arrived back from a morning surf and said: “What a ride!”
We never got around to having that second holiday to New Zealand, we haven’t taken a holiday since 2011, but life is good and everything happens for a reason.
Here we are travelling around Australia, loving living and laughing all the way with no plan and no idea where we are going or what we are doing.
BUT … At least I have a spare scarf packed – just in case I need one.
* “The Warmest Thing” is a speech I wrote for Toastmasters and tells the story of the day in New Zealand when I really appreciated having a spare scarf.
If you would like me to start posting the scripts of my speeches, leave me a comment and let me know. I’m sure I can work something out.