I call this post “how to travel like a hippie”, inspired by Urbe Secades Gonzalez.
I’d been bugging my uni friend Urbe, about doing a weekend trip, according to her hippie rules, for a few weeks now and last week we finally set out on this adventure. The following is our adventure according to the hippie rules:
Rule #1 – Choose your destination, but don’t plan any itinerary, make it up as you go along.
We decided to travel about 2 hours north to the Sunshine Coast, in particular to Noosa. It’s a small beach town with a very friendly atmosphere. Once we decided where we were going we could ask around about places to stay and things to do, but we weren’t permitted to look at any pictures. That would have spoiled the discovery of our new surroundings!
Rule #2 – Travel with a random group of friends from various backgrounds.
Four of us decided to make the trip to Noosa last weekend: an Englishman, a Scottish Lad, the Crazy Spaniard and one Canuck. It ended up being pretty interesting learning about everyone’s backgrounds, which gave us lots to talk about on our extremely long journey to and from Noosa.
Rule #3 – Take the cheapest transportation possible.
We traveled to Noosa by way of public transit, which meant that the normal 2 hour drive to Noosa was closer to 4 hours with all of the buses, trains and then more buses that we had to take. However, it was very affordable at about $7 each way. Plus you meet all kinds of interesting people on the local buses and trains.
Rule #4 – Purchase your meals at the grocery store, then picnic on the beach.
For about $8 we were able to cover our costs for breakfast and lunch. On our first morning, we decided to eat our breakfast on the beach. We didn’t intend to spend too much time on the Noosa Head’s Beach, but it was so beautiful that we all laid around for several hours simply soaking in the beautiful scenery and warm spring day. In the afternoon, we finally said goodbye to the Noosa Head’s Beach and hiked through a state park, to a nearly private beach in the middle of the state park (Alexandra Beach). Here we stopped for lunch and little more lounging
Rule #5 – Keep your entertainment cheap and easy.
Throughout the weekend we spent most of our time lounging around and swimming at the beaches. They were incredibly beautiful. And, despite what the locals say, the water really wasn’t that cold. I also loved the hike we did along the Pacific Ocean from Noosa Head’s Beach through to Alexandra Beach. It was incredible to scale the beautiful hillside along the ocean. Hiking along the ocean is something I can’t do back home; so it was a really sweet opportunity to experience such views.
Rule #6 – Find the cheapest accommodations possible.
On our final night we decided it was “warm” enough to sleep on the beach. I was a little skeptical because I wasn’t sure if we were even allowed to sleep on the beach, and it still gets relatively cold at night. Despite these apprehensions, we all still really wanted to spend the night under the stars, so we made it happen.
We found a few small sand dunes along the Sunshine Beach and set up camp in between them for the night. It turns out that 4 layers of clothing and a sleeping bag good to about 5 degrees was ALMOST warm enough for the camp out! All in all, it was an incredible experience. We all woke up at 5 am and watched the sunrise, and then slept in until about 8am when it was warm enough to crawl out of the sleeping bags.
Rule #7 – Get to know the locals.
One thing that really stuck out about the Sunshine Coast, and Noosa area in particular, was how friendly the locals were. Everyone was more than happy to help the four of us navigate our way around. Whether it be offering us a ride to the bus stop or looking after our backpacks in the local surf club, as we watched a World Rugby Game, the people were super easy-going and accommodating.
On the morning that we woke up on the beach, a man came over and started chating with us. I was a little nervous that he was going to give us trouble for sleeping on the beach, but instead, he simply encouraged our travels, wished us well and told us to keep “living the dream.”
My weekend with Urbe was definitely my best weekend in Oz to date. I highly recommend travelling according to Urbe’s hippie standards!
As a final, and unrelated note, I thought I’d quickly mention my new job. Unfortunately, cheap hippie trips do still cost money, so I decided I’d get a job to help out with my bills for a little while. As part of my visa requirements I’m allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, which is more than enough when you’re trying to travel and keep up with school!
Over the last two weeks, the Uni has been holding their student elections and I’ve gotten a job as a polling station clerk, as well as an official counter of these votes. I’m not gonna lie, it hasn’t been the most interesting job, but like most jobs in Australia, it pays pretty well. The minimum wage for this position was is just over $20 an hour. Needless to say throughout my last two weeks of working for the school elections, I’ve made enough to cover 4 more hippie adventures!
Next stop: Sydney, Australia!