Working in hospitality means that the holidays are not your holidays. It gets busy. Very busy. Because everyone else is on holiday.

And after about a month (that felt like 4 months, honestly) of working in the middle of nowhere New South Wales, my boss suggested I go on a little trip and spend the night somewhere to get away before the rush.

I think they sensed my restlessness.

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This is the middle of nowhere, with signs of civilization.

So a school bus then a train then rushing around in the heat trying to find the place the Greyhound bus stops in Taree, then a nice air-conditioned bus to Port Macquarie.

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Waiting for the train. So excited, I got to the station 2 hours early.

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A kookaburra joined me at the train station. A laughing, meat-eating Australian icon.

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And then waiting for the bus.

And then Port Macquarie. Buildings! People! Ice cream parlours! A gallery! Cutest hostel ever! Turns out I like some civilization and meeting people once in a while.

Hostel with a pool and pool table. Yes.

Hostel with a pool and pool table. And people. Yes.

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A walk along the harbour revealed the existence of a $10 sunset cruise into the National Park. Seeing dolphins and birds in a little boat was just what I needed. This is a white-bellied sea eagle, which I thought was pretty cool.

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The sunset in said sunset cruise.

The next day, I explored the various beaches along Port Macquarie’s shoreline.

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Thing with Australian beaches is that there are so many amazing ones that most aren’t that busy.

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My view from the beach. I got freckles!

It was also really nice to make it there (even though the city itself isn’t actually anything special) because I’d seen a flyer for the koala hospital there. At the time, I’d dismissed it as something I wouldn’t see and was sad. But there you go- tell the universe you want to go to the koala hospital and it shall deliver.

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This sign is not just for tourists looking for a photo opp.

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SMALLDSC03386 Koala patient recovering at the hospital. Most koala injuries are caused by cars hitting them.

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On my walk home from the hospital, I ran into Jamie who saved this koala from crossing a very busy street. You aren’t supposed to handle koalas (their claws are insane), but Jamie risked it and saved the day and this koala’s life.

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After seeing so many cute and cuddly koalas with sad stories, I went back to the hostel and ate a kangaroo.

I was a bit afraid that a short break would only tease my travel bug and make is so alert and powerful that it would make another month of staying still and working frankly unbearable. But I think it just gave me some time to breathe and it reminded me that the road will still be there when I’m done and so will the beach.

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