Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week TWO: Family reunion in Oz! Rottnest Island.

Where do I begin?

We accomplished a lot in week two, but it mostly involved more sunsets, more food, and of course more beer. So to spare you the painfully boring recap, I'll just skip to the good stuff.


I began the week by finally booking my one way ticket to New Zealand for August 3rd!! And while I'm so incredibly excited to begin this new chapter in my life, it also wasn't easy putting an official end date to my time in Perth. But how can I be a true nomad, if I continue to stay in one place? I CAN'T. And so, I will roam. 



And when we headed to Hillary's Boat Harbour a few days later, I found Auckland staring at me in the face. I'll take that as a good sign (hehe) of the things to come. 


We spent an evening at Cottesloe Beach hopping from various pubs and enjoying pints of whatever pale ale they happened to have on tap. Drinking with this view... what could be better?



And of course capped the night off with another one of my favorite things: ocean sunsets

And as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the week, I looked forward to nothing more than our trip to Rottnest Island. It's about 11 miles off the coast of WA, and is a little slice of heaven, in my opinion.  

We arrived by Ferry which took a pretty standard 25 minutes from Fremantle. We arrived, checked in, and then headed off by bike in search of our accommodation for the weekend. Seems easy enough, right? Well it wasn't. In typical Peterson fashion, we got lost a few times, but eventually found our way. An extra work out is never a bad thing though, I guess. 


And when we arrived, I was sure glad we spent the extra money for the ocean view. A beer on the balcony is always a good reward after shamelessly wandering around like a lost puppy all afternoon. I promise I do other cool things besides drink beer and stare at water, by the way. 


The sunset on our way to dinner was a nice little reward, too.



And the next day, like good little tourists, we headed out early so we could see the island in it's entirety. I feel like we stopped every 5 minutes, somewhat due to exhaustion, but mostly due to the scenery. Not a bad capture, for a silly 'ol iphone. 



Anyone else in love with water this beautiful? 


We stopped numerous places to swim and snorkel, which was much needed after half sweating to death in the Australian heat. This was one of my favorite stops. Can you see why?


And while completely exhausted by the end of the day, of course I had to stop and see the lighthouse. At the end of the day, it literally is a house... with a light. And truly, I don't know where this obsession came from, but I kind of dig it. I'm weird and I don't care, ok?


Oh, and for those of you who don't know, Rottnest Island is home of the famous Quokka. It's one of the only places in the world where these cuties are found. During the day, they are somewhat hard to find. But at night, you better bet your ass they'll be scurrying across your feet at dinner time hoping to eat your scraps. It happened to us more than we'd ever like to discuss again. No one else on the entire island seemed to be fazed by the whole charade, but it's not everyday us good 'ol Wisconsin folk have rodents snuggling up to us at the dinner table. I didn't think they were so cute after that... 

And with that, we headed home from Rottnest after some beautiful pale ale pints by the water. (Bet you didn't see that one coming). We spent our last day in the city and having a good ol Aussie BBQ with all of my favorite people in one place. 

And after an amazing two weeks with my family, I said goodbye, and was left with an overwhelming sense of sadness once again. In fact, I had my first ever serious bout of homesickness since I arrived 9 months ago. Not knowing when I'll see them again is a pretty harsh reality, but one of the many sacrifices I've brought upon myself by choosing to be here. 

I spent about 2 days in bed depressed and wondering whether I was really cut out for this. Were these feelings normal? Am I ready to face another year without the people I love the most? I didn't know what or how to feel. I didn't know if I was being brave, realistic, or unbelievably stupid for choosing another year abroad. I didn't know if seeing them after so long made it easier or harder for me to stay. And frankly, I didn't know if I had made the right decision at all in making the choice to move directly to New Zealand. 

Then again, I didn't have much time to think about it. When I finally got my sorry ass out of bed, it was time to get packing. I was headed off on another adventure, and soon my head would be clear again. The holiday brought me so much clarity, and couldn't have come at a better time. Now now, I know what you're thinking, and the answer is yes. I do work. Sometimes. 

Stay tuned for my adventures in Exmouth. The best beaches and snorkeling in WA, I reckon! Oi! Oi! Oi! 

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