Confession time: I’m not a beach person. I burn easily, so it’s usually more hassle than relaxation for me. But my 18 hours on the Gold Coast in Australia may have changed my mind.
Technically, this was a “forced overnight:” a long layover that made my ticket to Thailand from New Zealand a ton cheaper. But I ended up using some hotel points I had stashed to stay at the Marriott resort in Surfers’ Paradise and made a little retreat of the deal. I arrived in Australia’s Coolangatta airport after a 3-hour flight from Queenstown and took a shared shuttle out to Surfers’ Paradise. After checking into the hotel, I took a long walk on the beach. It’s easy to see why this area is called the Gold Coast – the beaches are golden and inviting. I imagine on a prettier day it’s swamped with people.
It was a little overcast, but I rather liked the moody skies over the water. Tides fascinate me. It’s a never-ending cycle of change that takes everything out and brings back what is meant to stay. If only we could be so systematic about the changes in our own lives: just accepting that change is our reality.
As I turned around to go back to the hotel, the sun made its appearance, and what a change it made. The waters and sand came alive with little crystals of light. I watched some seagulls wander in and out of the surf for an embarrassingly long time.
After a short night, I took a taxi to the airport and hopped a plane back to Singapore and then on to Bangkok. And so began the third term of this journey.
Title quote: Joseph Conrad