Byron Bay, Sydney, turning 50, ageing

#Blessed In Byron Bay

Jealousy is a very ugly trait, but I think it can be excused under certain circumstances … like during the last school hols … as I froze my ass off while every other living creature seemed to be sunning themselves in Capri and Croatia. Seriously, if I had seen one more instagram post of the sun setting over the Adriatic I think I may have “hashtag puked.” Not to be outdone, I decided to take a mini break in Byron. (I know what you’re thinking Byron Bay … Capri … same same) A chance to hashtag defrost, hang out with my eldest womb raider (who is flying the coop for college in the US) and also an opportunity to suss out Byron as a potential spot to create a new ‘post kids’ nest.

I’ve always loved the idea of Byron (a bit like how I love the idea of a jumpsuit until I realise how impractical it is when you need to urgently pee.) Byron is like the small town equivalent of that super chic “it” girl who can morph from boho babe to goddess glam with an effortless shake of her balayaged tresses. This place has been ‘hashtag blessed’ with undeniable good looks and a devil-may care attitude where anything goes from weed smoking hippies to backpackers, surfies, Hollywood A-listers, wealthy holiday makers and a myriad of creative types who all seem to happily co-exist in vegan harmony. But don’t be fooled by its mung bean magnetism. Prices are far from ‘hippy chic.’ There’s as many high end boutiques as there are market bazars selling crystal wind chimes and dream catchers. Café menu’s are a food bloggers dream … a rainbow of raw deliciousness, edible flowers, deconstructed sandwiches and turmeric and beetroot lattes. I made the rookie error of ordering a skim cappuccino. The waitress looked at me as though I’d asked for a dash of arsenic. “We only do full cream milk here I’m sorry” …. I suspect the cow was tied up out the back, listening to Enya while being hand fed organic bean sprouts.

While in Byron, the lighthouse walk is a no brainer. Once would normally be enough, unless of course you feel the need to go at #sunrise and #sunset (like us) to be certain to capture the most insta worthy pic at the eastern most point of Oz. Another tip is to pack appropriately. No one wears heels in Byron  (in fact shoes seem entirely optional) and the vibe is more vintage grunge meets haute-boho than after five glam.

So, in spite of the laid back vibe, there seems to be a lengthy list of unwritten rules when it comes to Byron …. and to be honest as much as I like to holiday there, I’m not sure I totally fit the mould. Effortless chic is sadly not my strong suit. It takes me a good half hour to switch from effortless shit to chic. Having said that, it’s the hinterland behind Byron where I think the real magic happens. Ten kilometres up the hill and you find yourself in another world …. Rolling green hills with views back over the ocean but only a 10 minute drive to a good coffee or cool café. I can totally picture myself up there with my dogs and chickens. Goodness knows what I’d do all day … but one things for sure. I’d be totally “hashtag blessed.”

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