After Skype sessions with my mom and dad and then my sister, I hung out in the kitchen not needing to worry about cleaning anything. After the staff finished their cleaning duties I got one last photo shoot with them in front of the hostel bus. I left the hostel knowing I may never get the chance to see them or Cairns again. Even though you could barely call me a local, it was home to me for the last couple weeks or so, more than could be said for the rest of my travel destinations. In its own way, the city will be missed. I will miss jogging along the Esplanade in the blazing heat shedding more sweat than I knew was possible. I will miss the pure happiness I felt upon jumping into the hostel lagoon after said jogs. I will miss the free bin and all the little treasures it provided me, including the lessons it taught me on how to prepare a meal with little else to work with. I will miss the hostel and the various travelers that passed through it, sharing stories with them throughout the day. Most of all, I will miss the people that I worked with at the hostel. You welcomed me into the Tropic Days family and I will never forget all the awkwardness and laughter that made my time there special, including sweating together during our shifts: One Team One Dream!
I had a bit of Aussie money to burn through before I took off to the airport so I got some raspberry and cherry gelato that my sister could not recommend enough. When I reached into my backpack in search of my water bottle/bag, I realized that I had left it on the hostel bus; I guess I have made a point to leave a little of myself in each country I travel without knowing it. Even after the gelato, I still had a few bucks left over but not quite enough to buy the granola bars I had my eyes on when relaxing in a grocery store’s air con. On my way back to the store I made a point to look on the ground for loose change to make up the difference and within a minute I found what I needed. If all else fails, I may have a successful career as a homeless man. With the departure time approaching, I left Cairns central and the Esplanade to board my flight to Darwin airport, where I would need to stay the night before flying with Malaysia Airlines through Kuala Lumpur all the way to Bangkok. From the sky I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in some time, with molten red rising from the ocean up through the full spectrum of the rainbow all the way to the darkened blue and purple at its climax. I have never slept in an airport before but there is a first time for everything. I’m not sure yet how I will be able to contort my body on either the floor or some unsuspecting chair but I guess I don’t have much of a choice. Wish me the best.