Upcoming writing assignments for Nicole Fox Noble:
Slow Travel Magazine @slowtravelmagazine coming soon…
Northern Rivers Wanderer is where Nicole shares her experiences from around Byron Bay, Ballina, Mullumbimby, Lismore, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Lennox Head and beyond on the far north coast of NSW Australia. It is a microblog of sorts containing short pieces on the people, places, produce and pastimes of the area.
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When I was a kid, family holidays were all about finding paradise. That seemed the one criteria for my parents when selecting holiday destinations; there had to be sun, heat, beaches, ocean and palm trees!
One of my favourite places to travel to with my parents was Hawaii. One of my favourite things to do became surfing. While it may seem strange not to learn to surf at home in Australia – learning to surf on Waikiki Beach on Oahu was definitely an unforgettable experience!
My instructor’s name was Aki. A thickset Hawaiian with a family of his own, he taught surfing for a living. We caught up with Aki in later return visits to Hawaii, and he eventually got me off the long board and onto a little red thruster. He nicknamed me ‘Termite’. This was because when I wasn’t having lessons, I would surf out next to the guys giving lessons to groups of tourists. When the surf got crowded they would call at me if a wayward learner was headed my direction. I was always quick to get out of the way – like a termite, so they thought.
Learning to surf is hard when you’re trying to stay on the wave long enough for a photo!
Tandem surfing with my instructor Aki – just like Gidget!
Bali is such a small island with a lot going on. In 3 visits I still haven’t spent enough time in enough places.
A place I always seem to be drawn to is Uluwatu. The big attraction to it is of course the surf break. It is such a unique place to be able to jump into the ocean off the edge of a reef and only metres away have perfect little barrels rolling endlessly down the coastline.
My expression below sums up how I felt about not being able to surf there that day – check out the surf in the background! No swimmers, no wettie, no board, no chance! In three visits I’ve never made it out. One day I will…
Below is Pura Luhur Uluwatu : a Balinese sea temple built to protect Bali and ward off evil spirits. It’s situated on the coastal cliffs off Uluwatu. I always marvel at how it was constructed, perched so precariously in parts, practically hanging off the cliff. Pro-tip: watch out for the hat stealing monkeys!
The yellow scarf around my waist is worn as a mark of respect to the sanctity of the sacred temple and grounds, along with modest clothing (below the knee).
What is it about temples and churches around the world? I am an atheist and yet I’m always drawn by the architecture, then fall in love with the peacefulness inside.