Yes, my departure from Sanctuary Retreat deserves a dramatic opera song soundtrack.
When I first started planning my year in Australia… well, scratch that, I actually didn’t get past planning my first few nights to be honest – beyond that, I just assumed things would work out. I did know that I wanted to see the East Coast and stop off in small towns, WWOOFing along the way, both as a means of travelling frugally and to meet interesting locals and like-minded travellers.
After my goodbyes to my friends and family in Canada…
…I called up a WWOOFing host I had had in mind, and, quite perfectly, they had a space for me. My destination was Mission Beach to Sanctuary Retreat where Paul Verity and Hazel Piedot would be my hosts.
I had originally planned on staying for the 2-week minimum requested, and I ended up staying for 6 weeks instead. What can I say? I didn’t want to leave this paradise or say goodbye to these amazing people!
In addition to all of the cassowary run-ins (literally, I almost bumped into a few of these huge birds), giant spider freak-outs, and beautiful views on the beach, I will mostly miss the good conversations, good food, and positive people here at Sanctuary. So as I leave, let me begin to introduce you….
I’ll start my introductions with my hosts at Sanctuary. In a previous post I wrote about when Paul came to Jackaroo Hostel to pick me up. Barefoot. On gravel. Though it seemed odd at the time, combined with his very subtle sense of humour and unique monotone, he turned out to be the most welcoming and hilarious host.
Hazel, who started out as a WWOOFer here some years back and just never left (obvi because it’s so beautiful here), trained to become Sanctuary’s head chef. And to the benefit of all future WWOOFers. Her food is amazing. Even when you have a gluten allergy. Or any allergy for that matter. Besides her food, I don’t think I have ever met such a positive, happy person, who exudes her happiness onto others. Her “could youuuu….” request, could never be accepted without a smile, purely because of her genuine gratitude in any help offered.
All in all, my time at Sanctuary was fun (because of the people), peaceful (it was obvi a yoga retreat), positive (Paul and Hazel always asked with a genuine interest how my day was going), scary at times (RE: giant spiders and ancient birds), and the most perfect place to spend the first 6 weeks of your first WWOOFing experience.
So, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to everyone I’ve met at Sanctuary.
But don’t despair. I’ll be posting some more stories soon while I’m just down the road with Teresa and Pete for a few more days!!
So it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to everyone I’ve met at Sanctuary.
But don’t despair. I’ll