You know how they say you never forget the first person you fall in love with? Well, I never forgot him (I married him) but I’ll also never forget the first place I fell in love with.
Queensland! You know that beautiful place along the coast of Australia where it’s perpetually sunny and people just seem happier? Yep, that’s the one. I fricken love it. In fact, I love everything about it. Hell, I’d willingly chill in the street during cyclone season I love it that much.
But seriously, why wouldn’t I? Just look at it!
But, theme parks, beaches and rainforests aside, the real reason I love Queensland as much as I do is because of the memories I’ve made there (not including the two crappy work trips I took last year). Ignoring the aforementioned work trips, I’ve been to Queensland three times. I’ve only ever gone with my then-boyfriend, now husband, and he was the one who introduced me to the concept of ‘real holidays’.
Before I met Mitch my holidays involved, one-dog country towns, cramped caravans and my bickering sisters, plus a lot of trains (my Dad absolutely loves trains!)
Once upon a time, I hated the country, now I love it. So in retrospect, there are parts of my childhood holidays that I don’t totally despise. But, they’ve got nothing on the all-out fun I had with Mitch in Queensland.
We were like 16 or 17 here (I forgot which), and I think we were at Sea World, which was actually a pretty disastrous day because there was a storm coming in and half the rides got shut down – plus everything is super expensive, almost exorbitantly, especially when you’re a poor high school kid working in discount retail.
We had what should have been a pretty shit day, but it wasn’t. We went back to the campsite, got slurpees at 7/11 and went to the beach. Because when you’re in Queensland, there isn’t anything that can’t be fixed by a trip to the beach.
We went back the year after this photo was taken, then, the year after we finished school we went back a third and final time. I do hope to go back again, but for now, my last memory of Queensland is so perfect, I don’t want another trip to tarnish it.
The third time we went to Queensland, Mitch took me on a hike up a mountain and he proposed. He waited until nobody was around and he did the whole down on one knee thing before whipping out the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen. I was only 18, and he was only 19, but it was perfect. It was hot, we were sweaty, we had sand in all the wrong places, but all of those things are cemented in my mind as part of the happiest day of my life.
I legit sound like a walking cliche, but I don’t even care!
Queensland is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, and yeah, there are parts of it that are overrated, like the coastline in Palm Beach is just as beautiful as Surfers Paradise, but for some reason, everyone flocks to Surfers?
When you stay in a hotel, you also don’t get to experience Queensland at its best. Camping is definitely the way to go, which is a bold statement coming from me because I love a good hotel.
But, at the end of the day, none of the touristy attractions really matter. What matters is who you are when you’re on holiday and who you’re with.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is. You don’t just remember a holiday for the beautiful scenery and great food, the thing you remember most are the memories you make. I’d sleep in a hot sandy tent over a five-star hotel anyday if it meant I could re-live the beauty of the best day of my life.