There appears to be nothing special about Airlie Beach, that little town at Australia’s East Coast usually referred to as the gateway to the famous and beautiful Whitsunday Islands. It mainly consists of Shute Harbour Road where all the hostels, bars and shops are, and the marina from where several boats leave for a typical Whitsundays adventure every day. But to me Airlie Beach was a special place, the place where I learned to relax and not to worry about money, the future or home.

I had been travelling through Australia for 3 months, working my way up the East Coast, spending about 10 weeks in Brisbane to earn some money. Airlie Beach was the second stop on our way from Brisbane to Cairns. My new friend Julie and I were constantly worrying about everything. Where should we go next? Which hostel should we choose (I mean, you can’t arrive in a new city without having a room, right?)? Would our money suffice or did we need to get another job? Each trip had to be planned, each day had to be packed with adventures or else it was valuable travel time lost.

Upon our arrivcal in Airlie Beach we wasted no time to visit the amazing Whitsunday Islands. Three days of snorkeling, diving and fun at the beach were awesome but when we got back exhaustion hit us right away. We decided not to leave our cozy little “Backpackers by the bay” hostel right away but to stay one more night. I am not sure how that night suddenly turned into a whole week.

I don’t know what it was about that place, but it seemed to give us some peace of mind. Juliane and I spent our days hanging out here, preferably in the backyard by the pool. It was a little far off the main stretch but we didn’t mind. We didn’t feel the need to shop, party or got to a bar. All we wanted was to do was to lie in those amazingly comfortable hammocks reading or dozing off. For once we did not worry about our next adventure, or about how much money we had left. We were content with our only activities being sleeping, eating, floating in that little blue pool and participating in the occasional Backpackers’ quiz night.

And finally, after those few days of laziness and relaxation it hit me: we had managed to achieve what we had been looking for all along, we had finally been able to embrace the absolute Aussie motto: No worries, mate!

*guest post written by Felicia Thomas

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