It’s really up and coming.

by Annie on June 10, 2014

There were always things that Tassie meant to me. But it wasn’t like when I got back, I instantly knew the stories I wanted to tell. In fact, it’s taken me over a month to scribble a smattering of words that someone may be interested in reading. Because the thing about Tassie is, it needs to be seen. Words will never cease to fall short of what defines this island.

It’s about the journey, not the destination; that’s what they say. And it was. It’s about long highway drives, where you are so engrossed in silence that your mind can get away from you. I built a whole new history in my head as we passed through the Bay of Fires with the setting sun. I looked out on the black glass of the ocean, and I was reminded of an intensely lonely walk across the Seacliff Bridge, when I most certainly discovered the vast salty thickness of being lost at sea. I imagined whales out playing under the tiny pinpricks of white light in the sky. Stars which never cease to take me back to childhood road trips, my forehead pressed against the glass of the back window and my mother, father and brother co-existing in the silence of late night somewhere in the middle of Washington State.

Bay of Fires - Tasmania - Australia

They told me that Hobart was really up and coming. Really, people kept saying it. It was as if they assumed that my big city mindset needed convincing that small towns had culture too. I knew there’d be culture there, the Tasmanians are all their own, but telling me it was up and coming set me up with expectations that I was heading into some small scale Melbourne.

As I sat in the hippest cafe in Hobart on our final morning of the trip, I looked down at my plate of softly poached eggs, pulled rabbit meat and corn puree and I thought, this wasn’t the point. My life in Sydney thrives on the latest and greatest, the strangest and most tasty meals I can fit in. But Tassie was never about that. We gave that up when we wandered around a frosty Launceston only hours after landing to find all of the best restaurants booked out, and we settled on a tiny cider house and an ordered-in pizza. That cider bar was probably one of my favorite finds of the trip. The girl behind the bar reminded me of some small town version of my former client. A constant smile, a genuine want to help us pick the cider that we as individuals would most enjoy. Although she didn’t fail to comment on my choosing of the hop-infused cider {apparently most girls don’t like that, guess I’m not most girls}, she didn’t make me feel stupid, as Sydney bartenders often do when I order anything more tasteful than a Pure Blonde.

En route to Hobart we hiked an hour to see Wineglass Bay, we strolled the white sand beaches along The Bay of Fires and we attempted {unsuccessfully} to find the kayak hire in Freycinet National Park, winding up instead in a driveway of one of the holiday homes just as it started to rain. Stupid tourists.

Wineglass Bar - Tasmania - Australia

But Hobart. You’re one of those cities that has forced me to be reflective. To look back and appreciate not the single cafe where I found delicious coffee, but the bar where I sat in central heating {miracle} on a black couch that smelled slightly of feet and listened as a local sang acoustic versions of 90s favourites. And then, I remember a similar story of a particularly favourite night in Melbourne which mirrored the experience.

Maybe we forget we don’t always have to travel for excitement, for constant motion. Maybe we travel for calm, for contemplation, for conjuring memories that we’d buried deep in the past.

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