Spending a summer in Byron Bay is something which needs to be put on everyone’s bucket list. They were some of the best six months of my life, and will be a time in my life that I will always remember. The whole vibe of the town is enough to keep you trapped there for a long time.
Byron being so well-known for its beauty, of course means its pretty damn expensive to stay there. The best way to save some cash whilst job-hunting is to get work-for accommodation. It can take some time but don’t give up. Just show your face a lot and they’ll eventually let you work. I never thought I’d be knocking on people’s doors, but there I was at 10am every morning singing, “Housekeeping”. It was a good way to save money for a while, but when I got my job at Get Toasted I switched to the evening kitchen shift. As much as this was super chilled, I quit just after Christmas because I was just missing out on all of the fun.
Australia was my first real experience of hostel life and after trying a few out, the Byron Bay Beach Hostel became my home for over 6 months. Its probs the most expensive hostel, but having a cool social area and a huge clean kitchen was so important to me. Being a 2-minute walk from the beach was also the biggest plus.
I had the chance to meet the most amazing people from all around the world who taught me so many different ways of life. Having this opportunity to make friends for life, is one of the best things about travelling.
Life in Byron is so simple yet so beautiful. No makeup, no straighteners, no bras. I’d go to work in my cute little toastie shop, dying of the summer humidity, but loving it none the less. Finishing work and being able to go for a dip everyday, just made everything worth while.
The endless beach days and magical sunsets, made me fall in love with this amazing little town. On the rare occasion that it rained we’d go and spend too much money in the cute boutiques and surf shops, or sit with some munchies in the movie room.
Of course every night we’d meet on the bar terrace and just chill out. From enjoying pizza night and fitting 25 of us in a paddling pool, we definetly had a lot of fun up there.
I really thought being away from home for Christmas would be awful, but my hostel family and I made it so special. We spent our Christmas Eve having a bonfire on the beach and it couldnt have been any better. 30 of us with some drinks, some shooting stars and the milky way.
We wanted to make sure that everyone felt like they had a family over Christmas. So we turned our staff dinner into a massive hostel event, sold tickets, went shopping and put on a feast. Of course we ended the day with our work-for-accom secret santa and a lot of loving.
Living there for six months I had a lot of hellos and goodbyes which were often hard, but my experience was truly made by meeting every one of those amazing people.
It’s hard to explain how amazing a place is to someone who hasn’t visited it, but there is just something magical about living in the Bay. I know I’ll be back there for a holiday in a few years and who knows, maybe if I’m lucky I’ll end up living there one day.