Travel diary & a quick story: Perth


The timeline of my youth has always been dotted by annual familial pilgrimages to varying locales in Australia, a country that I constantly find to be uniquely endearing in its unchanging stoic self. Literally so, because every time I come back to visit it seems almost that the only thing that has changed about it is the hands of time. But that invariability and consistency is comforting in a way that only a native of a country that is the antithesis of it can appreciate.

This year visiting Western Australia felt slightly different, perhaps because it's the first trip on which I finally had a good-enough camera to immortalise every scene in pixels, or perhaps because my travels to other parts of the world over the years have eroded some of the wonder that I once regarded this place with. But the best part of the entire deal? I got to spend a ton of time with my sweet little sister, a peachy little blossom who is slowly learning to outdo me in the style and street cred stakes. These days she is the one who teaches me how to use Snapchat and how to navigate the Pokémon Go interface, which is saying a lot.

We spent some time in Perth before travelling further south to the towns of Busselton, Manjimup and Pemberton; the first of which was so threadbare I barely have any recollection of it aside from the fresh jams and chocolates that we picked up on the drive there, and the other two so rustic and whimsical in its charm that I wholly enjoyed my time there even though it was so deep in the countryside that cellphone signal--much less WiFi--did not exist. In Manjimup we went apple picking in an organic orchard, which was utterly surreal. Between ducking in and out of rows of trees swollen with fruit we would tug apples off the branches and tuck right into them. City life ain't got nothing on an experience that reminds you that you can never be too disconnected from nature. 

In Pemberton, we camped out in a cottage with a veranda that opened out into a field of farm animals and a pond for fishing. The first morning a cruise took us along a river that emptied into a pristine beach, virginal in its beauty on the account that it could only be reached by boat - forty minutes if it was motorised and double that if otherwise. The skipper of our boat plied us with home-baked berry muffins and tea as he casually mentioned that there were alligators in the waters that we were in, and that they were capable of making leaps of up to 3 feet - precisely the distance between our window and the water.

At night it got so chilly you couldn't sleep unless you had an electric blanket. You had to cook your own dinner because there were no dining establishments anywhere within a ten mile radius that would stay open past 4pm. But the beef ravioli and chicken schnitzel with buttery mashed potatoes that Randelle and I cranked out were a strange ball of fun to make and eat, mostly because on regular days she wouldn't have had an adventurous enough palate to eat the kind of non-Asian atypical food I have a liking for. The novelty of being in a place where you could see stars in the sky, bask in the warmth of an actual fireplace and fraternise with sheep and alpacas in your backyard was absolutely incredible.

These photos you see were taken after we'd gotten back to Perth from the outback, on our penultimate day in the country where we had brunch at the quaintest, prettiest little cafe and then headed off to visit marsupials in the wildlife park. Admittedly being back in an urban environment provided none of the fancy stories that the likes of Manjimup and Pemberton did, but by the time we were back with the rest of civilisation I had developed some measure of newfangled gratitude for the Internet. I guess you can take a girl out of the city, but you can never really take the city out of her.

For more photos from Western Australia, click here.

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