Hi Everyone and welcome back to the blog,
Well recently I decided to take a week out and give myself, a self imposed ” digital detox”! I just wanted to get away and feel disconnected from the constant “hub-bub” that is our modern lives.
The non-stop emails, texts, Instagrams, Facebook messages etc etc.
That constant bombardment from all angles, at all hours of the day and night was just becoming too much and I felt myself asking: ” Is this really all there is?”
This constant barrage of technology and faceless machinery!
And then I happened upon an advertisement for The Billabong Retreat!
As I read the advert I could hear harps playing, bluebirds fluttered overhead with the promise of my arrival and my focus suddenly became whimsical and full of unicorns and rainbows ha ah ha.
Could this place really only be a one hour drive from Sydney?
Could salvation really be that close at hand?
Well the simple answer was – YES!
Salvation was just around the corner from where I lived and within minutes I was all booked in and ready for solitude.
And then – much to my surprise the panic set in.
“What have I done?” I asked myself.
“There is yoga every morning and afternoon and lessons on “mindfulness” – how will all that be relaxing?” – I pondered.
“And what will I do without my phone and emails for an entire week?” – I quizzed myself, feeling oh so very self important.
“Could the world really keep on ticking, without me standing with my laptop and i-phone at the ready?” I mused.
I felt like some crazed addict, already panicking weeks before I was set to go.
But go I did.
And I have to say it is one of the most fabulous experiences I have ever had.
The Billabong Retreat – was just that….
A retreat from my ordinary life!
A retreat from the mundane!
A retreat from the constant bombardment of technology!
A retreat from the ” flim flam” of life!
For me – it was a retreat into a very magical, personal and special place. It felt like I was taking a bath in nature each and every day.
Being able to take a bath on my balcony was something I shall never forget. And neither will the little wallaby who got more than she bargained for as she looked around for where the rustling was coming from ha ha ha!
It was me – leaning half out of my bath tub trying to get a photo of her on the rock ha ha ha.
Then there was the opportunity to simply sit in my warm bath and feel the wind in my hair, watch all manner of birds parade past in the Billabong and dart from tree to tree. [ the birds that is - not me ha ha ha ]
It really was pure magic!
I have actually never been one for sitting in a bath to be honest, as I tend to get very bored after about 5 minutes – but there at The Billabong Retreat – a 2.5 hour bath became quite the norm! I just felt totally connected to nature and I was absorbed 100% into it’s sounds, it’s look, and it’s whispers.
What would have been a 5 minute walk in the city, became a 2 hour wander at Billabong!
I actually took an entire small case of books with me for the week.
I did not read one.
I was simply too enthralled with the show that nature had prepared in all it’s glory!
So what is it that makes this place so special?
There are a number of factors in my opinion:
So – as you can see – I loved it.
In fact – I have already booked my next visit and am going to take my Mum as a birthday treat!
So in a nutshell – my advice when visiting this Australian Bush Wonderland:
A – try and stay for an entire week if you can. It takes the first three days to truly switch off from the outside world and really benefit from the relaxed vibe. If you can really let yourself become immersed in the place for a week you will feel so enlivened, recharged and refocused. Most people seemed to stay for 3 days – but I must admit that I loved the indulgence of staying for 7!
B – if you stay in a deluxe cabin with the bathtub on the balcony - be brave and get naked out there. It is strangely freeing!
C – again, be brave and turn your phone and laptop off when you check in. Advise your friends, family and relatives to call the landline at reception if there is an emergency. Trust the world will carry on without you, and set it up to do so, whilst you are gone. Then you will really chill out and relax.
D – Pay attention to your own reactions to everything when in this environment. It might just tell you a lot about yourself. It did me ha ha ha!
E – Look out for deer, rabbits and wallabies. They are too cute!
F – head to the Billabong from 5:00pm – 6:00pm as the sun goes down. Watching nature wind down for the day, has a calming effect and nurtures you into ” end of the day mode” too!
G – the view from the Lodge is amazing too – if not staying there – ask another guest who is staying there to take you up – it is worth a look!
H – the Gazebo by the Billabong is amazing to sit in and ponder life and the Billabong – so check it out early on and don’t miss out!
So - that is it from me.
Another incredible destination has been found. So – if you live in Sydney – get there now heh heh. And if you live in Australia or overseas – next time you are planning a trip to Sydney, put this little treasure on your ” to do ” list!
And finally – to all the staff at The Billabong Retreat – congratulations on a very special little corner of the world!
See you again soon.
And till next time – remember – we are all just doing the best we can!