After eight months of working as an orderly at the Fremantle Hospital, a job going nowhere with no idea what I wanted to do, I was ready to escape to somewhere else, anywhere. I don’t know what made me pick Broome, a thousand kilometres north, as I did not know much about the place, but I decided to head that way to see something new, and possibly get some work working on the mines “up north”.

I caught the bus from Perth to Broome, which took over 24 hours. Getting off the bus, I did not know where I was going to stay, though I did have a tent and a sleeping bag. This was when I was young and adventurous and did not consider planning ahead. As I got off the bus, there were a couple of other guys fortuitously in the same situation as me, so we joined forces and found a place together at the Cable Beach Caravan Park, were we stayed together for the first week.

Cable Beach in Broome, WA
Cable Beach, Broome

It was a perfect location for a caravan and camping park, right across from the beach. I couldn’t get over the weather – every day I was there it reached a top of 30-32 degrees, and never a cloud in the sky. And this was June! I spent a lot of my time walking along the beach, collecting shells and my thoughts. Not a care in the world. I was on holiday.

Boab tree in the top end
Large Boab Tree

My first experience of bargaining occurred when I went to buy a bicycle. A bike hire place was selling one of their bikes, but I didn’t want to pay the asking price. I offered less, which he reluctantly accepted, but me not knowing the rules of bargaining, then offered less again. I kept hassling this guy, and finally, he said I must desperately need this bike so he sold it to me.

After a week of bumming around Broome, the other guys decided to head further north, but for some inexplicable reason I decided to stay on my own, still without any idea what I was going to do. I think I had decided that I would be going back to Perth soon, the experiment was nearly over. I spent another week at a cheaper caravan park further from the beach as my spare cash was dwindling, but this place was much further away from the beach, and was less appealing. Eventually, homesickness caught up with me, and I headed back south, and home again.

A little experiment, a travel learning experience that was one of my first steps to a fully-fledged travel addict.

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