Broome. My goodness Broome. Where to even begin this love story.
Well I arrived after my West Coast Road trip with Matt and Emma. First impressions were not amazing I have to say. I thought it was a bit rough around the edges – lots of Aboriginal people roaming the streets, drinking and loud-mouthing to one another. I was told it wasn’t safe to be walking around alone, and we checked into what I thought was a massive party hostel. The weather however was everything I had dreamed of – all those jumpers I had used on the way up here soon sunk to the bottom of my bag, and floaty dresses were my new jam. Nick was staying for a week and after that time he was travelling up to Darwin. I had a week to get a job otherwise I was going to ask if I could hitch a lift up north with him to try my luck there.
I was staying in a different room to Matt and Emma which couldn’t have been more perfect. My reasons being that whilst looking for said job, I didn’t have to put any effort into making new friends; instead they would be introduced to me through Matt, the social butterfly of the group. He really did bring everyone together.
After only a few days my prayers were answered in the form of an interview at a local café, walking distance from the hostel. I also received an email of interest from a restaurant a few days after, both which turned into actual jobs. It looked like I was staying. And a plus side, I could now spend my days off sunbathing at Cable Beach guilt-free knowing that I didn’t have to spend my time searching anymore. Result!
At this point I was conscious of the fact that my visa was due to expire in less than 2 months (where did a whole year go already?!) So I was happy to take almost any job, get my head down and make some money before Mum was due to arrive in September. Trouble was, I soon started meeting some enormously wonderful people in Broome and my days began to fill up with joy. Some of the backpackers I met were couples – Charlotte and Ollie and Claire and James, along with Laura, Thomas, Edwin, Steve and countless others. It seemed like every time I came back from work, there was someone new to be introduced to. Everyone was so chatty and friendly and sociable and it was a pleasure to be surrounded by such fun people. We spent our time off barbequing, going to the markets, playing cards, seeing the crocodile park, lazing on the beach, going to the horse races, cooking, seeing the ‘staircase to the moon’ – where the moon reflects off the mudflats at extremely low tide creating a beautiful optical illusion of stairs reaching to the moon.
As you can imagine, time FLEW.
I was also starting to gain another group of friends from my time working at Café D’amore – a beautiful Italian/Spanish restaurant where I worked behind the bar fixing up cocktails, coffees and desserts. Again, it was such a pleasure to be around these amazing, energetic, happy people who invited me into their lives like I was family. I was also assembling desserts for a living. It could not have been a more perfect job for me!
Two jobs did mean however that I was enormously busy. My day would often begin at 9am until 4pm at The Dragonfly Café, and then I would need to be at Café D’amore by 5.30pm until 10pm. I would then stick around as dinner was provided (chosen from the glowing menu!) and chat with my delightful colleagues over a glass of vino before collapsing onto my 12 bed dorm room top bunk and waking up to do it all over again. I did get two full days off every week though – Sunday and Monday – enough time to re-energise, go out or one weekend, go up to visit Cape Leveque.
Life in Broome was my idea of some sort of heaven. Hey the weather was fantastic, tick! The lifestyle was so chilled, tick! I was starting to get a good overall tan, tick! I had the social life of dreams, tick! And I (finally) had money in the bank, tick! I believe this was a time in my life where I was most happy, and not only that but I was surrounding myself with people that made me into the person I absolutely wanted to be. I felt like my soul was being nourished, I was hungry for life and my heart had been touched.
As with most things in life, there’s more than meets the eye with Broome. Really, what a beautiful place and so much to do if you actually look for it. The middle-of-nowhere town has a great range of quirky cafés, retail shops, bars and events going on consistently throughout the dry season. I loved it of course though, not for any of these things, but for the incredible PEOPLE I was spending my days with. By now, I was totally immersed in the ‘Broome Bubble’. Life outside this busy schedule seemed to not even exist – I could not think past working and beach, well, working and beach and barbeques and brunches and lunches and dinners and star gazing and socialising. You get the idea..
This place had me in its almighty grip, and I was more than happy to be embraced!