While studying abroad in New Zealand, I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my right wrist. When I had broken my arm as a kid, I’d had my mom to cook for me and wash my hair. Now, at age 20, I felt startlingly alone. I studied for a final that I would have to take orally, set aside my guitar learning, asked my roommate to cook meals for me, and tried not to feel too sorry for myself.
A week after my accident, my long distance boyfriend flew from America to visit me for a month. I had a two week break between semesters and we were planning on taking a road trip around the south island.
I traveled around Australia with five friends during spring break 2005. We were spending our last three days in the Gold Coast, just south of Brisbane. We had some plans set- like a pub crawl and a XXXX Brewery tour- but first we had to see the ocean.
We walked from our hostel to the beach. I understood immediately why it was called the Gold Coast; there was golden skin showing everywhere. People in this part of Australia seemed to find clothing to be optional. As I looked across the beach, all I could see was bronzed butts, small bulges under men’s Speedos, and the occasional set of bare breasts.