Do you know where the Cocos Islands are?
What about the Australian Cocos Keeling Islands?
Well I’ll tell you where. If you look closely you can easily spot them in a special corner of my heart. But if you look closer still, then squint, you’ll see a tiny little postcard scene on a world map floating all alone about halfway between Perth and Sri Lanka.
To date, I have made the long journey across the big island and half the Indian Ocean every year since 2005 as I have a business there. Each journey it’s the usual gig… pack as much as you can in as small a bag as possible leaving behind any fancy clothes, jumpers, closed shoes, make-up and technology.
‘My Island’ (as I like to call it) has so much personality, intrigue, culture and craziness that I can never truly explain what it is like.
It is beautiful, amazing, tropical – palm trees everywhere and picture-perfect scenes.
The people are fun and friendly – most of the time
One of the 27 Islands has an indigenous Muslim population the other an ex-pat Aussie bogan-esque type community on it, all the others – people & care-free.
It is hard to get to but worth the effort.
And not known to may tourists, I can also enlighten them with…
The Australian government manages it, Cocos-Malay kinda own it, the laws are Western Australian but the politicians who represent them are from the Northern Territory!
So of course it is hard to explain. But for some it’s not so.
A few years ago I took my new boyfriend. He rocks up, has a surf, meets some people, gets a drink in the pub, comes home and says…
“This place is just like a big caravan park”
He was right. Just like anyone’s favourite family holiday spot; the Cocos is a place where memories are made, great relationships are formed and tiny communities need to live and play together. A place where you want to go back year after year because you know it so well and it feels like yours. A familiar place where everyone knows your name and stops by for a beer in the most inconvenient times (or too many times) but you crack one for them anyway.
It’s been 12 years since I first visited the islands for a kitesurfing trip. To sum up my experiences will take time.
This story/memoir is still under construction so please drop by again soon.
In the meantime, a picture says a thousand words…