Just Say Hello

Ola, Hello, Bonjour, Kia Ora, Salam, Akwaaba, G’day and so many more greeting across this wonderful globe.  Greetings to each and every one of you.  Every place I visit, I try to connect with locals.  By simply greeting someone, you are welcoming a conversation. Striking a conversation with a stranger doesn’t have to lead to a super intense or long discussion, especially if you are on the go with a tight schedule.  All of my trips have been short and sweet, so I usually have limited time to capture as much as possible, but I always have moments to make an attempt to learn about local life. I appreciate their life, their land and their perspective.  If they want to know about me, I’m happy to share too.

All it takes is a quick greeting and if the individual is open, you can carry a conversation.  While visiting Australia, I wanted to connect with the Indigenous community outside of the museums and touristy sites.  One early morning in Cairns, my husband and I went to the Palm Cove Beach to watch the sunrise.  We did some meditation and then we took a walk along the beach.  There was a couple sitting along the edge where the beach meets the grass and right before reaching a shady woods area.  We started with “hello” and the hand gesture wave.  They responded with welcomes and had we a brief chat with them.  We learned that they were on a short and sweet trip too.  They had pitched a tent right behind them and planned to be there for 2 days as a getaway from their family.  They needed a break from their hustle and bustle.  We had an intimate moment, as the man told us that all the land belonged to them and that unfortunately there is no work so he is currently unemployed.  We also talked about going for a swim at this time of year and the dangers associated with the marine stingers and crocodiles.  We had read in the National Maritime Museum in Sydney that the crocodile is sacred in their culture as they believe that they embody the spirits of important people. The couple had no fear of going for a swim and confirmed what we had read in the museum.  They are both descendants of the Yirrganydji and maintain their spiritual connection with the land.  They proudly shared that they know how to spot and avoid the crocodiles and get of the water safely.

Speaking with them taught me to remove all judgement.  Prior to saying hello, I thought they would not want to talk to a tourist.  I took the risk and said hello anyway.  I believe if you put out love, you will receive love, so that’s what I did and they welcomed me.  We had a good chuckle, listened to a bit of music and then said our best wishes.  We snapped a pic for memories, however out of respect, I have only posted their shadows as we were on the beach and they were in their swimwear.

Thank you God for introducing me to more people and sharing pleasant moments across your globe.

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Palm Cove Beach, Cairns, Australia (Queensland)

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