THE last time I visited Tropical North Queensland just a few weeks ago I was seriously overdressed, right down to my hair straightener which is somewhat redundant in the humidity, and so on the weekend I vowed to get it right. No fancy dresses, no heels and while I did pack the GHD, I vowed only to use it in extreme emergencies. The other issue with packing was that my travel itinerary only arrived as I was rushing out the door, and all I saw were the words Day of the Dead as I raced for the airport, convinced it was I who would be a dead woman if I missed that plane, headed yet again, for the tropics.
I spent my first day out on the reef with Sailaway Port Douglas, where we cruised out to Low Isles for an afternoon of sensational snorkelling. The sun was shining but so too, was the wind howling, and as I’m not a great sailor, I ate sparingly, knowing I would be back in time for dinner at QT Port Douglas, where I had also glimpsed on my last-minute itinerary that I would be having dinner with some “social influencers”.
It was dark when I arrived back at the hotel, clad in soggy shorts and t.shirt, and hair looking like a sucked mango seed, the result of several hours in the sea, sun and wind. They were in the bar, three of them, nudging six feet tall, clad in high heels and size six dresses. And then there was me. Yes, turns out I was dining with some southern supermodels.
I rushed back to my room with 30 minutes before dinner and sent an urgent email to a mate who had found herself in a similar situation a year previously. “Mayday, Mayday,” I wrote with one hand, while frantically rummaging around my suitcase for something decent to wear in the other. “I have a situation here.”
The best I could conjure up was a pair of fake eyelashes, having been instructed several weeks prior by a fellow travel writer that they add “20 per cent more attractiveness” to any situation. It was an emergency and Katy Perry’s falsies were the only thing to save me as I stuck them on, hoping and praying they wouldn’t suddenly leap off my face into someone’s soup over dinner. And out the door I rushed, lacking a mere 80 per cent attractiveness.
The other issue was that by now, having not really eaten since breakfast, I was starving, and not only could I eat a rather handsome dinner, but potentially one of the size sixes as well. They, on the other hand, seemed content with far more restrained portions, while entertaining their audience with insights such as the need to get a fake tan. I resisted the urge to ask them what they thought of the Arab Spring.
I spent half the night talking to a quirky, thin chap called Ray with an impressive mop of hair and who seemed extremely excited to be at the resort and our table. During the evening people keep asking him about his “gig” and it was only when someone mentioned Ray and the words Thirsty Merc in the same sentence did I realise I was chatting to a famous Aussie muso who was probably best known for his hit 20 Good Reasons. I rushed back to the room and Googled Ray before falling asleep, laughing at my own stupidity.
By the next morning, my friend had responded to my mayday. “OMG. Worst nightmare scenario. Bugger them, we know who we are and what we do”. Just in case anyone mistook me for a supermodel, I kept announcing myself as “the travel writer”. The good news was the second night was the Day of the Dead party to celebrate QT Port Douglas’ third birthday and the plan was the models and me would all get our faces painted to essentially look like death by the resort’s make-up artist. I figured I could nail looking like death. And it was a great plan, until I emerged at the party, face covered in crosses and stitches, to find not only had the models not painted their faces, but they had also increased by one more. Not only did they not eat after midnight but they were multiplying. Were they actually Gremlins?
Turns out I need not have worried as the models had bigger issues than me. For while I may have been wearing a face full of paint and an ordinary summer dress with my flat sandals, they were all clad in matching jumpsuits, and had neglected to wear underwear, and it was breezy. Let’s just say, that night I got both dinner and a show while contemplating crocheting a hem on those flighty jumpsuits.
All in all, it was an interesting exercise in human nature when you bring two parties who inhabit totally different worlds together in the same scenario. When we arrived at the airport, one of them with an Austrian accent walked up to me and said “very curvy”, and I was just about to snap until I realised she was talking about the winding car journey along the ocean. While on the outside my trip was a bit of a disaster, on the inside I kept repeating the mantra that my meditation girls and me have been adopting over the past few years. And that simply is, love yourself anyway. Whatever happens in your life, just love yourself. As my new mate Ray would say, give me 20 good reasons why I shouldn’t.
The Global Goddess was a guest of QT Port Douglas – http://www.qthotels.com.au