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Day 240: Get Your Head Out of the Clouds


I think I had one of the most amazing days of my life this Sunday.

There are plenty of things in this world that I just won’t try, no matter how thrilling they seem, such as skydiving or bungee jumping or base jumping. They are a few things that I really don’t even know if I would have the courage to do. It’s not so much that I’m afraid of heights (well, I kind of am); they just don’t seem very safe in my head. So, I’m not going to say the stereotypical comment of, “I went to Queensland and threw myself out of a plane.” Nope, that is not the experience I am talking about.

But, my day did involve a lot of having my head in the clouds – both figuratively and literally – and it was outstanding.

My day started out like this:

Wake up at 4am, jump on shuttle buses, jump in a basket and float into the sky.

raging thunder balloon group

balloon taking off

Being my first hot air balloon ride, I was a little unsure of what to expect. Now, however, I’m sure that my experience on this ride will forever jade any other hot air balloon experience I may have in the future. Why?

above the clouds in a balloon

Less than stellar weather brought some clouds and fog into the Mareeba area; we almost didn’t think we would be going up at all. However, the thick cloud line a bit lower to the ground led to our balloon getting the opportunity to break through — through the clouds — and enter into a magic fairy tale land with cotton candy pillows below our feet and a rainbow of colors along the horizon.

The entire time, my mouth was open in awe at the ethereal vibe of our morning sunrise balloon ride above the clouds, and I don’t think it is something I will ever forget.

For the rest of the day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the morning that left me gobsmacked, and there was no way the day could really get any better than this. Or so I thought.

The night was spent at the Thala Beach Resort in the north Queensland area where we were taken out for an evening stargazing experience. Never, ever, ever, ever have I seen a sky so beautiful in real life before that night. Ever.

We watched in awe as our guide pointed out constellations with a giant lightsaber laser into the star-filled sky as shooting stars fell and our minds were left in wonder. If I had had a sleeping bag, I wouldn’t have even needed to return to the bungalows for slumber.

Dear Sunday:
You rocked.
Love, Brooke.

Three cheers for Tourism Queensland for choosing to include me in this media trip.


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10 Responses to Day 240: Get Your Head Out of the Clouds

  1. Thomas | JusGetaway August 29, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    What an experience! A little early in the morning but for a view like this to be able to break through the clouds must have been a wonder.

  2. bethany August 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Wow – That must’ve been so surreal. I have always wanted to go in a hot air balloon – looks so fun! But the colors, the clouds – just amazing. What an incredible way to start your day!!

    • Brooke September 6, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      It was like we entered another world when we popped above the clouds! I was certain we’d see dinosaurs and maybe even Falcor at any second 😉

  3. Erica August 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I’m very much a fan of stargazing and I’m glad there are more people in the world to appreciate something as beautiful as that. The balloon ride looked phenomenal. How beautiful!

    • Brooke September 6, 2011 at 7:59 am #

      The stargazing was out of this world. All I want right now is to fly back up to north Queensland with a tent and a sleeping bag so I can do that every night.

  4. JoAnna September 1, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    So, so, so cool! I’m riding in a hot air balloon for the first time next week and I can’t wait!

    • Brooke September 6, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      It was amazing! Hope yours is as breath-taking as mine 🙂

  5. Deidre September 7, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    I’ve been hot air ballooning once and I hated it, I am so glad you had a different and magical experience!

  6. Rebecca September 15, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I have always wanted to go for a Hot Air Balloon ride but I have never had the price justified as a solo traveller (plus it’s one of those few things that seems better with a partner).

    Glad you had a great time! So jealous!


  1. The Year in Travel: Where did you go in 2011? | Brooke vs. the World - December 28, 2011

    […] in high-end resorts, ate breakfast on a yacht, had the most dream-like first-time flight on a hot air balloon ride ever, and drank plenty of wine. Still, I must stress, it was all a huge amount of […]

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