The Travel Adventures of Yin and Yang

me and leon in kalbarri

The first of “Your Stories”, this is written by Leon B., a.k.a. Mr. Little Blue Earth. The two of us are like yin and yang, complete opposites that complement each other perfectly. In this story, you’ll all be pleased to find out how much I drive Leon crazy during our travels. Here are just a couple of anecdotes he wants to share with everyone. 

Chinese philosophy describes yin and yang as seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. (Thanks Wikipedia.)

Yin and Yang = Leon and Esther…to a fucking T.

I’ll give you an example: Esther planned the entire trip to Australia this past summer. Four of those nights were spent sleeping inside a tent in Western Australian National Parks and Campsites.

Now, I’m not one for tents. I’d rather have the privacy of a ROOM and a BED with a BATHROOM and SHOWER, as well as a TOILET within reasonable distance from said BED.

But she was really looked forward to this part of the trip, so I caved. I gave in and did research on all types of wild animals and insects after the booking, trying to convince her that this was not such a good idea. “You sure you want to do this, Estee? Look at all these ‘things’ we may encounter (showing her pictures of snakes and spiders that are typical in these areas)

Did it work to convince her? Hell no. Was I looking forward to this part of the trip? Hell no.

But we did it…four nights were spent in two Western Australian national parks (Karijini and Exmouth). Did I enjoy the long, dark walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night when I had to pee? No, that was some scary shit.

But, I will admit one thing. I’ve never seen such a beautiful view of the solar system. It felt unreal, like I was standing in a planetarium. I could look up at that sky forever. Several times, I turned to Esther and said “I can’t believe we’re on the other side of the world.” She made me go camping, but Esther also brought me to a place I would never have visited without her.

starry night in karijini
Looking up at the Milky Way in Karijini National Park. (Yeah, I totally didn’t take this picture. That would be Yang who couldn’t put the camera away.)


Esther planned a trip on the coast of California, driving from San Jose to Seattle.

She REALLY wanted to go to Big Sur National Park. I said “OK” like the shmuck that I am without researching anything beforehand. How hard could it be? All I would be doing is driving on the coastline.

It was not the coastline. It was a cliff… and I’m terrified of heights. Oh, and guess what? NO fucking guardrails! I only discovered that as I was driving up mountains of this godforsaken coastline. I’ll admit it: I’m sweating as I type this, just thinking about that memory.

I was focused, driving as slowly as possible, nervously driving around every turn and keeping my eyes on the road.

Suddenly, this high-pitched voice came over the loud wind roaring through the open windows.

“LEON, THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL! LOOK AT THESE VIEWS! THIS IS INCREDIBLE” squealed Esther she snapped away on her camera.

O-M-G was I pissed. She wanted me to look at the views, but I was more terrified than I had ever been in my life. I was sweating profusely by this point, and I just kept saying “Not now! Not now!” I ignored her excitement and continued to drive, focused and steady.

We finally ended up at McWay Falls, and I finally felt some relief. (To this day, I refuse to ever drive that road again.) I parked the car and walked the short distance to the damn waterfall that I had risked my life to see.

Suddenly, we saw McWay Falls and the glorious, isolated beach from a distance. I was still shaken from the drive…until that point. We stood there for about 20-30 minutes just staring at it after Esther was done taking her photos. It was like the view was my reward for the terrifying drive.

mcway falls in big sur
Captivated by the view of McWay Falls in Big Sur, California.

Thankfully, the drive down was much easier. Still stressful, but easier.

Moral of the story: Allow some adventure into your travels, because you never know what beauty may lie ahead.

If it wasn’t for Esther, I would never have experienced any of these extraordinary events. Suddenly, I realized:

She is the Yin to my Yang and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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