I had never heard of Cairns before this trip. I certainly didn’t know how to pronounce it. (For those wondering, it’s pronounced like the French city, “Cannes,” or like “cans” of beans, for you classy folks.)
Cairns is a small town on the east coast of Northern Australia. It has a population of about 140,000, and is a popular jumping off point for reef trips, tours to Fraser Island (World Heritage island renowned for great camping), and sailing expeditions to the Whitsunday Islands. But Cairns shouldn’t be discounted as simply a pit stop to somewhere better. The small coastal town is actually quite charming for a few days.
Since I was little, I was obsessed with the ocean. Picture books of the sea filled my bookshelves, a shell collection decorated my bedroom, and I was dead-set on becoming a marine biologist. That is, of course, until I learned that marine biologists need to know math. And science.
I also wanted my diving license, and asked my parents to buy me the course for my twelfth birthday. But they told me it’d be best if I waited for my younger sister to turn twelve, so that we could take the class together. Reluctantly, I agreed to wait. Then, a few months before my sister’s long-awaited birthday, she announced her complete disinterest in scuba diving. She wanted another Beanie Baby.