Lord Howe Island and wishing myself back there.
I used to visit Lord Howe with my family a lot when I was younger but I haven't been back in a few years and the best thing about it is that it's hardly changed. It's like a small country town from the 70s but surrounded by water and with the most beautiful forests, walks, beaches and wildlife you can imagine.
Lord Howe Island also has the most fantastic place names - Hell's Gates, Kim's Lookout, Valley of the Shadows, The End of the World, to name a few. We didn't make it to many of those spots, some are virtually inaccessible without a boat, but we did hit up Blinky Beach every day that we could and the weather permitted. A few months after my 18th birthday I got caught in a rip and nearly drowned at this beach and it still inspires my fearful respect but when the weather is right, hands down it's my favourite place to swim on Earth. Kristian became a massive fan too and over the week we caught enough waves there to ever so partially digest the amazing amounts of food and wine we consumed on the trip.
And the fish, oh the fish. From the moment we landed, I was licking my chops over that first hotly anticipated plate of Kingfish - grilled with lemon and potatoes on the side, accompanied by sparkling white wine. Our family friend Ron works as a chef at one of the restaurants and one night we headed up the hill at dusk to be treated to Kingfish and Oahu, fresh caught that day.
Walking home in the pitch dark to the sounds of Muttonbirds calling to each other in plaintive tones and seeing a million stars sparkling overhead was a pretty spectacular end to the year.