Kangaroo Island was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced. Our stay at the Southern Ocean Lodge was the epitome of luxury. We were waited on hand and foot from the moment of arrival, our luxury linens turned down whilst we dining on gourmet meals prepared from the freshest of local ingredients, music carefully tuned low enough to still hear the ocean roaring. The hardest decision I had to make on a daily basis was which arm chair to curl up in to enjoy the incredible panoramic view made possible by a wide expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows. Of course my trained and critical eye noticed and appreciated each shape, angle, texture, cushion, blanket, color, finish, sculpture, and piece of art combined to create a haven of comfort and solace. It was all completely, thoughtfully curated, perfect in every way. Yet, the island was so painstakingly beautiful not because of these details but because of the divinely stunning landscape, the completely warm people, and the seemingly endless species of fascinating wildlife. I’ll never forget a certain cliff walk, wedged between sparkling blue sky and shining teal sea, waves crashing below, when a dinosaur-like goanna emerged from the bright green bushes, surprising us half to death. I’ll always remember the kind, hilarious guides who led us to the hundreds of happy, thriving kangaroos we observed at dusk amidst a starry sky. I’ll never forget and will always cherish the way this place made me feel. It thrilled, inspired, and humbled me. It rejuvenated my senses, the effect of which is still very much buzzing within me today.
While there, I relished every second, knowing that I’d never return. I figured it would be because it was too far away, too expensive, too much effort. But never would I have fathomed the devastation that would sweep through the area just a few years later.
I am devastated by the destruction of Kangaroo Island, of Southern Ocean Lodge, of the landscape and animals, of the way it has upended the lives of so many people who have diligently remained dedicated to the land and its inhabitants. And I realize- am coming to realize- that K.I. is just one small part of this special continent that is burning, blazing, dying. Trust that the efforts to help this place and the rest of Australia suffering are completely worth it. While my few days at K.I. certainly changed me, my two years living in Australia profoundly shaped the way I work, think, and act. It did so many good things for me, and I am here to say thank you, and to beg you to please help the cause.
A sampling of the many worthy causes for relief effort: