The First Drive Of 2017
I can't think of a better way to bring in the new year than to get up at the crack of dawn, get behind the wheel, and go for a sunrise drive.
It was the day after NYE, and instead of going out that night partying like most people, I stayed home and watched the movie Drive on Netflix (who else has seen it?) At the same time, I subconsciously also decided that I would have a bit of an early night, and set my alarm for 5AM so I could drive up to West Head to catch the sunrise with a friend.
After watching the movie, I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel of my car, and see what the first sunrise of 2017 would look like. And although the weather was forecasted for an overcast, cloudy day, I had faith that the sky would clear (even if it were for just a few, brief minutes). I feel like I always say this, but the best part about waking up before the sun rises above the horizon is that hardly anyone is on the roads, and given that it was NYE the night before, I knew that the streets would be even more deserted than usual.
The road to West Head lookout first takes you on a twisty journey up through the mountains along McCars Creek Road. I've been driving this road with mates ever since I first got my license, and it is definitely my favourite route in Sydney, that is if you don't get stuck behind a bus or a cyclist.
Once you see the signs to turn off to West Head, you reach a gate where you are expected to pay a fee ($12) to enter the National Park. However, if you get up early enough you can get in for free, and spend the money on brekky. Did someone say croissant?
Past the gate you reach a long, stretch of smooth tarmac waiting to be driven on, and it is here where you can really get some proper driving in, you just need to be cautious of cyclists. The drive really is on one of the nicest roads in Sydney, and if you do plan on pulling over to take a few photos, just make sure you do it on a large open stretch where your car is easily visible so you don't cause an accident.
After driving through the National Park for 5-10 minutes (does anyone know how long it actually takes? I should probably time it next time), you reach the end of the road where you can park your car at the lookout. Once you walk towards the point, you are greeted with the most surreal view of Palm Beach and the Central Coast.
Remember when I mentioned that I had faith the skies would clear? Well for a brief couple of minutes, a strip of pink/orange hues lit up the sky for the first time in 2017.
This gave me the perfect chance to reflect on the past couple of weeks. For me, I have been taking a tiny step back, and allowed for some "down time" in terms of creating new content for my blog as I've been using this time to refresh my mind, work on other projects for Stay Driven and other projects for my normal job at The Interior Design Institute. (I say "down time" in inverted commas because I haven't actually had a day off this holiday period, I even worked Christmas and New Years Day - not complaining I actually put my hand up to work).
I think it is really important to use the end of the year to take a step back, appreciate all that has happened, have some "down time" and then allow for new beginnings to enter your life. And as I began to reflect, it made me realise how much I really enjoy creating content, and that I wish I could do it more often. It gives me this crazy buzz, like when you're about to get behind the wheel of a race car. Every time I get behind or in front of the lens, I get a huge sense of fulfilment and I can never seem to wipe the smile off my face. And it goes beyond taking photos. I still get way too excited to get home and begin the editing process - especially when I know the photos have turned out exactly how I envisioned.
It's that rush that continues to fuel this passion, and I always try my upmost best to get the photos finished ASAP, so that I can share them all with you, and to hopefully inspire you to get out there and create your own content. I really do hope you guys enjoy what I have put together for this post, (+ all my other posts) and I hope that 2017 allows me to continue this passion of mine.
So since we are living in the digital age (did you know that the average person reads only 20% of a web page? 10 points, and a virtual high 5 to those who are still reading) I figured it be best to let the rest of the photos do the talking. P.S. A huge thanks to @meetandrew for pressing the buttons on my camera for some of the photos :P He's the same guy who shot The Keys To Staying Driven video.