There is nothing more exciting than packing up the car for a month on the road, chasing the WQS up and down the beautiful East Coast. Yet I wondered, do all us competitive surfers drag along the same gear? You know, a pile of boards, a swiss ball and some clothes. Some chia bars in the glove box and the all important AUX cable. Done. Sorted. However, at each stop where my friends would greet me with warm smiles and loving kisses, there were also a few horrified gasps as they caught a glimpse of the uncouth content of my little VW Golf. Allow me to explain. . Probably the biggest ‘wtf?’ was aimed at the cello. That what? Yes, you heard me. A full sized cello. Damn big, and creepily resembling some sort of children’s coffin. ‘Freya, since when do you play the cello?’ Not often enough, I always respond. But I need to practice, and I can’t just leave her sitting at home for a month, unloved, untouched. When your friends hound you to crack the cello out, its always fun to do your best dying cat impersonation (which is actually just me trying to play the Harry Potter theme song). It gets a giggle at first, then its like… okay please stop now.. My next favourite ‘on the road must have’ is a mortar and pestle. I almost expected that everyone who’s into cooking would have of these and maybe also a backup one in the glove box, you know… just in case. If you’re not grinding your own spices, then you’re only cheating yourself, I preach. Also, I’m not sure that everyone is aware of the versatility of our little granitey delight. When you have found yourself in some industrial zone in West Ballina without any breakfast, get your wham-bam neanderthal on and use your pestle and a butter knife to pulverise your way into a delicious coconut in someone’s driveway. I maintain that the onlookers were just jealous. Part way through my trip I decided to camp for the night. I was disappointed to realize that my preparation for the inevitability of camping was poor. However, I was happy with my decision to chuck in my already mouldy yet never used, potentially not water proof, two man (more like two hobbit) tent from Kmart. Some generous friends of mine recognised my predicament and lent me their air mattress, the kind that deflates during the night. I did a little op-shopping for some things to repair and I stumbled across my favourite purchase, a banana lounge! $6 bucks! Bargain! I was feeling pretty relaxed when I finally set up camp, layin’ back on my banana lounge whilst manually blowing up my air mattress beside my mouldy tent. After about 10 deep breaths, I began to get dizzy. Think of it as training, I encouraged my red faced self. So with my swiss ball, the chia seeds, the AUX cable, my mortar and pestle and let’s not forget the all essential cello, there were only six items left to explore in the boot of my car. Surfboards are kind of extra essential for making heats on the WQS. So I did, I chucked them in, because I am incapable of tying them on the roof, and would rather not see them scattered and shattered all over the M1. My advice for when you’re packing up the car before a surf trip is; if in doubt, chuck it in. You never know when you’ll need to improvise a little. But when I say chuck I mean more like carefully place in the vehicle, because the uncovered prongs of that spear fishing pole in the back are really going to do some damage to you friends leg. And although packing is important, be sure to do that last check of your home before you put the car into reverse. When your favourite squatter rings you up on day four of your trip, asking if there is any particular reason the front door is wide open, a familiar red pigment just might bloom across your face. Yeah. That happened too.