From the cold mountains of Asgard to the warm waves of the oceans, it is hard to imagine that the real-life Thor is more of a beach-bum than his on-screen alter ego. “Actually it’s not like I don’t like the mountains. I have been to the Himalayas, my family and I were in Ladakh, India, for a TV show and also went to Changtang in Tibet, but I preferred being in Goa, India. So yes, I think I am more fond of the high seas than the high mountains,” says Chris Hemsworth, adding, “perhaps this is because my home in Australia has always been near the sea.”
Memories and Moments
A man like Chris Hemsworth is hard to come by. Not just because of his looks and career trajectory (which includes films such as Rush, two editions of Snow White and the Huntsman, Ghostbusters, In the Heart of the Sea, and, most famously, a recurring role as Thor in the Marvel series), but because he clearly believes in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. And this was the reason that Hemsworth moved back to Australia from Los Angeles after living there for a decade.
“I was at a point in my life and career where I felt like I didn’t have to be in the thick of it anymore. I always wanted to bring up my children in Australia. My most endearing childhood memory is that of eucalyptus leaves in the summer, surfboard wax and coconut sunscreen! So Australia is a part of me. And that is why Byron Bay is home for us now,” says the Melbourne-born actor, adding, “I can switch off in a different world, a different setting, spend time with my kids and spend most of my time outdoors. That’s special.”
Australia Over Asgard
Gloating over the scenic beauty of his home in Byron Bay, Chris says, “The beach is beautiful, and we wake up every day to views of the ocean in front of us, but there’s also a big farming community with lots of farmland and tropical rain forest. My wife and I first came here on a holiday. That is when we fell in love with the area and chose to make it our home. Now, we have a chilled-out existence. Growing up in Australia, you can sometimes take it all for granted. But after being away for 10 years and coming back, exploring some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, reminded me how unique and impressive Australia is and how lucky I am.” Hemsworth is so attached to Australia that he and his wife, Elsa Pataky, and their three children often take off on what he calls “walk on the wild side” holidays. ” My favourite places are Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and The Kimberley. My family is my best travel companion – especially my daughter India, who is a surfing fanatic, just like me,” he chuckles.
“The place also suits my wardrobe,” he declares with a throaty laugh and jokes “my own style sensibilities sit firmly in the board shorts and T-shirt category. My wife says I have more board shorts than most females have shoes!”
The imagery of Chris surfing the waves in shorts is also hard to push away, but then he is every bit the action man, even when he is not tied up filming superhero flicks, having been snapped surfing, swimming, manning quad bikes and riding horses while holidaying at home. His favourite spot for water sport is the Great Barrier Reef, where he first went scuba diving.
“It was amazing. There was more sea life and vibrant colours of coral than I’ve ever seen. It’s like visiting another planet. Flying over the reef and seeing the changing blues and greens was also incredible. Such intense colours and contrast to the white sand of the beaches. We also had an afternoon at Whitehaven Beach, which was stunning. The most pristine white sand, crystal-clear water. The perfect spot to just unwind, surrounded by the reef. The next day, we took the kids for a picnic and a bit of beach cricket on Langford Island, just off Hayman Island. The kids loved running along the sand and playing in the shallows,” he says excitedly.
“I am a self-appointed ambassador of Australia. There is just so much to see and do. So much diversity. From the warm tropical sunshine of the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged waterholes of The Kimberley and the Australian Outback – that’s the amazing thing about Australia, ” Chris signs off.
As told Aarti Kapur Singh