And so the journey begins…
I guess there is no real way to prepare yourself to say goodbye to your friends, family, and home for 6 months. What a whirlwind this beginning has been. Going through security was almost flawless other than the strange looks from the TSA agents because my face was red and tear-stained and i was frantic to get all of my stuff in order to go through the scanner. Then of course trying to explain myself so i don’t look like a baby.
Our plane boarded an hour later than it was suppose to and just when we thought we were going to get to finally take off, the pilot informed us that it would be a little bit longer because they had put the fuel in the wrong tank and were going to have to empty that tank and then fill the correct tank. Once that was finally finished, yet another setback was thrown at us. Our Route needed to be changed due to thunderstorms. It took the Pilots a good 30 minutes to get us on the right track and then we were finally ready for takeoff almost 2 hours after scheduled departure.
As I’m writing this portion of this post we are over 4,000 feet in the air and things are going smoothly, or at least i think they are. This whole thing is still very unreal to me. I have yet to come to terms with what is actually happening but soon enough i will be on Australian soil. It was definitely weird watching as the plane took off and realizing that i wouldn’t see Richmond for another 6 months. For so long i was counting down the months, which turned into weeks, and then days. And now, it is finally happening.
Last night was absolute mayhem. Satan tried throwing a few things to mess with my head but he failed. As i finalized my packing, i was for sure freaking out. I was not mentally able to comprehend anything happening, it was quite comical actually(or at least for the people around me). I got about 5 hours of pretty intense sleep and then was wide awake at 5:30 this morning. Surprisingly, i was decently calm until the goodbyes had to be said.
The sweet peace of Jesus is so unimaginably beautiful. It is incredible to me that He speaks to us right where we are at and can calm our anxiousness within seconds.
Every time i need and ask for peace, i close my eyes and i can see myself and God dancing in the middle of an unending wildflower field.
If any of you know me, that picture was perfectly painted for me. And the good news is that we each have our own picture. God knows all of the fine details of our hearts and he caters to each of us individually.
How beautiful is that?!
I am clinging to that truth and I encourage you to do the same.
It is now currently 7:25pm and boy have things changed since i last wrote. Since then, I landed in Dallas at around 3pm and found my friend Nat(who had been waiting in Dallas since 9:30 that morning). We sat in the check-in waiting seats hoping to be let in at 5 so we could eat and find our next gate but we ended up not being let in until after 7 after more waiting and some seat assignment conflicts. We also gained our other friend Liv while waiting! Once in, we located our gate and then found a restaurant and ate up. We had about another hour of waiting before boarding our 17 hour flight. Boy was that aircraft gigantic, two levels even! We finally boarded at around 10pm and then didn’t take off until around 11/11:30.
We had the absolute nicest flight attendants. Our food was surprisingly delicious and we were able to get some pretty good sleep! What we had anticipated being an awful flight ended up not being too bad.
Finally we touched down in Sydney! We were greeted with a nice “G’day!” and pretty cloudy skies.
Customs and security took a good hour and a half and then we scooted over to our next gate and patiently waited for our other friend Bae(Bailey) to meet up with us. Once we all were together, we boarded our final flight and jetted up the coast to Maroochydore(Sunshine Coast).
As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were all in love. The sun was out, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the people were all so nice. We quickly got our bags and then found a taxi(after being laughed at by quite a few people in the airport because of our insanely large luggage and absolute cluelessness). We made it to our motel, quickly checked in, and finally got to take a deep breath once we were in our room.
We had finally made it. This was it.
After taking it all in for a minute, we walked Liv over to her motel and met up with another friend, Raelene. Then we all walked over to the Shell station(which is called Coles here) and bought some soap and then all headed back for some much needed showers.
Dinner time(although it really was probably more like lunch because it was only like 1pm).
We took a nice walk around looking for a place to eat when we finally settled on a place called “Pheonix Kebabs”.
Best decision ever.
Those were the best kebabs ever and we were all so satisfied with our decision.
After that we of course needed dessert so we stopped back by this ice cream place which was so yummy.
We took our ice cream and went down to the beach(the water was freezing).
And then, after having to walk back to the kebab place to retrieve our room key(my fault), we walked a good ways down the beach.
This place is absolutely gorgeous. Mooloolaba beach is in a crescent shape and there are mountains so close to the beach. It is just absolutely breathtaking.
Once we made it back to our room, we chilled for a bit and then all called it a night and fell straight to sleep around 8pm.
Sunday funday man. At 5am i was wide awake and ready to take on the day. We all got up around 7, went on a run/walk, and then grabbed some acai bowls and the best “brekky”.
Packing up the motel room and getting dressed was a bit of a frantic mess. we had about 30 minutes and we quickly got ready, got packed, and wheeled out of there. We then sat on the outside sidewalk for a good 45 minutes with all of our luggage waiting to be picked up. What an experience.
FINALLY HOME. We made it to the absolutely beautiful wavehouse! fun place, great people, and lots of amazing plants(my heart is so full).We were greeted so warmly with his and jumped straight into the fun.
The night ended with a barbecue down by the beach and then we took a nice stroll down by the water, and then walked home, played a card game, and now i am fully tired but so eager to take on this first week.
These past few days have felt like a dream, like I’m dancing in the wildflowers. Everything has fallen into place and there are no worries or cares. I am so so incredibly thankful to call this place home.