Weekend Wanderer

Something Fine

Today I received a rare gift: encouragement

He was selling me books at a farmers market stand – these, to be exact:

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We chatted about books and how writing was so much richer years ago when he said:

“You must be a writer then. Why don’t you come back next year and bring me your book to read?”

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The Sunny Streets of Sydney

Day 2 began and ended with perfect sunshine, making up for the misty mistakes of yesterday.

Thanks to my Airbnb hosts, I found the coolest “underground” coffee shop at my train station, Salvage Coffee:

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This gem was tucked away right under the train station!

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Toastie = Toasted Sandwich, and my new favorite word 🙂

After an amazing mocha (one of the few places in Sydney that actually knew what that was), I hopped on the train and headed into the city. First up? A walk over the famous Harbor Bridge:
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Golden Thread Goodbyes

“Better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.”

Is it true? Love tends to intensify things, especially pain.

This introspection all started because of a move, and a movie. The move was the first time I uprooted from my beloved family and small town, and it was more difficult than I imagined.

I’ve built a life there, with those people who know me best, so when it came time to leave it all behind I was devastated.

The movie was unexpected. I chose it out of idleness, hoping to avoid the hurt of losing so many relationships, only to watch the loss of life in an achingly sad way, and wonder what I’d do if I lost a loved one, or if I was the loved one lost.

Grief clarifies things, and puts the bigger picture back in perspective. 

That’s why I’ve been quiet about the Australia trip for a few days – it’s hard to write about Sunny Sydney when you are enjoying the bittersweet joy of realizing how much love you have in life, and how much more it hurts when it’s time to go.
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Accidental Aquarium Date.

Are you going to eat that?

As I forced a smile and passed the crab leg, I cursed this decision for the thousandth time.

Let’s rewind shall we?

It was a lovely, mostly jet-lag free first day. Misty and subdued perhaps, but a good day nonetheless. I’d seen the museums and walked my feet off, which is always a tradition for me, since I’m usually lost.

What better way to finish off this cold day than in the aquarium? For those who don’t know, I love aquariums, and fish (fun sidenote: my name means “A Ships Harbor”). The blue light, the slow magic of floating, the sheer grace of swimming things? It slows my overactive mind.

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Sealife was in the same complex as a wax museum and a zoo…

I was ready for that sort of peace, but fate had other plans for me.
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Mist, Museums, & Men, Sydney Style.

All exceeded my expectations.

Oh stop rolling your eyes, it’s harmless admiration! Believe me, it took a long time to discover these things this morning.

There was an endless, sticky line through customs (I got my passport stamped!) at 7 AM Sydney time, then another few hours of trains and moving into my Airbnb house. Before I knew it, I was in the city.

For those who don’t know, I love cities. I love feeling the bustle and observing the people (though it didn’t seem like it yesterday), and generally being swept into the life of a place.

It was misty, so I spent most of the day in museums. It cleared a little later, and I spent the day wandering, which I love!

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Hurry Up and Wait

Day One:

Rush to the airport, rush to my gate, rush to the next flight.

Now I sit in LAX, with that silly song stuck in my head (“hopped off the plane at LAX..”), watching everyone else rush by, and I have 10 hours before the flight to Sydney. All that running to sit here, in this humid, small wing that I’m trapped in, with nothing but my thoughts to keep me company.

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It’s not as beautiful as it looks.

I realize now that this is just a continuation of the beginnings of this trip. I was rushing to fill free time and free flights before I started a new chapter in life. I was frantic to do something big before I had to “settle down.”

It seems as though sometimes we are so pressured to fill our lives with exciting things to escape the perception of a mundane existence. 

When did we forget that part of the adventure is the unexpected, quiet happiness in a slow-blooming friendship found only when you stay in one place long enough to invest in someone?

I’m not trying to be contradictory, since I love to travel and experience new things, but I do want to be honest along the way. Not every day of every trip will be magical. You’ll have bad days, homesickness, stress, nervous feelings, apathy, and confusion. They help highlight the best parts of your best days, so be thankful for them.

The sooner you can recognize and accept the bad days with the good, the sooner you can truly appreciate all facets of life. Even now, as I unwind from the stress of a few weeks, I thank God for this opportunity, this freedom to do one thing I’ve dreamed of for a long time.

I also appreciate the fact that there’s a coffee shop across the hall. Seriously, all this musing is giving me a headache.

~K

Brave.

“You’re so brave!”

I heard this response so often as I prepared to leave on my big trip that it was practically drilled into me. Funny thing was, I didn’t feel brave.

My Brazil missions trip was out (I have a new job starting shortly!). My Australian vacation was in, and I didn’t have any time to plan.

I knew I had this rare time off between jobs, and I had to take advantage of it, and one thing I’ve always wanted to do is snorkel. What better place than the Great Barrier Reef?

Honestly, I wasn’t excited like everyone thinks. I was nervous, stressed, and just trying to finish up my job so I could move on with my life. There was no time to get excited, to dream, or most importantly, to plan.

The problem with planning a trip when you are also planning a move is that you have no time, no space to think. Packing a suitcase and packing up your life is chaotic to say the least, and unfortunately this trip became another task on my to-do list.

Before I knew it, I was on a plane, off to adventure without my adventurous spirit. What could go wrong?

australia

 

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