When I heard that I was going to Australia and British Columbia, I didn’t know if I should believe it or not. I didn’t want to get overly excited and jinx myself so I carried on my days prior to the trip as if I wasn’t really going. Deep down, I worried that something would happen and I would not be able to make it. Surprisingly (and not so surprisingly), only 3 days before the flight, I found out that my visa to Australia hadn’t been accepted yet. We applied a while ago and my husband’s came back almost instantly but mine decided to take a painstaking long time. Figuring that it was a smart move that I didn’t announce it to anyone, I planned to just stay back…sad and disappointed.
However, great news came the day before the flight and the visa finally came. I still didn’t want to let the thought of this trip materialize at least until I was finally in the passenger seat and the plane takes off. So, until then, I held my breath.
When the flight did finally take off, I expelled all the fears and worries I had accumulated in my mind 2 months prior to the flight.
E . X . H . A . L . E . . .
We were on our way to the land “down under” – to a place I only dreamed of and read about. I was overjoyed but still in disbelief. Was I really going?
After nearly 21 hours in flight alone (plus the 2+ hour stop-over in Vancouver), the shores of Australia finally came into view. It was gorgeous…and well worth the anticipation.
Soon enough, the Sydney Harbour came into view. I could even see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Bridge with boats going about their morning business.
Patience, dear heart, patience.
We didn’t want to miss a moment once we landed and found ourselves living according to Sydney and Toronto time zones simultaneously. I’m not sure if it was adrenaline or jetlag to blame but we hadn’t slept for 2 days straight. I was trying to take it all in without a blink of an eye. Every image before me was seeming sharper than the average eyes can see, every colour seemed more vibrant as though it were jumping at me, every new sound seemed so much louder…
I was overstimulated – it was time to slow down.
It’s great to have a blast but there comes a time we need to slow down. Running on overdrive doesn’t last too long and we were also running on empty. So busy for the first few days, we realized we hadn’t eaten a proper meal aside from the first one we share with a friend when we first landed. We needed to refuel…and breathe.
Once we gained some perspective, we went to Sydney Harbour for the day and in the late afternoon took a ferry to Manly Beach – a lively surf suburb. By the sands, it was so calming and cool as the winter waves gently washed up the shore. Despite the cold waters however, we saw a handful of faithful surfers in their wet suits riding the low tides.
After a long day out, it still hadn’t quite kicked in that we were on the other side of the planet – far, far away from home. It wasn’t until we visited some friends at a farm one day, when the realization came. As we left their home late at night, I look up to the skies and what I saw finally let it sunk in. I saw was a completely unfamiliar set of constellations scattered across the dark heavens. There was no Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt in sight. It was then and only then I realized I was in a very different part of the world’s hemisphere. I was in Australia.
The thought was overwhelming…
However, what moved me most was this elderly couple in Melbourne. The dear woman was standing in front of her husband, holding what seemed to be folded newspapers by his face successfully blocking the mid-afternoon sunlight from his strained eyes. As she stood there with her cane, she lovingly rubbed his back while the bus arrived. Their unconditional love and kindness at such an old age made them the true “Guardians of the Galaxy” in my eyes. It is love like theirs that makes the world turn. We have so much to learn about true love…
And as Mevlana Rumi says,
“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”
‘Til next time,