I’ve been in this beautiful city for almost a week and I don’t want to leave. This has been my view every day. How can you be in a bad mood when you wake up to that? I’m staying in Bondi Beach and the water is a three minute walk from where I live. This is paradise.
When I look at the beach, the reality sinks in that I’m not in Canada. I find there are a lot of similarities between Canada and Australia so sometimes I forget that I’m not at home. Australians don’t eat extremely different foods than what I’m used to, they have stores that I recognize and everyone speaks English. But there are some notable differences: First, Australians drive on the left side of the road. I’ve almost been hit a few times looking the opposite way for traffic. The food is also very expensive. I thought people were exaggerating but I bought an average bottle of cider and it cost me $13! So there is a huge incentive to eat at home. However, there are so many great little places to eat! I can’t get over the amount of café, restaurants, pubs and lounges here. You don’t see the big chain restaurants like in Calgary everywhere. I could eat at 100 different places here and barely make a dent in the market. Aside from all of that it is great being here and its fun being the one that talks differently! It’s always a conversation starter when people hear me talk so I’ve been making friends all over the place. I still feel like I’m in Canada minus friends and family.
That’s not completely true though. I’ve been able to connect with two friends since I arrived. I’ve been living with m y friend Joy who has lived in Australia since last December. She’s from Vancouver and I met her back in 2008. Since I arrived we’ve been doing things that we would normally do together which add to my denial of being on the other side of the world.
I also was able to connect with an old friend from Edmonton that I haven’t seen in years. Christian and I were in a bible study together and he reached out to me when I posted I was on my way to Australia. We had a fantastic day wandering Sydney and catching up on each other’s lives.
I didn’t do too much sight seeing but I did go down to the Sydney Harbour and see the Opera House, which was stunning! The highlight in Sydney was visiting Hillsong Church. It was on my to-do list while I was here and I was determined to get there no matter what. That included a 2.5 hour bus ride but it was so worth it. When I moved from Edmonton the churches I went to in Calgary were not as big as Millwoods Pentecostal so it was a little overwhelming when I stepped into Hillsong. But it was so amazing! The worship was on point and the pastor left me feeling challenged but also empowered. During our bus ride I noticed a sign for a city called Blacktown. I laughed and then Joy said she had family there. I thought she was kidding. LOL! She was not. So after church spend the afternoon with Joy’s family and had some lunch. We got a ride back to the train station and her “uncle”, Basil handed me a $50 bill. It may seem like a small amount but I really don’t have any money right now. Anything is a huge help and blessing. Money has been a concern from day one; however, God has been providing for me. With flights, accommodations, people willing to cover my dinners and snacks. It’s been awesome! This trip is God orchestrated and I’m mindful to keep God at the centre.
It is such a weird season for me. For the first time in my life I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow because my life is so mapped out. For example, the last four years I’ve been a student and my life was set between September and April. In the summer months I would get a job and then I would start the process all over again. Now I’m living life day by day.
I didn’t have any accommodation planned for Melbourne. I just didn’t feel a need to book anything yet. This worked out, yet again. I forgot my friend Mitch whom I met at my good friend Mari’s wedding in 2010 lived in Melbourne. After I posted on Facebook that I was leaving he sent me a message wanting to connect when I arrived. I talked to him a few days after I got to Sydney and he’s offered up his home for me in Melbourne for a few weeks while I get my life sorted. Seriously?! WTH!! Again, I’ve just been able to save some money on the largest expense that I have here.
I really have nothing to worry about. Honestly. God’s got this. I read Proverbs 16:9 this morning and it really rang true for my circumstances
“We can make our plans but the Lord determines out steps” (NLT)
With that in mind I can sleep peacefully.