As I sit here with my coffee in hand and my wind being blown by the slightly chilly 13 degree day (for all of you Americans out there, that is in Celsius not Farenheight but still cold) I ponder what … Continue reading
Two Sunday’s Ago:
July 13, 2014
This morning I woke up far too early for my liking at 5:30 am and after an hour of tossing and turning I gave up and awoke for the day. At that point I thought I might as well try to call Ryan so I could talk to him for a moment and we got to talk for an hour! A great start to my day.
After changing into running clothes and having a quick oatmeal breakfast to warm the bones, I stepped out into the chilly morning air. The chill wore off about 10 minutes into my run. And oh it was a beautiful run!
I ran down a wonderful area of St. Kilda called Acland Road, by Luna Park, and down to the ocean where the light blues and orange tints of the winter morning sunrise remained draped across the darker blues of the ocean and the white crests of the waves.
There in the early morning winter light, I noticed a small thing on the sand up ahead, curious, I approached. There in the winter sunlight stood a one foot tall Blue Penguin! He cheered me along as I ran by chirping his hello. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I ran down the St. Kilda beaches and up another hopping place in St. Kilda called Fitzroy street.
It being 8:30am on a Sunday, Fitzroy Street, wasn’t a very hopping place just yet, but the bleary eyed café owners were just beginning to feel the caffeine of their early morning coffee kick in as they set up shop for a busy Sunday brunch.
After my run was over, I got back to take a warm and relaxing shower, get dressed, and ready to head to church. After the short 12 minute walk to a nearby Presbyterian church I was welcomed by a man into a beautiful church building. Little did I know this beautiful church building was the home of a 16 person congregation (including the minister), a pianist who didn’t know how to play piano, a minister who had such a heavy Korean accent you couldn’t understand him, and a lack of any heating.
Given that it was a 47 degree morning, we sang accompanied by a lot of piano, there was a 20 minute sermon, and no one spoke to each other, it was a very interesting church service.
However coming out of the service, being hit with the promise of our Lord with the rays of sunshine coming down brought such a joy and thankfulness to my day.
Strolling back to my hostel was beautiful. Once back, I finished up my eggs, rocket (arugula), spinach, onions, and a few of my apples for a lunch before catching a tram to Uni.
At Uni, I met up with three girls from Penn, Jenny, Jordi, and Jenny. There we proceeded to run some errands, find our bearings, and just enjoy the happy and busy place Melbourne Central Business District is on a Sunday afternoon.
Around 5 we decided we would find a place to eat on the infamous Lygon Street. Walking by a cute Italian restaurant a man asked us to look at the menu, and then began to describe a wonderful Nutella dessert creation that if we chose to eat there would be on the house! So what did we do? We said yes and were led inside for a two hour meal full of joking with the waitstaff, conversations of Penn, conversations of what is to come, things about the United States, and the most wonderful food and wine. We all split a ½ liter of moscato, a pizza, calzone, and pasta dish that were all gourmet and marvelous!
After a 30 minute tram ride back to St. Kilda I got off near the pier, right around where I had seen the penguin earlier on today. I was told by a friend at my hostel that a local told him that there were more at night. So I began to walk along the pier and the water searching for a little penguin in the dark. Alas I did not see any but I listened to a beautiful sound that sounded familiar yet I couldn’t quite place.
So I asked another lady with a camera if she had heard anything about these penguins and she pointed to a fence up ahead and said they nest right over that fence. As I approached it the noise got louder. It was the penguins chattering I had been hearing all along!
Looking over the fence it was too dark to see anything but I was feeling very creative so I thought I may go take a seat nearby and look out at the waves lapping the pier, as the full moon and the lights of the city in the distance shone down on the water, and the happy penguins chatted. As I began to sit, I heard chattering very close to me and turning to my right I saw this little penguin 2 feet away from me! As my eyes began to adjust to the dark I saw 4 more penguins right there! I was entranced watching and listening to these fascinating creatures within touching distance to me. I watched them and laughed at them for 30 minutes before deciding to move on, where I came across penguins playing in the water, and scurrying across the rocks and just having a marvelous time!
Once I finally broke myself away from the beautiful sight and experience, as I walked up the pier I couldn’t help but grin, giggle, and praise God for his wonderful creations. All the way home, walking back along Acland Road I just felt so at ease and in love with Melbourne.
Have you ever gotten the pleasure to cook in a hostel kitchen?
Yeah, me either, until a week ago. I decided it would be much easier and much cheaper if I just went out and picked up peanut butter and bread at the Aldi about a three minute walk from my hostel and do that for the next three nights. However, once I got to the store, that just didn’t seem healthy enough for me so I settled for a good, old faithful dish of mine, egg whites and spinach with an onion for flavor and apples for my fruit/ dessert. We’ll Aldi doesn’t sell egg whites, so it turned into one egg and two extra egg whites. Anywho that isn’t important…
Now when you first read that opening question, did you think I was being sarcastic? It kinda sounds like it right? Plus if you think about a bunch of 20 something year olds sharing one kitchen and all the dishes, ew. That has got to be gross and dirty right?
I absolutely loved my cooking experience! Yes, the dishes weren’t my standard cleanliness (like obsessive cleanliness), but they were clean. Only selective burners worked, but me James, and Lydia bonded over this. Everyone was chatting with each other and laughing, and those of us who were lone travelers and we’re sitting alone were still part of the conversations and fun. We laughed over undercooked pasta, overcooked asparagus, and enjoyed what we had.
Life is simpler in a hostel.
People here seem to be searching to find their way.
From 30 year old Michael, the French traveler I met while we were chopping our onions, who is searching for a job so he can travel and treat himself to the vacations he wants, to Aphrodite, my 54 year old roommate who has just returned from Greece to Australia and wants to settle back in here, to the current long term residents who are working 8 hours a day and then joining us in the kitchen, life is being lived and paths are being discovered in hostels.
In less than 7 hours I will be boarding a flight to Los Angeles, where I will then transfer to a direct flight to Sydney, Australia and then catch a connection to MELBOURNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Those are three cities I have never been to and in two days I will have been in all three! The journey puts me in Melbourne at 9:35 am on Friday. There is a 14 hour time difference and 26 hours and 35 minutes of travel time! More than 22 of those hours are flying…
So packing. Packing. Packing. Packing.
It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought!
I fit all my clothes and shoes in one suitcase which weighs in at 44 pounds! And just cause I’m allowed two checked bags, I’m also bringing a small duffle bag. And then of course, my carry on.
How did I do it?
I honestly don’t know!
I ironed then rolled up all my clothes, which definitely saved space!
Then shoes went in first.
And then from that my rolled clothes got stacked and situated! And here we are! Finished product!
I ended up taking 3 pairs of flats, 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of boots, 1 pair of heels, and running shoes. 17 tops, 11 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, 5 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of leggings, 2 workout shorts, 4 cardigans, 4 scarves, winter hat, winter gloves, raincoat, leather jacket, 2 bathing suits, a fleece. Along with undergarments. This is what my wardrobe will consist of for 5 months and two and a half seasons!
And honestly, I think I’m content with that.
Simplification, that is my first lesson on this journey that takes me around the globe.
Melbourne Here I come!! Here is to many more lessons, adventures, and joy! Cheerio!
So in one week from today I leave. It is starting to hit me and hit me hard.
I am leaving EVERYTHING. Everything I know, everything that is familiar, all those comfortable things we tend to grip to.
Important things like our family, our friends, our home.But this week I have been thinking of all those little things I find comfort in, like being able to have my entire closet at my disposal when I desire it, being able to do laundry every (or every other day), being able to understand every word the people around me say, knowing I can look up a map on my phone when I’m lost or call someone who knows the way, how to order my coffee exactly how I like it, being able to find all the brands I’m familiar with, knowing I have people 10 minutes to 7 hours away when I need them.
What happens when these comforts are taken away? What happens when they are 10,018 miles away? When they are a 2 day journey flight away?
Well here is my answer right now, I adapt.
Keep following my journey to see how that becomes reality! I will be posting on this blog weekly on a Wednesday. Since I will be 14 hours ahead of the United States when I first arrive in Australia and 16 by the time I leave, my Wednesdays may be your Tuesdays, so plan accordingly. 🙂
I may post more often if I find time since I am disconnecting myself from other methods of communication (read: Facebook, texting, and calling) therefore should be saving time in my day to explore and share!
Now I will share a few things… things that I bought especially for my trip to Australia. I see every single thing being useful in my future, yet I would have never purchased them if I weren’t going abroad next Wednesday! (Ahhh! So soon!!!!!)