As I have been in college, I have found the importance of community in Christ. Along that note one of my best friends, Lauren has the brilliant idea to continue this idea in a blogging community of Christian College Bloggers!! We are called Camp(us) Fire Collective and you can find the full link here!
A little bit about where I am right now in my walk with Christ and my schooling:
In an effort to find myself, I went abroad. In this process of finding myself, I found God. This is a little bit about the start to my Junior year of college.
Going abroad was something I always knew I wanted to do, it drove how I acted in university, how I studied, how I saved, and how I planned. I knew it was something I wanted and felt as though I needed to do for me. Four months into my time abroad, I have to say it was exactly what was needed, however, not just for me, but for me and my relationship with Christ.
Being in Australia has led me to seek all my answers to questions and decisions, my actions, and my thoughts in God. At the University of Pennsylvania, I do a lot; I do everything I do because I love it (well, minus schoolwork but that is just one of those necessary evils of being a Uni student), but that doesn’t leave much time for me. I often find myself using my precious “me” time as time to do life in this world not to seek God.
Here, I have so much more “me” time and coming abroad I made the effort to have God as my first and foremost priority, and I have to say, this has made all the difference. I know that everything I am doing would be fun as is, because, hey, I’m in Australia, but I also know I am having that much more fun because I am seeking God in my daily situations.
This has made all the difference!
Now for a bit of my travels and what I have learned as a broke college kid last week!!
Day one of my spring break trip to Cairns!
Last Friday at 10:30pm I departed on a plane from the Melbourne airport, leaving the cold behind, I stepped off the plane on a tarmac at 1:45am, breathing in deeply and feeling my lungs fill with the warmth of the tropical air. I was here! Let my second spring break of 2014 begin! Last one was spent in South Carolina with one of my best friends and this one was to be spent in Cairns!
This whole experience made me feel the most like a college student I have ever felt! Make that a broke college student!
Step one of the broke college kid life: sleeping on the airport floor from 2am until the free shuttle arrives at 8am because why would you pay for a hostel room for a few hours and why pay for a shuttle when you can get one free!
Step two of the broke college kid life: utilize the free airport shower at 5am when you can’t sleep anymore.
Step three of the broke, social, college kid life: make friends with the other 10 broke college kids and gap year students waiting for the free shuttle at 8am.I’d like to note, these steps were completed, in the correct order even!
Once my new friends and I caught the shuttle into town, I had plenty of time to explore before I could check into my hostel at 2pm.
Step four in broke college kid life: take advantage of the free luggage storage and lockers at your hostel.
I dropped off my bag, went for a stroll around town, and did my grocery shopping for the week, completed at this lovely little fruit and veggie market, Rusty’s Markets, and the local Woolies.
Step five in the broke, sensible, college kid life: don’t give into the temptations of eating out when you can spend the same amount you would on one meal on 3 meals a day for 7 days!
Afterwards it was time to get in some sun time at the pool attached to the hostel! I got suited up in my bathing suit and slathered up in my sunscreen. (the hole in the ozone layer is right over Australia, sunscreen must be 50+ for this girl!)
Step six in the broke college kid life: Utilize the free sunscreen at your hostel and always buy sunscreen before you get to Australia! It is almost three times the price here!
Laying out by the pool solidified the fact I was on spring break. For all of you Gilmore Girl fans out there, you remember Rory and Paris’s trip to Florida for spring break? Well that was EXACTLY how my experience was, a ton of guys drinking beer by the pool, cheering really loudly, rating girls (outloud) as they passed, lots of hookups, all my fellow hostel mates sleeping at 4 in the afternoon and lots of noise. After laying out for a while I felt objectified and awkward. I spent most of my time by the pool praying for the souls of the people around it. A true blessing I know God placed in my life was a young 30’s couple who happened to come down and show Christ’s love to me during the awkward task of walking past the line of bar stools that had drunk, loud guys on them. The man asked if I’d like him to escort me out while his wife stayed with their stuff, I took him up on the offer and felt so much more comfortable to be out of the situation and thankful that God placed Tim and Cassandra there at that specific time!
What was more my speed was the local lagoon: since the area around Cairns is salt marsh, salt flat area with crocodiles you can’t swim in the ocean, the city built a huge pool area overlooking the ocean and the mountains. It was full of families, babies, and lots of other tourists, much more my speed.
After a beautiful swim and a few hours of sun time, I went and checked into my hostel and got changed for a wonderful six mile run along the ocean and the pier! One really cool thing they have in Cairns is the best public exercise equipment: like full on arm machines, bikes, ellipticals, and your typical sit up, tricep dip, pull up type equipment, all worked off of your own body weight! So interspersed in my six miles I tried out all of the equipment!
Step seven in the broke college kid life: Always take advantage of free gyms, whether they be park equipment or that “one month” free offer from your local gym!
Showering felt amazing after all of this and my yummy chicken, cabbage, and carrot concoction (just noticed those were all C words!) was just what I needed to refuel before taking advantage of the free happy hour at the hostel!
Step Eight in the broke college kid life: free food and drinks are ALWAYS a good idea, take advantage while they last!
At the bar/ nightclub that was attached to the hostel I got free entry and met a lot of nice, funny people, but was so tired from my odd hours flight I had to call it a super early night!
Step Nine in the broke college kid life: If you can go out dancing, go out dancing where it costs nothing!
A trip to the pharmacy to purchase ear plugs completed my first crazy night in Cairns 😉 My room for the first night was right over the nightclub and rather loud so the ear plugs were completely necessary!
This was day one of probably the best seven day trip of my life! Come back soon to hear all about scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, swimming on Sea Turtles, swimming in waterfalls, seeing Platypuses, spending the night in the jungle, meeting amazing people, and getting really tan! Until then have a lovely week and be on the lookout for free things!!