Ready to board. My chapter in Sydney and at Hillsong appears to have gone by so fast, but it felt as though it was 10 years, but it was only three. My experience at Hillsong College was generally a good experience. But with any good thing, there are challenges that come along. There was grief, and there was pain. A result of challenges that life will tend to throw your way, and my own personal failures (spoiler: I’m human). But it wasn’t just being part of college, but living abroad that was hard. Being away from close family and friends for an extended period of time takes its toll. Living in another, one which is not your place of birth is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
But despite everything that didn’t go as I would have hoped, I have no regrets. The last 3 years were an adventure. One of the greatest for me. And that experience has made me better. There were many great things along the way. I witnessed nearly 30,000 people in an arena singing songs of worship at the top of their lungs countless times. I was part of a world-class college whose alumni reach and influence the world! And I played a role at Hillsong Church, part of the IT department. A role that gave me REAL purpose. Sometimes I have to pinch myself over all that I had a chance to partake in. But you know what impacted me the most? And this very thing will be on my heart: the people. They touched my heart! The friends I met and connected with have forever changed me. I get emotional thinking about it.
And so that day has come. Flying to the next adventure. I am, at the airport. It’s time to board. It’s the final call. The journey of my life is about to begin. I will be traveling through 8 countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), India, Bhutan, and Nepal in 4 months. And I’ll be braving it solo. I’ve traveled many times before, but there is something unique about this trip that intimidates me. I’ve felt as though there’s been a rock in my stomach for the past few months. But heck, that’s a sign, I think! A sign it will be a GREAT trip! I rest assured, knowing that all the right doors have opened and the wrong ones have closed. Thanks to all of you that have been praying for me and believe in me! Despite the jitters, I feel a deep peace and excitement. As though it was meant to occur just this way.
The challenges ahead
The journey ahead will present many challenges. Trips like this often have more than a few. But I know, woven into every situation and conversation there will be an opportunity. There’ll be an opportunity to learn and grow. There’ll be an opportunity to change and be better. I believe the greatest classroom is one without walls. And that’s what traveling is at its core for me. One big classroom. It’s when I feel most alive. I trust what is ahead on this trip will include some of the most incredible, life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. And I’m ready for that.
“Travel changes you. … And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful.”Anthony Bourdain
I would be honored if you followed me on this journey. I’ll be posting once a week for the next 16 weeks. I hope they will give you a glimpse of what I’m seeing, who I’m meeting, and what I’m experiencing. I hope the stories inspire you in some small way!
So here’s to ADVENTURE!