I just spent the last month in Australia and New Zealand. I needed this. Everyone needs a break from time to time. I really needed a full system reset. Not just to get away from the cold, dark and wet month of November that Vancouver is notorious for or the long year of work, but for my heart, heavy throughout much of year. It needed to be refreshed. I can confidently say that it worked. This trip was nothing short of life changing for me. Traveling always is, but this one was at another level. I began the adventure in the north island of New Zealand. It was beautiful, fun and felt like a real adventure through bold and lush green hills and high mountain peaks. Hikimg through the Tongariro National Park pass was one of the most memorable things I have ever done. It looked something like the surface of the moon and Frodo’s adventures (Lord of the Rings was filmed here after all). The Gold Coast brought a long awaited rendezvous with close friends the joy of watching the waves roll in on those golden beaches and hanging with kangaroos and koalas. And then there was Melbourne. The Mecca of coffee, an indulgence for those of us who are obsessed with that yummy black stuff. But to be honest, my trip didn’t really get started until Sydney. I hadn’t expected this. I thought it would be just another city with some fun sights and sounds to indulge in. The experience left me speechless and now… I have a decision to make.
Looking back. The year had been turbulent. Like a plane going through the Colorado Rockies. The wings and tail remained intact, but the ride shook and rattled the passengers. As I look back, it was an extraordinary ride. I wasn’t sure who I was, uncertain if I had the strength to go on. The feeling of loss and loneliness ran so deep it was dizzying sometimes. Being crushed. It felt as though I was being squeezed into a box filled with nails. You can’t move because of the fear of puncturing your skin on the rusted ends so you wait it out hoping the hinges on the box break open so you can escape. I had to fight through some grueling and dark nights. And then half way through the year it began to change. Abundance, new friendships, new opportunities, accomplishments beyond imagination and a whole new life. Complete joy. It didn’t happen through patience and me waiting for things to change. The flight path had to be changed though so the plane was flying in the right direction (How I Transformed my Life in 9 Months). Just a little bit off and that plane that is headed for land will end up somewhere in the ocean. It came down to me trusting in God and His grace for me and good, good plan for my life. Knowing deep down in my heart that he really did have a plan for me. A big plan. For my life to proposer and be profound. As he turned the dark and turbulent skies into blue I was amazed by what happened around me. It was better than any dream I can remember.
Why I adventured in Australia. I planned my trip to the Land Down Under for a few reasons. Aside from a little bit of a break, visiting friends and a reset, the trip had some other purpose behind. Australia was my last continent. I had seen the other four (not including Antarctica), all special and unique with their beautiful sights, food, culture and incredible people. I feel very fortunate to have travelled to so many places and feel extremely privileged to have friends around the globe. But there was so much more to my trip than just knocking off another item of the bucket list. I was in search of something. A new life, a new career and someone I could spend my life with. I wanted to see if just maybe I would or could eventually find this in Australia. I know this sounds cliche or ridiculous, but when you’re 33 and you’ve seen and done a lot, but you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, then all you want is normal. I know many of my friends and family live vicariously through me and my adventures, but really I live just as much through them and the joy they experience with their families. I know I can still be happy and content with the life I live now. I know it’s not meant to be alone, but if it is, I am 100% okay with that. So aside from all that, there was one greater reason. My heart was to see what God was doing there. I’ve been to Brazil and seen the powerful movement of God happening at a small and fast growing church called Pier 49 in Rio de Janeiro and the beautiful churches and people in Uganda and Kenya. In Australia there is something profound growing there. Some might call it the most profound movement we have seen in modern times. Some would call it a revival that is spreading beyond the the island continent. It started 30 years ago in the suburbs of Sydney by a couple with humble hearts and a big vision. Their names are Brian and Bobbie Houston. They founded Hillsong Church after the Hills district it resides in. Hillsong now stretches to over 14 countries around the globe, has a well known and fast growing college and a music movement that is reaching those who would have never been open to either. Actually seeing this in person after I had followed them for many years was a milestone for me.
The roads. I realized during my time in Sydney and at Hillsong Church that I had some options. I came to Australia with the idea that, I could live here. Australia seems like fun, similar to Canada, but different. This will be a scouting mission. To be honest though, half way through my trip, although the adventure had been fun, the sites were incredible and I loved people, it didn’t feel like I could ever call this home. Even during stay in Sydney, I could not have imagined the possibility that I might live there. It was expensive, didn’t have a great transit system and people drove on the wrong side of the road (only kidding). Despite all that, I felt like God had planted something in my heart for Australia and He was going to reveal something very deep and profound to me in time. I just had to trust Him and be patient. I didn’t know exactly what that would be. It was on my last day that some connections, you could call them appointments, and special events happened that were nothing short of profoubd. It became clear. Sydney was a real option for me.
The contemplation. Staying in Vancouver is no doubt the easiest option for me. It’s where I was born, I hold a passport and am familiar with my city. My job is the envy of many (I work from home), I have family, friends and a community that love and support me. I’m surrounded by some of the most beautiful coastline and mountains and beaches in the world. I cherish the many stellar local coffee shops, and my cherished running routes around Vancouver. I help run an organization called EnduroFit with some amazing friends of mine that genuinely want to improve peoples’ lives through a better approach to fitness and health. With community central to all we do we believe we really are doing just that, and the recent testimonies are proof of that. What more could one ask for? It’s a perfect and easy life. But I feel like I’m standing still. Should I stick to the path that is wider and has greater sight of what is down the road? For the sake of familiarity, safety and control? What if I ventured down the more difficult path that was to lead me to my destiny? I could try and fail, and it could be a miserable experience. It could also be a lot of fun and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Say, yes. Our lives are meant to be extraordinary and never boring. Often times it’s the hard choices that set us in motion and carry us to our destiny. To dream is a gift, and that is what we were designed to do. The follow through is the difficult part. We are all here on this earth to do extraordinary and unique things. I think some of us get bored of our lives and find them mundane because we aren’t stepping outside of our comfort zones. We were meant to do more than just get by. I think that if just 50% of us believed in ourselves and didn’t give up on our dreams, made those changes and took those chances, we would have irradiated poverty, modern slavery, converted the world to sustainable energy, cured cancer and landed on Mars long ago. I know I’ve got to make the difficult, but right decision for me and my life on this. I’m one for trying something new, that challenges me, an exciting opportunity that might be a bit scary, but requires faith and trust.
“Probably some of the best things that have ever happened to you in life, happened because you said yes to something. Otherwise things just sort of stay the same.” -Danny Wallace