Friday, 18 February 2011

Things to be Thankful For... Travelling Special :)

 Well, It has been over a week since my return to the UK. My photos are sorted into albums on my computer, my tan is fading, my summer clothes are washed and put away, my bank account is empty, I am well and truly back on British time and my raincoat is getting a workout! On more happy notes I am HOME and back to Mike and marrying him in 4 months!!! (So a bit more excited to be back than your average traveller :P )
I'm sad it's over but my trip was EXACTLY what I always wanted it to be! I have an unbelievable amount of things to be thankful for about my trip. Let me try and share as many of them as possible with you - the big things and the tiny little things.
  • I may have gone travelling on my own but I definitely wasn't really alone! God walked every little step with me, he even went before me and showed me the way for a lot of it. I was half a world away from all the people I love but I could never be too far away for him to be there. Thank you God for being my comfort and guide in new and strange places, my home away from home, my strength, my joy and my story wherever I went! Thank you for sharing this great experience with me, for enjoying my enjoyment and showing me more of your beautiful creation. For hearing my prayers spoken in times of laughter and times of tears, for answering those prayers and for taking me a little bit further on my journey.
  • I had very high expectations of New Zealand, and it completely blew them out the water and was even better that I ever imagined! New Zealand is by far the most STUNNING, friendly, diverse, clean, safe, welcoming country I have ever been too and I think you should all go there (though not at once cause you'll ruin it lol!)!
  • The trip went off without one technical hitch! I didn't lose my passport, or my money, or my phone, or have anything stolen, or miss any transport, or get lost, or run out of money, or break anything........ or fall in a volcano, off a glacier, into hot mud, or over in an earthquake! None of my flights were delayed and I had no major turbulance. I didn't get too sunburnt, or sick, or devastatingly homesick (I was very homesick at times but it didn't ruin anything). The worst I got were bad blisters, a scraped knee, jet-lag, a little bit of sunburn and two colds! All in all God kept me safe and I am very thankful!
  • I lost track of the amount of blessings, answers to prayer and miraculous circumstances I had. Tons of circumstances that just shouldn't have happened so easily. Miraculous early check-ins allowed, aisle seats next to empty seats on planes, money going further than it should have, loads of small-world moments, unexpected free meals and drinks, out of the blue 'deep and meaningfuls', immaculate weather in places where it always rains, countless 4-bed dorms for the price of 8-bed dorms or lower, whale watching of a standard that even the guides were stunned. And SO many more! Not to mention the miraculous recovery of a guy on our bus who by all means should be dead but all he's lost is the memory of 3 days! (For the full story read here!) Wow!
  •  I have now... seen active volcanos (even climbed one!!), walked on a glacier, been whale watching, gone travelling, visited New Zealand, visited Australia, had a Wagga Christmas and been in Sydney for New Years Eve. That's 8 things off my Life To-Do List - not bad!!
  • The wonders of the internet and Skype in particular! Being away from Mike for 2 months without such technology would have been a lot harder (and it was hard enough as it was!). Through the wonder that is Skype we were able to have regular face to face conversations so clear it was like we were in the same room! In fact it was so easy to talk this way (we had no idea how we'd find it before I left) we often accidentally filled the whole time available with banter rather than talking about all the things I'd been doing! lol! :) Even more of a blessing was the fact that in 2 months worth of skype dates there was only one with real technical difficulties such as insanely slow internet! Miracle!
  • Spending time over Christmas with lovely Family who went above and beyond to make me feel at home. Their generosity blew me away and getting to know them all a lot better and sharing their lives and homes for a while was absolutely lovely and a huge blessing! Hope to see you all again soon :)
  • That through my powers of organisation and through some very helpful advice from a friend over 18 months ago (thanks Tom!), I easily avoided having to stay in any scabby hostels! Not one! Am very thankful for YHA hostels and lovely little independents, the fact that I bought YHA membership 5 months ago for only £10 and the fact that the membership and bulk-bed vouchers got me $25 - 4 bed dorm rooms in some hostels where the price should have been $35 for 8 bed rooms! Saved me a fortune! Plus YHA hostels are lovely, clean, friendly, have amazing kitchens, are organised and extremely eco-conscious and are full of everyone from young families to pensioners, all whilst still each having their own personal character! Before I started this trip I had no idea how hostels worked and had only heard the horror stories. I am so thankful that in 2 months I have no horror stories to tell you, only lots of good advice to share and lots of lovely memories. :)
  • I'm so thankful for all the photography opportunities and fun I had taking them, some of them even came out quite well (maybe there is a little bit more of my Dad's talents rubbed off on me than I thought). But honestly, God provided the scenery and the camera did the hard work, I just pointed it in the right direction! For my beautiful little Camera - you are amazing! Thank you for taking my 3 1/2 THOUSAND holiday photos so beautifully and without any fuss - you did a great job! Thank you for having a stunning Macro setting and anti-shake technology, for being so small and for eating your way through batteries surprisingly slowly for such a lot of use (Box of 20 batteries lasted the whole 9 weeks - impressive!)! Oh little camera I couldn't have done it without you! I shall be giving you a break for a while now, you deserve a holiday... at least until the next good sunset anyway :P
  • For my Michael! (If you don't like soppy love stuff then you may want to skip this point or get a sick bag :P ) He waited for me, supported me, encouraged me, got up insanely early countless times to Skype me when he HATE'S mornings,  bought me surprise phone credit, text me back in the middle of the night and loved me just as much over the 11680 miles space between us as he does standing right next to me! I so thankful for him in all his wonderfulness! I am even thankful for our time apart, for how well we pulled it off, for what a blessed time it was for both of us, and even though I didn't think it possible I Love him more now than before I left :)
  • That massive, heavy objects like Boeing 747's can make it off the ground and fly insanely high and insanely fast all the way to the other side of the world in just one day - Amazing! I am also thankful for in-flight entertainment. A 28 hour flight home, not being able to sleep, would have been a lot more terrible if not for the 6 movies, numerous tv shows and music I was entertained with! I am even thankful for airplane meals - mad I know! On long haul flights they're really not that bad, even quite nice. And they give you a lot of food (5 meals on my flight home!).
  • I ate A LOT of holiday ice-cream and still managed to get back to England a little skinnier than when I left lol! It must have been all that hiking :P
  • I'm thankful for all the time I spent watching sunsets and sunrises, hunting for seashells, walking along beaches and getting my feet wet, reading books, exploring places and towns with no hurry to be anywhere at any particular time, meeting new people. For lots of lazy afternoons in the sun - ah who am I kidding - lazy days, small world moments, the fact that 'one scoop' in New Zealand really means an ice-cream the size of 3 scoops, actually enjoying reading my bible, individual reading lights in hostels, the feeling of bare feet on grass, canned meals that actually taste quite good, free kayaking, free BBQ's, insanely beautiful hostel locations, 'free food' shelves in hostel kitchens, the lovely sound of flip flops! And so many more little things I can't remember them all!
  • Hostel book exchanges - brilliant idea! This meant that 14 of the 15 books I read on holiday were free and more than half of them were actually quite good! I even read 'The Hobbit' half way round New Zealand :P
  • For having a great sense of direction, a photographic memory and good map reading skills! Without even using a map the majority of the time I managed to explore cities and never once get lost or even worry about it!
  • Last, but definitely not least, I am thankful for how things are now, for how I feel now I'm home, for what I learnt whilst away, for things I improved at, for problems I overcame, for passions re-ignited, for new passions discovered, for the break I had, for feeling more relaxed and more motivated all at the same time, for knowing more about myself and actually quite liking who that person is, for feeling more prepared for what is to come both known and unknown, and for standing firmer than ever before in the knowledge that EVERY LITTLE THING is in HIS HANDS and life is going to be brilliant! 

1 comment:

  1. i love this and i am thankful that you have all this to share with everyone forever!!! x x x x