Trip Start Jul 17, 2011
Trip End Aug 18, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, August 18, 2011

My journey has come to an end, and I'm at a loss as to how to describe this trip of a lifetime. I've traveled a decent amount in the last ten years, but I think this trip has been the one to most impact my life. Maybe it's the fact that I'm older now and can appreciate the small things as well as the large things that make something great.

There were quite a few large moments in this trip. The big three-petting kangaroos and koalas, seeing an opera at the Sydney Opera House, and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef (as mentioned in a previous blog) allowed me to fullfill some childhood dreams, that realistically most people don't get to do. Those are the things (in addition to seeing my friends) that I was really looking forward to when I began to plan this trip a year ago.

However, it's the small moments that created the memories I took with me, and what causes me to smile when I think of them.

Here are just a few:
A moment like trying my best, and almost succeeding, to beat Grant in a racing Wii game and him just shrug his shoulders and say, as only a child can, "I'm just better than you."
A moment like being scared to death to drive on the other side of the road, and then when I did it, laughing because it was so easy.
A moment like watching the sun set in Port Douglas and seeing two strange plumes of smoke on each side of the mountain, and Emily saying, "Maybe it's the Red Indians signaling each other."
A moment like watching the dark video of me driving and Lisa giving directions, with Victoria saying in the background, "This is like riding with Mom and Dad!"
A moment like sitting on an isolated beach and watching the tiny sand crabs work so fast to create something just to move on to something else and realizing I don't want that to be a metaphor for my life.
A moment like sitting in the rainforest and it being so serene and peaceful that a butterfly landed on my arm and just rested there.
A few moments like meeting awesome and inspiring people that had so much to teach me and challenge me in my way of thinking.
A moment like half sliding/half rolling down a sand dune just to trudge back up to do it all over again and realize that, not once, did I worry about getting dirty.
A moment like sitting on the train, watching all the open space slowly pass me by and realizing that this must look like the land my great grandparents found when they crossed the plains in a wagon over a hundred years ago. How scary that must have been!
A moment like taking an early morning walk, just for coffee, and watching the city wake up.
A moment like meeting someone and enjoy being with them so much that when they were gone after just a couple of days, illogically missing them.

Life really is made up of individual moments woven together to create a tapestry of life. I'm just so blessed that many of these small moments became things I'll never forget.

It was an incredible and awe-inspiring journey that took me to the other side of the world. I never want to forget what I've learned; I never want to forget what I've seen and done; I never want to forget the people I've met. My journey to, through, and around Australia has changed me for the better and only strengthened my desire for more travel.

Stay tuned for the next travel blog.................
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