Friday, July 8, 2016

The Aussie Has Landed!

Okay. So maybe after only 24 hours here I'm not technically an Aussie. But the fact that I did survive a 17-hour flight and day one certainly stands for something! 

It's currently 7:30 a.m. on Saturday (so right now y'all should be determining where you'll be eating Friday night dinner in Texas), and I'm sipping a cappuccino and watching the sunrise over the city skyline in my apartment. So I decided it was prime blogging time!

Oh goodness. So many things to share. 
Let's just start from the beginning. 

Thanks (undoubtedly) to your prayers, the flight was a piece of cake. No joke. Like from the second I walked into the DFW airport it was like God said "I got this." 

Considering international planes carry 450 people, I was prepared for long check-in lines, long security lines, enhanced security scrutiny, etc. Jeff and I walked in and there was no security line and no check in line. It was quite easy and welcoming. Then the ticket agent told me there was no one in the middle seat next to me (I was in a window) and I all but jumped over the counter to hug the man's neck. 

Security was a breeze, and the agents were so nice and accommodating. The bright red rainboots I was wearing (...they were too big to pack) struck up a conversation starter and we had the nicest time. Then I decided to see if my airline status could get me into the Admirals Club, and while I was fully prepared to get rejected (I was wearing red rainboots, remember?), the nice lady told me to go on in and enjoy myself! So many wins. 

The flight itself was pretty simple. I watched Brothers & Sisters for a couple hours, they fed us dinner (yes, at midnight Dallas time), I went to sleep for 9 hours, I watched 4 more episodes of Brothers & Sisters, I ate breakfast, watched 2 more episodes, and I landed! My two recommendations for long-haul flights are as follows: 1) be really into a TV series you can binge watch, and 2) take a sleeping pill :)

I got through customs, found my driver, and got to my apartment by 8 a.m. My driver told me that Taylor Swift was landing at the Sydney airport around that time, and that the paparazzi was expected to be a nightmare. I'm just glad they didn't pull out the paps for me because after 22 hours of travel, I was not looking my best... 

And yes, Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, and myself are all in Sydney right now. This city has some serious celebrity status at the moment. :)

Friday was a day of both excitement and frustration. When I walked into my apartment and put my bags down, I literally said "now what?" I had no agenda. I can't tell you the last time I didn't have an agenda. 


That's what I decided was the first thing on my list. I left my bags in the middle of the living room and went to explore my neighborhood. Fun fact: Australian coffee is magical. And they don't do the whole "artificial sweetener" thing so looks like I'm going to wean myself off that real quick. I was sipping my coffee through the to-go take-away lid and tasted what could only be explained as chocolate-fairy dust. So I opened the lid and this was what I found: 

Isn't that amazing? So yes, the first picture I took in Australia is of coffee. And my infamous bright red rainboots. 

This is when things started to turn a bit frustrating. There's just something inherently frustrating about unfamiliarity. I had no map, no correct currency, no phone, and no idea what was "American" vs. "world-wide." For instance, I was trying to explain to the nice mom-n-pop shop clerk that I need hangers and she had zero idea what I was talking about. Like I got to the point where I took off my jacket and acted like I was hanging it in a closet and still...nothing. 

BUT - I decided to keep putting one foot in front of the other and just keep going. #justkeepswimming Then before I knew it, I turned the corner and BOOM. I found it. The Kroger-equivalent of Australia. And all was right in my world. With that new-found discovery came confidence, and with that confidence I got correct currency, an opal card (for public transportation), and a giant container of body wash.

I went home, showered (best.shower.ever), and began the nesting process. My little apartment has a bedroom, bathroom/laundry room combo, kitchen and living room. And this is my view. Hello downtown Sydney. 

After doing some settling-in, I tried to figure out the phone situation (still a work-in-progress, can't quite figure it out) and gave up. After being awake for so long, I wasn't the sharpest of tacks. I'll try again today. I then reached out to my friend Angel (she was the office manager at my dad's office when I worked there a couple summers in college) to meet up with her for the rest of the day. I took what felt like 37 different trains and then arrived in Olympic Park for the last night of the 2016 Hillsong conference.  

What better way to spend your first night in Australia than a Jesus-conference with 20,000 others?
It was one of the coolest things I've experienced. And you know what was especially amazing? When Brian Houston came out and prayed for Dallas in light of the tragedies that hit earlier that day. Australians are good people. 

After the conference, it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I had been up for 37-billion hours and fought the good fight against jet-lag. I was so proud of myself for making it to 10:30p and just knew I had successfully switched over to Australian time. 

...until I woke up at 4:30 this morning. Sigh. Adjustment still in progress. 

So yeah, you may have been expecting pictures of kangaroos, beaches, the opera house, etc., but this weekend I'm still getting familiar. I have small goals: figure out the phone situation, learn how to work the trains, get familiar with my neighborhood, and put groceries in my kitchen. 

Then I'll work on the touristy things. :) 

Love and miss you all!

Until next time,


  1. This time in your life is going to be amazing! Your flight sounds like a dream! Sounds like it's been going great so far.