Today I am thankful for wandering in a new city alone on a beautiful fall day. (Nope, that wasn’t a mistake, it is fall here on the other side of the world.)
Becky had a practice run of her presentation this morning and may be available this afternoon so I opted to explore the city of Armidale for the morning and early afternoon. Armed with a map, a backpack of reading materials, and some ideas of things to see from our awesome hostess with the mostest (Diane) I ventured into a new city.
The trip there was half the fun, I went through a few trails, a huge park covered in fall leaves, through a small neighborhood and through another park. Here’s a peak at some of the views:
As I wandered I came across what appeared to be a staffing service, and being the curious person I am, I walked in. After confusing the poor guy who had just started I got into a pretty gnarly conversation with Lisa the Employment Consultant about what they do, how they do it, and the differences in the States. It was incredibly enlightening and gave me many ideas to ponder while traveling. We were able to establish a pretty cool relationship quickly and I’ll be getting back in touch with her to learn more.
After that conversation I wandered into what I’m personally deeming “The Church District.” The churches were pretty amazing, these pictures don’t really do them justice. The size, the shapes, architecture and the other small details were very interesting.
From there I wandered back into the heart of the town in search of the holy grail… Free WiFi so I could FaceTime the boys and wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. Thanks to a small coffee shop in the mall I was able to accomplish my mission. While I was having a great time on my own it was great to have a little oasis of time with loved ones!
After the WiFi I went wandering again, this time with food (& more coffee – a flat white with an extra shot to be specific) in mind. I found a little bistro tucked away on a side street and had a pretty awesome lunch and got some reading in while eating. After lunch I was also able to spend some time in my laptop working on a little side project that’s been brewing in my head for quite some time.
Filled up and a little caffeinated I trekked back towards the house. Along the way I found a park that was completely devoid of people, was covered in fall leaves, had a nice little fall breeze, and some pretty inviting trees. Before I knew it I was sitting against one of the trees taking a little cat nap with the smells of fall softly blowing in my face and the sounds of Mumford and Sons serenading me. Upon waking I started typing this blog in my own little slice of heaven sitting in the park on the hill, alone. If you look close at the pic of the tree and backpack you can make out my butt & leg prints in the leaves.
Today I am thankful that I decided to wander into town and explore for a while on my own. There’ve only been a handful of times that I’ve done this, wandering alone with no agenda in a new area, and every time it ends with a feeling of peace that is absolutely amazing. All of life’s stresses are completely washed away, all expectations of me are completely unknown, and the day will be what I make of it with very little input from the outside world. It’s like this crazy sense of control while totally letting go of everything and spending time with myself while exploring something new. It’s peaceful, relaxing and allows for incredible self reflection. It’s times like this that I can start to understand why people choose to leave standard life and “wander the Earth.” That being said, it’s funny but as good as it feels I know this is a feeling that is best experienced in short doses. Life is great, but it’s even better when it’s shared with loved ones. As Chris McCandless put it, “happiness only real when shared.”
I am thankful that I had time to wander alone this morning and it also makes me more appreciative of spending time with my loved ones.