Light On

Light On

Written by Heather

Topics: Planning & Reflection

It’s time. Time to take my bag to the car and hit the road for Dulles. Time to be in transit (car rides, airport waits, & flights) for the next 30 hours. Time to take one last deep breath and then the plunge. It’s time to return to Oz.

This countdown has been a long time coming. Four years ago when I returned from Sydney and started my new job, I knew I wanted to go back for a long-term trip. Many months ago, I decided to make this trip a reality! And just a few months ago, within days of applying for my visa, I decided I needed a little arts & crafts project to help count down the days :-)

In pre-school we made chains out of construction paper to help mark time until Christmas. So I went to the store, picked out a package of multi-colored paper, and went to town. It turned out to be so long that I had to drape it over my closet door!

Countdown chain to Oz

Countdown chain to Oz

Now, only one circle remains, and instead of tossing it out with the others, I think I’ll keep it on my dresser until I return.

While the craft project was fun, counting down the days has brought a mix of anticipation, excitement, and anxiety over the last few weeks.

For one, I’m in awe that I’m actually going to live the dream — a dream I’ve had for years and talked about at length. A couple of years ago I wondered if it was simply going to remain that…a dream and never reality. In one of my favorite books Delaying the Real World, one of the contributors says, “Every day you postpone a dream you weaken it a little. The longer you wait, the less likely you will ever chase it.” (A. Liverman) Well it’s time for the chase.

I’m so blessed to have this opportunity, but I’m still scared. However, as Christian author and speaker Joyce Meyer encourages, “Do it afraid.” If I waited for every ounce of fear to be gone, I never would have taken this leap.

Speaking of leaps, it’s been tempting to compare myself to other travelers and see how less brave, less traveled, and less savvy I am. I’m going to an English speaking country on a visa I’ve already secured. I’m not backpacking around the world. I’m not living in country with a different language (though some say that’s debatable ;-)). As easy as it is to compare myself to others, I can’t. This is my experience and I’m doing exactly what I want. I may not be as brave or knowledgable as others, but I don’t have to be. I just need to get on that plane, keep an open mind, and live this year to the fullest. And while I don’t think I’m brave, thankfully my friends and family do :-)

Scared, brave, excited, in awe — it’s time to live the next year half-way around the world. For all of you stateside, I have a request:

Try to leave a light on when I’m gone
Something I rely on to get home

-David Cook

♥ xoxo ♥

Thank you mom and dad for making this trip possible! Without living with you with lower rent the last few years, I would have never been able to save up some money for this adventure.

Til I get to Oz…cheers, m’dears. / CC BY 2.0

12 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Laura says:

    I’m so excited! And the chain you made is awesome! Don’t you love reliving things from your childhood? Good luck! If I making to Australia, I’m coming to visit!

  2. Mom says:

    The light will ALWAYS be on my dear.

  3. Good luck and enjoy! No matter what, don’t sell yourself short – you are going to the other side of the world, by yourself, to live for a year; that’s pretty amazing!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Allison! Guess what…the very first people I met at the hostel are an English couple in month two of a RTW trip :-)

  4. Dad says:

    Nae…miss you already more than words can say, but my heart is happy for you and this opportunity you’ve desired for some time. You are a huge blessing to my life. I love you.

  5. Evan says:

    Leaving you some love for when you land! Oh by the way, at the end of LOST, turns out Vincent was smokey as well.

    Actually, I haven’t watched it hasn’t aired yet and I was trying to be funny, but that makes kind of sense. Felt the need to clarify just in case I’m right.

    Let me do a new one.
    -Oh by the way, at the end of LOST turns out Smokey really just wanted a hug. Hurley gave him one and then everyone rode off the island on their unicorns. Except Sawyer. His unicorn didn’t like the nickname “Horny,” and dropped his but in the ocean. Again.

  6. House says:

    Well, I could try to one up Evan with regard to smokey, but there’s no point in that :)

    Hopefully you’ve found your way to where you’re staying for the next several weeks and are resting your head on your pillow and sleeping for a while :)

  7. Andi Smith says:

    Good luck my dear, I know you’ll be fine!

    P.S Whereever I go Evan seems to be trying to spoil LOST for me… I hope Vincent isn’t the smoke monster!!!!! :(

  8. House says:

    Andi, I was the smoke monster. :)

  9. Erica says:

    Grats! I am totally stoked for you! Did you get that awesome 1 year work/holiday visa?

    • Heather says:

      I do have that fabulous 1-year visa!! Just emailed a hostel/eco lodge in QLD about work for a few weeks…shall see!

  10. OK so I’m 6 months behind, but I love the chain. I want to do more things to remind me of my childhood. More thoughtlessness, more frivolity, more unbounded enthusiasm and more playing! Hope you’ve had and are having a good time in Oz! What a great thing to do!

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