being a global citizen…#Australia2016

I was surprised with a ticket to Australia on Mother’s Day 2016. I was planning to go to Africa but there was a bigger plan in process. Since I do my best to be flexible and learned that it’s best to go with the flow (understanding that I could have more fun that way), I decided to shift gears because I could change my travel plans to Africa and instead go see about this place affectionately (depending on who you’re talking to) known as The Land Down Under.

Understanding that I was about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, I started the preparation process. Being the researcher that I am I started reading everything I could about Aussie land…I want to know about the food, music, culture, clothes, the demographics, and the his- and herstory of the continent. I didn’t know very much except what I had seen on television or National Geographic. I did know that my son Jonathan was determined to move there after meeting Rasha, who I agreed is the true love. This adventure would be extra special because I was going to Australia to celebrate the newly engaged couple, meet her parents, and experience being in another country for almost a month. So let the journey begin…

I had to figure out how I was going to take care of the tasks on a very long list while making sure I stayed on track with everything else on my plate. Projects were in various stages, some requiring more hands-on management than others. Part of my work requires that I’m agile and able to easily shift from one initiative to another. The other part of my work is making sure we are making it to the finish line, which means different things for different projects. It’s kind of like this building that made me call out to Jonathan and Rasha while sitting in the backseat of their red Honda, slow down, I need to get a picture of that building. It looks like the Lego buildings Jonathan used to build except his were straighter like an engineer.

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How in the world, I wondered, did they design this building so it wouldn’t topple over. This building was occupied, a short walk from a section of the Pacific Ocean. Then I wondered, Maybe the building just looks crooked because what’s leveling it so the people living inside can walk to and fro. Fortunately, my son and his fiance are pretty good-natured with their Ma because they slowed down enough so I could take several pictures. As we made our way down the busy street, another building came into view. I was like a kid in an amusement park (really..awe spent time at one that day). I carefully leaned out of the window making sure it was down as far as possible and took more pics. There’s a certain kind of wonder years feeling when looking at what’s unfamiliar but incredibly beautiful.

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This time, I was in awe over all the terraces and colors on the building.

I have so many pictures to share from my adventures in Australia. Between the koala bears and kangaroos, learning to say good-day mate and no worries, and making sure I didn’t ask for a takeaway because I wanted to sit and enjoy my tea (so delicious!) and freshly baked lemon meringue just-the-right-size pies, hanging out at my favorite spots aka libraries and museums, meeting new people, learning how to use the tram, buses, and trains, enjoying the weather and sights. My journey to another part of the world was an extraordinary gift and made me realize that The Creator knows best. I was being prepared to travel to Australia again for the big day…Rasha’s mom and I had to discuss the big day…Rasha and Jonathan were planning to marry in 2017!

As I made my way back home to the United States, I also realized that I would keep my childhood promise to be home in the Motherland one day and guess what? It came true but that’s a whole ‘nother adventure to share.

Joanna ~live, love, learn, laugh ~repeat