Hello people! I’m finally back from our six-week long overseas adventure – we had an amazing time away (it definitely was not a holiday, but it was so good!) However we are definitely ready to be home again and can’t wait to start digging into projects and a somewhat normal routine.
Getting to go to Turkey, Italy, and Switzerland with my family was a fantastic opportunity. I have highlights from all three places. We could not have asked for a better guide in Turkey – she was so informative and adapted the tour to meet our family’s interests, and as she said at our tearful goodbye, we have a friend in Turkey, not a guide.
Getting to float in a hot air balloon one day, and then rummage around in an underground city the next, and then go and eat the best flavoured ice cream I’ve ever tasted, were probably some of my favourites. Mind you, actually walking the beaches of Gallipoli and seeing the conditions the Anzacs fought under was a special and humbling moment too
We didn’t feel like we experienced Italy like we did Turkey, especially in way of food, but we still enjoyed it, especially Venice and the colourful buildings, and the Roman ruins and renaissance art (Nomi’s new line when someone threatens her with something horrible: thanks, but I’ve already seen the statue of David.) And of course, Italian’s gelatos are delish!!
And Switzerland… you think the photos in the postcards and documentaries are exaggerating the beauty of the Alps, but they’re not. I could not get over how beautiful the mountains were – so high and so green! We stayed in a very hospitable B&B/hotel and you could not get a better view from my bedroom window with the cow’s bells always dinging in the background. It was us kids’ first time in the snow, so we had fun tobogganing and sledding down the top of a mountain where it has (old) snow all year round.
I actually read eleven books on our trip, which is probably more than I read on a normal holiday! It was actually quite a range of subjects; from minimalism to Rahab to worship to dyspraxia to the classical work of Charles Dickens. It was brilliant and reinvigorating, helping me to get into the habit of reading books more often. I learnt a lot: after visiting Florence, I read a book on Leonardo da Vinci and discovered that the length of your foot equals the length of your face. Why not?!
But it’s good to be home. Stepping out of the Darwin airport, Dad pretended to kiss the ground, and that’s how we felt. The air is different in Australia, and I found out that Aussies actually do have Australian accents! Hearing hardly any Australian accents for six weeks does that to you.
It took Domino to realise that we were really home, and even jumped up on Mum to welcome her home! Right now I can hear our Phantom of the Opera musicblasting from the family room; Nomi missed it terribly (somehow it helps her go to sleep!) It was a beautiful morning today and I’m looking forward to catching up with our friends in the next few weeks.
While away I read a book called “Create: stop making excuses and start making stuff”, by Stephen Altrogge. He really pinpointed and ripped away the excuses I place on myself to not get into doing things, namely because it might stink and I’ll fail. But if my identity is really rooted in Christ and I am accepted and cherished by God, what does it honestly matter if I mess up? I have God’s approval, and that’s all I really need.
Whenever I go away, after about two weeks I get homesick and want to go home and give the house a good clean down. Being away for six weeks took me beyond that I-just-want-to-go-home-and-live-my-normal-life feeling, and despite the full-on pace of our trip, I really did come back refreshed and with some tangible goals. I am looking forward to getting my teeth into stuff now. It means discipline, self-control, diligence and responsibility, while keeping an available and flexible lifestyle to match the life I want (aka people-focused). Things like going to bed at the right time, eating healthy and drinking lots of water (superdrink, I’m telling you), and making sure I don’t get sucked into fluffin’ around on Facebook, email, or spending the afternoon watching my favourite TV show on DVD too often, are little things that make a difference in my energy levels and time management. Reading all those books while we were away will help me with managing those things, because it’s rekindled my love for reading books, and I have lots of books I want to read! Knowing I have a good book on the go turns me off spending time on Facebook or email after dinner, which often results in a late night, which means I’ll either sleep in and miss my morning walk, or I won’t function at top gear the next day.
Thanks to all my readers who followed our family’s blog; we had a blast sharing our adventure with you! It was a great time away, and we saw. so. much. What can I say?
It wasn’t a holiday – it was definitely an adventure!
But now that it’s over, it’s good to be back.