Monday, January 20, 2014

Australia travel and day in Sydney!

Its quite amazing... No matter how often you travel, you still are at risk for "rookie mistakes."  In this trip's case, I think it means one of two things:  a) it has been far to long since I have done international travel, or b) I have been so busy at home, that I haven't been paying attention to details. 

This trip has so far had three mistakes:
1) when initially booking my trip, I was still debating if I would bring my niece with me.  Eventually i decided 'yes,' but I watched the flight prices go up and up at up.  At the end of the day, I had to cancel and rebook. 
2) after that rebooking, I re looked at my rental van situation.  I discovered the company only had poor reviews on travel sites, and also discovered that with the new flight times, I wouldn't be able to drop the van at the depot, as it would be open to close to my return flight time, they are closed the day prior to my departure (it's a public holiday), and they don't allow after hours drop off.  Rookie mistake: not reading fine print & reviews before booking. 
3) I booked a domestic flight to Brisbane, in order to see friends and see more of OZ.  The international date line is my excuse, and I booked a day later then intended.  Rookie mistake:  check check and recheck your bookings if you are on a tight schedule. 

It's super frustrating, but at least I am teaching makayla how not to travel, and the importance of keeping chill when faced with changing circumstances.  

Why is it that traveling In Malawi seems way easier than traveling in Australia!?!?

At any rate, yesterday was great. 

Got to Sydney after smooth flights through Tokyo, with Kirsten waiting for us after passing through customs.  Sydney airport is a madhouse.  Went back to her place, grabbed showers, breakfast at a super yum cafe. 

We then took the train into the ferry ad hopped on the harbour ferry to Manley beach.  Anytime ferries are part of public transit, it makes me happy!

Met up with a long time Payne-family friend, Kristina, who lives down here with her husband.  We went for more delicious food, then to the beach for some sand sitting, people watching, and open water swimming!  I loved that!  My first  open water swim of the year with baby sting rays and tropical fish, meters of visibility, and in a bikini!

It was, however, raining.  It caused us my to be able to walk through the Sydney botanical gardens, but otherwise, no big deal!  The rest of the day consisted of happy hour pale ales in Manley, yummy Thai dinner, gelato dessert and great company!

Back to Kirsten's place for a 10pm bedtime (I fell asleep in the car... But felt proud of making it through the first day without a nap), and up early "for our flight"

We are still in the airport, but only have another 1.5hrs before departure.  Then, Brisbane!  Wee :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014!

Have you ever realized how stressful the new year is?

First, there is the expectation that you are going to have some epic social night on NYE.  What happens if you just want to stay in and read a book?  Is that lame!? (i don't think so...)

Second, People almost expect that everyone will have resolutions to better one-self.  lose weight, get finances under control, travel more, give more, exercise more, eat less cheese, pick up a new habit.

That's a lot of stress, people.

What about this: resolving to be good to yourself?

It's kinda epic.

And, I am excited for the new year (I kinda always am...)!  Since I am a goal-oriented person, new years resolutions do me well.  This year, I don't have any except a word: restoration. I resolve to restore.  And, I believe that means being good to myself.  2013 was a year where I have started to discover a rhythm.  One of a working, dog owning, married, active 30 year-old.  2014 will be a year, where within that rhythm, I restore.    I resolve to restore balance.  I've been taking steps to do that, and it leaves me excited.

2014 has things on the horizon:
Trip to Australia!
Trip to Malawi (hopefully!)
Epic fast racing!
Maybe an peer-reviewed paper! (Kinda something i've been thinking about.  I just need a topic and time.)
The ongoing growth of Warm Heart Initiatives!

Today, I went up a mountain with my doggie, and watched the sky melt away over howe sound and burrard inlet.  It was amazing.  Enjoy this breath of fresh air.