You know that feeling you get when you’re fast approaching the days before you leave on a big trip somewhere…butterflies in the tummy, frantic mixed with check lists, elation and nervousness combined — well this was me about one week ago. My trip that would take me on new paths, new experiences, and to new places, with one swift phone call and shared pleasantries, was called off. The borders between the two states that make us one beautiful country had been slammed shut. The people on one side of the border were no longer allowed in and whatever plans they had in this piece of the big Australian state puzzle were thrown into chaos. This was me.
As I wiped yet more tears from my eyes, I surveyed my options. My hope for what might eventuate on this adventure was slowly closing in and darkness was setting in. It’s interesting the way human nature responds to sudden unexpected moments, adversity and sheer disappointment. We tend to do one of two things — run and hide or fight on. At this moment I hid away and curled up in my warm safe space and pretended I was fine. But I wasn’t. Over the next few days my disappointment turned to sadness, to anger, to nothingness. I suppose I just felt a bit numb. Numb with what the government was saying, numb to any foreseeable hope and numb to the idea of the whole experience ever happening. But you know what’s surprised me through all this? Hope lived on. Even though it was so minuscule and so hard to find, this tiny shimmery speck of hope was still there, I just had to look really hard. When I found it that day, my darkness gradually began to disappear and the “What if…” questions started forming in my mind. This sliver of hope remained in me and was what I later realised, was keeping me going.
So today as I cling onto hope, I feel lighter and stronger than I’ve ever felt. I am hopeful to get away on my trip to the Kimberley and spend time in parts of Australia I never knew existed. I am hopeful that the luggage I have so carefully prepared will be used and go the distance alongside me, and I am hopeful that I may share this journey with you. That all of this is still possible in this ever changing world. So, next time I write, may I not be tucked up in the comforts of my home, but rather living, experiencing and doing life as it was meant to be — lived.