Ever since I was a teenager, I have been drawn to Australia! I have been dreaming of traveling there for my entire adult life. For many years, I dreamt of traveling to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef. In college, I remember watching documentaries about Australia and the Aboriginal People there in the library some evenings. I even tried to scheme ways to study abroad and take marine biology classes at James Cook University. Unfortunately, the college that I attended was not open to creating a study abroad program with James Cook, so I graduated college having never studied abroad. Life happened, I graduated college and jumped into a really cool internship with the US Fish and Wildlife Service where I lived in a remote spot in the Alaskan backcountry for a summer studying seabirds amongst the brown bears. After that, I jumped into piecing together my life and work along the way. You know how that goes. I had an amazing time traveling the United States as a nomad living from my car and camping, hiking, and backpacking for my various Wildlife and Fisheries field biologist jobs, so I am definitely not complaining in the slightest with how I have chosen to live my life. But, there has always been a part of me longing to see Australia. And this June, I am making my dream come true and will be traveling to Western Australia (from Perth to Broome) to experience the wild places there for myself!
Maybe you have read along during this blogging journey of mine and have come to know a bit about my health journey. But in case you’re new to my blog (Welcome!), I’ll sum it up by saying that shortly after having my son, my life was completely disrupted when I abruptly lost my health (read Lost: Part 1 HERE and Looking for the Map: Part 2 HERE) to an unknown cause. For a number of years, my life was turned upside down as I sought answers and healing from many different practitioners and specialists with no success. I could still taste the freedom of the very active lifestyle that I had been so graciously blessed to live, yet I had a hard time doing the basic tasks of living in my day-to-day life. It seemed surreal, and I felt beaten and broken many times as I was going through it.
What I have learned along my journey is that our health is our number one asset. And we need to be grateful when we have good health, and appreciate all that our bodies afford us to do. Because not having our health usually means that we don’t have the ability to use our bodies to do the things that we enjoy the most, or we don’t have the energy we need to do the things we love. We need to do our best to treat our bodies well, so that they’re better able to function and serve us on our journeys. But, our souls know that sometimes the best things in life come to us, and from us, when we have experienced a complete loss of health and/or a near death experience. It is from this place that I have gained a sense of gratitude for all that I have and experience in this life. I see the world through a completely different lens now. And for this perspective, I will be forever grateful.
I have also come to realize that the whole purpose of life is to experience JOY! It’s not about all of the material things. It’s not about achieving some status or ranking. We are meant to follow our bliss. In THIS moment. We are not supposed to wait to live our joy. We are not supposed to put it off for another day, or save it for retirement. We have to fill our lives with joy now while we’re able, because tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. If you are doing what you love, you are living your purpose.
But, going to Australia isn’t the only way we can experience joy. Each one of us has different things that bring us joy. For me, I have learned that my joy comes from simple pleasures like spending quality time with my son, hot baths with coconut oil and bath salts, a morning routine of yoga, affirmations, and positive videos, hiking in beautiful places, and reading on a boulder next to the river. My joy also comes from getting to know new people, sleeping under the stars, jumping off rocks into lakes and rivers, traveling to new places, and boogie boarding in the ocean to name a few. It is important that if you want to live life with more joy, that you start consistently doing things that bring you joy. What can you do today to live more joyfully?
It could seem sad that it’s taken me 20 years to make my way to Australia and fulfill a long-time dream. But, just like everything else in my life, I see how this experience is showing up for me in divine timing. I am going to appreciate every minute of the experience in a way that I would not have when I was 18. I am choosing to leave my nursing job that has been causing so much stress that it has led to health problems, and I am taking a leap into the unknown while I put my health and my joy FIRST. It is empowering and liberating!! It feels amazing to put my health first, especially since I have usually been one to put everyone else’s needs before my own. Can you relate? I feel like I am finally making the most important stand for myself in this life. Not to mention how exhilarating it is to know that I will be in Australia in less than 20 days where I will be on an adventure tour hiking, sleeping under the stars every night, getting to know new people, jumping into swimming holes, snorkeling with whale sharks, abseiling into red rock canyons, seeing and exploring new places, and seeing all kinds of new plants and animals!!!! Excitement doesn’t even touch what I am feeling! What brings you joy? How often do you do things that bring you joy?
If you’d like guidance on how to follow your intuition to more joy in your own life, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Watch Xavier Rudd’s video for “Follow the Sun” HERE. Xavier Rudd is an AMAZING musician! If you ever have the chance to see him live, take it! Xavier is aptly from Australia and doesn’t make it to the US very often.