Last year, Branden qualified and earned us a 9 day trip to Australia with his company Colonial Life. We decided to go a few days early to enjoy by ourselves and adjust from any jet lag… and really if we are going to travel for THAT long we wanted to make sure to soak up all of Australia!
After 36 hours of traveling (Spokane > San Fran > Sydney > Cairnes > Port Douglas)
we arrived in a little town called Port Douglas, an hour drive from Cairnes.
We stayed in a cute little place called By the Sea Port Douglas. It was steps from the iconic 4 Mile beach and our room was nestled in a little jungle cove. We were right on the main street so easy access to walk through the town daily. The gals at By the Sea made our time amazing… EVERYTHING is included in your stay. Bikes, chairs, pool toys, movies, ipads, beach wagons… you name it you could grab and go. The gals were so friendly and accommodating, making sure we had a wonderful stay.
We spent our days enjoying the quite little town, it was there start of fall so it was pretty quite and often when we went to the beach it was empty. ( I learned how dangerous Australia’s beaches can be… big signs for deadly stingers, salt water Crocs, sharks)
Our first full day we went on a bike ride along 4 mile beach. As we biked along the 8 miles, we rarely saw anyone. The beautiful blue sea to one side of us and beautiful Coconut trees lined the other side….I often felt like we had an island all to ourselves.
At the start of 4 Mile Beach there are stairs and path that lead to an outlook over the entire 4 mile beach and over the Coral sea. I visited this outlook several times during our stay.
On day 4 we took a shuttle to our beautiful resort, Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, where we would meet up with the team from Colonial life and begin our official trip. The beautiful resort had 7 lagoon pools, our room overlooked one of the blue lagoons.
The following day we headed off early on a large ship to the Great Barrier Reef to snorkel. I struggled to not get sick on the way there, but once we made it I was able to relax and the sea sickness subsided. When were arriving into the reef, the company surprised everyone by letting us know we would have the opportunity to take a helicopter ride over the reef. There was an internal battle warring inside of me if I should do it, but I made the decision I was going to go for it because I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Helicoptering over one of the 7 wonders of the world, The Great Barrie Reef was a memory I will forever hold close. I know it’s cliché to say that, but it’s the only way to describe the moment. I will be sharing more to come about how personally this was actually a deeply spiritual connection. It actually took me a few days to process all that transpired that day out on the Sea.
That evening we were treated to an Australian BBQ on the Sugar Wharf overlooking the sea in Port Douglas.
The next morning Branden was off early to golf while I enjoyed a quiet morning with no agenda or schedule. I took some time alone in the morning and then shuttled across the way to the gym for a workout. The gym overlooked the beautiful golf course and I had a date for an hour with the treadmill. During the hour running I experienced wave after wave of closure to a hard season in my life… which I plan to share with you soon.
After my workout I headed to the pool where I read over the blue lagoon. It was so simple, just lounging under the big white umbrella, but the simplicity of being there was a gift. I did miss my babes, but I really savored the gift I was being given to have some alone time in the sunshine and palm trees…. I didn’t realize how healing this was for me till I was sitting there all alone… It was a gift that I have needed for so long.
Tucked in between this trip has been wow moments like Helicoptering over the Great Barrier Reef and simple moments, like being alone by the gorgeous lagoon pools or a quiet walk along the sea, yet in each moment, big or small, I couldn’t stop thanking God for all of it.
I personally am coming out of a harder season, and when you see how dark it can get, when light shines in and you experience these moments they seem a little brighter… a little larger… and often I would simply weep out of sheer gratitude that I was experiencing each moment.
The little things.
These little moments on this trip overwhelmed me.
When you’ve walked through a confusing season for years, trusting God in the dark, it’s the little things that end up bringing you to your knees.
So are little things really little after all?
Who are we to determine that?
Maybe it’s little acts of kindness, small gifts, a breathe alone to read a book or the kindness of others that is actually the “big” moments in life, the moments that make impressions for a lifetime.
I’ve stopped looking for the one grand thrill or the big moments to see the beauty… instead I find it in the little details, like butterflies fluttering by me as I run, these are the small moments wrapped all around me.
On our last evening in Port Douglas we headed to the awards evening in a beautiful outdoor tent in Port Douglas.
Colonial’s President’s Club was the first half of the trip in Port Douglas. This was an extra incentive trip for the top earners in the company, so after a week in Port Douglas,we boarded a plane to Sydney to meet the rest of the company for the remaining 5 days.
Part 2 in Sydney to come…