Lessons Learned, Mate - My Family Travels

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the other side of the world. I am a member of the Mississippi Girls Choir and we were invited to perform with ‘World Voices,’ a tour that travels all over the world called. This summer we landed in Australia and not only did we travel there we sang in the Sydney World Opera House!

To be honest with you, I am not a great traveler. I don’t do well away from home — I’m a daddy’s girl. So as we departed the Jackson airport I began to miss home already. Little did I know I was about to experience a once in a life time thing. Of course, I had heard that over a hundred times in the past few months, but it didn’t really hit me until we flew into New Zealand just as the sun was setting. I experienced the most gorgeous pink, orange, and yellow sunset I had ever seen! I had never seen something so beautiful. I knew then, I was supposed to be there.

From New Zealand we flew into Sydney. Once we arrived, were off to see the big city! As we drove by skyscrapers and beautiful parks I was taking as many pictures as my fingers would allow. We stopped at a place called ‘Circular Quay,’ a very popular tourist destination.

We had strangers talking to us, wishing us luck, telling us they had tickets to our show — we felt like celebrities! Something so strange to me is how much they enjoyed our accents. It was almost as much as I enjoyed theirs. We had a guy come up to us asking us to speak into his cell phones so he could put our accents as his ring tone! That’s when it hit me, they were so accepting of something so different. Even though it was simply an accent, they loved it because it was different.

I began to wonder to myself, if we can love something so different and strange, why do we condemn simple things like that back home? Things like race, gender, accents. Why can’t we just accept the way people are, they way people choose to be.

That was the beginning of my adventure. We ate dinner at a popular place in Darling Harbor that night — and the main course was Kangaroo! I know you are thinking how horrible, but you are so wrong, it was amazing! That night we arrived at our hotel and were worn out! We had been on a plane for 22 hours and traveled most of the city, so we headed straight for bed.

During the next three days we visited Bondi Beach, the Pittwater, Darling Harbor, Sydney Tower, The Rocks, a Kangaroo and Koala Farm and so many more places! And during all of this touring we still had singing practice. Our theme song for this year was ‘Hope For Resolution’ arranged by Sean Ivory and Paul Caldwell. As 800 gorgeous voices sang out to the Lord with this song, chill bumps rose off my arms.

Days passed, filled with singing, shopping and bus rides. The time came to take our plane ride over to New Zealand for the last four days of the trip. I was egger to get home to see my family, but at the same time I was experiencing so much.

We had the opportunity to go somewhere I was very excited about in New Zealand — we went to Hobbitton! That’s right, the place where the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was filmed! This part of the trip was mostly a laid back time. We got to visit a Maori tribe while we were there. We ate with them and went on a glow worm tour late one night.

The next day we began the trip home a sigh of relief came over me as we flew into Jackson Airport. As much fun as I had on this trip the saying ‘there’s no place like home’ never meant so much to me. As I exited the terminal and ran into my daddy’s arms, I was glad to be home. Valuable lessons were learned on this trip, such as accepting the so called ‘unacceptable’ and stepping outside of my comfort zone! Now I am sharing what I learned with my friends and my family. I can truly say that this was a trip of a life time with friendships and memories that will last forever.

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