The Upside Down Land

Two weeks ago I found myself in an upside down land. Steering wheels on the passenger side, french fries were considered chips and vacation was referred to as a holiday. Most intriguing of all, I was everyones mate and conversations ended with a cheer. “Your accent! You must be from the states!” It was the first time someone suggested I had an American accent. Worst of all, people were too friendly. Alright, so the upside down land, Australia, was actually pretty darn amazing. I spent three weeks traveling from Sydney, New South Wales to Townsville, Queensland. Everyone I met was extremely friendly; I even made a few amazing Aussie friends.

Traveling to Australia was my first real vacation and the first time I have travelled alone. This trip allowed me to leave all comfort zones as I entered an unfamiliar place. I didn’t bother to do any research on the country. I approached it with the willingness to learn, explore, adventure, get lost and be spontaneous. The knowledge I gained from this approach is that of a person who moves to a new home and learns about their new community. It was not only learning about the communities, but learning more about myself in the process.

A young lady I met taught me an important lesson. With her “kiwi” accent she said, “Focus on enjoying the moment. If you keep thinking about the outcome, you’ll never enjoy yourself. Just relax.” (People from New Zealand are referred to as kiwis. Don’t ask me why; I still don’t know.) I learned and was reminded of several things in Australia, but this is one of my favorite lessons. As a professional, everything I do has an end result in mind. As a photographer, I’m always trying to encapsulate moments. As an individual, I’m always concerned about where I want to be today or tomorrow. The one thing I have failed to do is enjoy the moments without concern about the outcomes. Since my conversation with my new friend, I enhanced my perspective of life.

Towards the near end of my “holiday,” I remembered about my inactive website. I felt motivated to pick up my career as an artist again. I deleted the whole thing and rebuilt it within the week. My Aussie journey rekindled a dying fire in me. It reminded me of my life history, I realized I was heading into the wrong future, and it made me aware that my present is far more important. I’ll never enjoy today if I keep worrying about tomorrow and what occurred yesterday.

After speaking with my new “kiwi” friend, I headed towards South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland. The picture featured above was a view I failed to notice on two separate occasions. I stood there for a moment and appreciated the view. When I was ready, with her words in mind, I photographed the scene. Every second, there is much around me. I tend to block my surrounding and focus on things that sometimes don’t matter. There is much to enjoy and appreciate in the current moment. Anticipating future moments and remembering past moments do us no good if we cannot be in the present. Live in the now.

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