Over this past summer, I was able to travel to New Zealand.
On June 2, 2016 my sister, Albany (17), and I (16) were dropped off at the Salt Lake City Airport. Now you may be thinking, what parent would let their teenagers daughters travel across the world by themselves?
Yeah, we were thinking the same thing. Our first stop was Brisbane, Australia approximately 4 flights away. My sister and I, are not your average frequent flyers- and every airport we landed in was a new maze. Every layover was a new journey filled with a few tears (if I’m being honest) and prayers. As we approached LAX International Airport, we learned of the fact that we had to have certain “Australian Passports” in order to enter the country. Hearing that I just remember staring at my sister with no words and a pale face. After a short simple prayer and a few phone calls, our flight attendant informed us that we could easily apply for the passports and have it in as soon as 30 minutes. It was a answer to a quick prayer and we thanked our Father in Heaven for his help.
We were in Australia for a quick four days, where we attended church and played in waterfalls and held koalas. It was an experience of a lifetime. Next up was the beautiful town of Wanaka, New Zealand. As we flew over the beautiful country we learned of the large mountains and long rivers and waterfalls of the island. Over the next 25 days we would explore the land and adventure together. Together we conquered mountains, bungee-jumping, river surfing and much more.
But as you all are thinking– 25 days is an immense amount of time. It is not only a large amount of time to be away from your family, but from blessings we hardly even recognized ever before. Blessings such as heated homes, regular (for us) food and so much more. Many times I unfortunately wished to be home and struggled through times on my trip. I was so surrounded in myself that I could hardly recognize the blessing it was to be there. My point is, that sometimes it is hard to recognize the immense blessings that we are surrounded in. These blessings may be small things or may be huge amazing things. I now look back at my times in New Zealand and Australia as some of the greatest times in my life.
And as we explored down-under I learned many things. I learned of the gospels truth in all settings whether it is taught in a triumphant chapel with over 300 members, or a three bedroomed house with less than 13 men, women and children gathered. I learned of the beauty in which the Lord has created on this Earth through the wonders of the world and the small simplest things we overlook. I have learned of all the blessing that are in my daily life.
xoxo Katie Miller