After traveling through Asia for 2 years, it was time for me to settle down. Australia was calling me. I arrived from Dili, East Timor to Darwin in Northern Territory, Australia and then made my way down the West Coast stopping in Cairns, Brisbane, The Whitsunday Islands, and into Sydney. I originally arrived in Sydney on a Working Holiday Visa and worked at a few different NGOs and Charities for one year including Greenpeace, Save The Children, and UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees).
While living in Sydney, I started attending Hillsong Church (which is one of the most famous Mega Churches in the world) and home to the popular Christian Worship Music from the Hillsong Band and United Youth Band. I had been a Christian for 4 years at this point and have always wanted to study overseas and also study at a Bible College. The timing was just right so I applied to study at Hillsong International Leadership College where I spent 2 years completing a Diploma in Leadership.
I was heavily involved in Ministry during my 3 years in Australia, helping launch a Backpackers Ministry where local Christians would connect with backpackers from around the world inviting them to a monthly BBQ, a weekly networking party, and other events throughout the year. It was an amazing experience and so many backpackers who had been searching for months and some even years for significance, purpose, meaning finally found God through the ministry at Hillsong Church.
After my time at college, I spent 2 months backpacking across the continent from West to East stopping in Canberra, Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide, and finally to the most western part: Perth in Western Australia. From Perth, I took a Hop On Hop Off Backpacker Bus to Broome, and then went up to Darwin, and then down to Alice Springs, visiting the famous Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) which is a massive rock structure in the middle of the desert. Then it was back to Sydney to say goodbye to my fellow students, classmates, teachers, and friends.
My friend and I traveled to New Zealand together before I flew from Auckland to LA which was the last part of my return home to Vancouver after being away for 7 years. During the time, my mom was able to visit me for a few weeks in Sydney. I also had a few friends visit me in Tokyo and I was able to visit a few people who were originally from Vancouver but were working, studying, or traveling through parts of Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.