After completing my freshman year of college, I decided to do something entirely out of character. I had a plan to spend a year abroad in Australia for school. My excitement grew as my summer flew by. My two best friends were going with me, and my visa came in the mail. The packing was going great.
One mid-July morning, just weeks away from our departure date, I received texts from my two friends, hours apart. Each of them had decided not to go abroad.
Rethinking My Plan
When I received those texts, my nerves started stirring, and I began rethinking my whole plan. I am an extreme introvert, and I began to wonder if I was equipped to travel across the world by myself. Not only would I be utterly alone, but I felt I wasn’t prepared to be alone. I had never traveled by myself, and this would be me charting off into the unknown.
But I thought to myself, when will I ever get another chance to go abroad? I wanted to go to school in Australia and finally had the opportunity—so I decided that going alone wouldn’t stop me.
On August 3, my dad dropped me off at the airport, and saying goodbye had me rethinking every decision I made until that point.
Am I ready? This adventure is so last minute.
Then I started to wonder if the school had gotten my emails. Did they know I was coming? Since I had been on the fence about going to Australia for about two weeks, I had forgotten to send my flight information to my contact at the school.
So I checked my bags and practically raced to my gate while emailing every person I had been in contact with at the school—trying to figure out how to get to the university once I landed. The 16-hour time difference didn’t help as I tried to get a hold of anyone. When I arrived at my gate, there was no email response. I sat anxiously for an hour, tapping my fingers, waiting for my plane to board, but no email response. I eventually had to board my plane, switch my phone to airplane mode, and sit in my blue window seat, fully aware that I had no plan.
On the plane, I had time to worry but didn’t have an internet connection to search for routes to school. This was at least a two-hour drive from the airport to school, which meant that public transit—if the route were even possible—would be at least a three-plus hour journey. I also had to think about my bags. I had two large suitcases, a backpack, and my purse that I would have to lug with me every step. As everyone slept soundly around me, my head wouldn’t stop spinning with worst-case scenarios about being stranded at the airport. I prayed that God would ease my nerves and help me get to school. It was a very stressful 19-hour flight for me.
My Flight Information
Once we landed and I made my way off the plane, I felt so alone. My next thought was Wifi! But I decided I wanted to get my bags first, sit down, and focus on figuring out how to get to school. So I frantically navigated through the airport and arrived at baggage claim, still not having connected to Wifi.
I collected my bags and scanned the room for a seat when my eyes halted on a sign with my name. I did a double-take only to realize that it was my name and not another Madison Newmyer. A weight lifted off my shoulders, and I thanked God as I approached the man. His name was John Michael, and he had gotten my flight information from a retired professor I had been in contact with earlier in the summer and one of the many I emailed before boarding. On the plane, I had prayed that God would help me get to school, but He seemed to have gone above and beyond. I guess I had been following His plan all along.
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Madison Newmyer writes from the Pacific Northwest.