So it's finally time for a real blog entry and where do I begin. I feel like a lot of people experienced Hamilton Island right alongside me. It could almost be a dream. I've never been in such a high pressure AND high profile position before. From the word GO we were being assessed and that was made very clear to us. "The bus will leave the lobby at 3:00 sharp. Not 3:05, not 3:01. 3:00 sharp and if you're not there, you will miss the bus, and that will be noted - you're being assessed. If you miss the bus, you won't be at the ferry on time so you'll miss the ferry and that will be noted - you're being assessed."
Wow, welcome to Hamilton Island! What the heck did I get myself into here? Andrew giving us the drill sergeant intro, the selection panel sitting directly behind us, the other fifteen candidates sitting around me, all with the same look on our faces - HOLY CRAP.
I guess it wasn't that bad, but I think we were all taken aback by how GRANDE it all was. Finally the other day it sorta hit me. I have a dictionary with 38,000 words in it. That's close to 34,684 so I flipped it open and chose a word - just one word out of hundreds of pages full of words. Even the top 16 of us were less than one page. Incredible. God does some amazing things, but all you have to do is take a look around at His amazing creation to realize that.
This is what they think our galaxy looks like... it's so massive they can only guess.
This is earth from 4 billion miles away! Everyone we've ever known, all our triumphs and failures, our peace and our war is right there on that Pale Blue Dot. Puts things in perspective.
But I digress... venturing back to an even smaller dot on that dot - Hamilton Island!
It was so amazing getting to know all the other candidates. We had much in common, but we're also very different. Coming from all over the world, the jargon and accents were very interesting and we shared more than a few laughs over confused speech. That is what was so amazing about it - we all got along so well. And I don't think it was just for show either. There was a very real sense of camaraderie. The TV and radio interviewers kept asking us who our biggest competition was, or what juicy details I could give, but there really weren't any. We all genuinely enjoyed each others company.
Having met Ben S and George at the SIN airport I got to know them early on and we got along really well. George is hilarious and Ben is going to be a GREAT Island Caretaker! Everyone was great, and now that I'm almost done in Singapore I'm considering a world tour of all their home cities. I'll welcome any suggestions on getting my air travel sponsored :)
This experience has opened my eyes to a whole new world. I never even considered traveling for a living, but now I am. I only just realized I'd be perfect for adventure tourism, and I'm going to pursue it! It's not time to go back to Minnesota yet. There is so much yet to do!
So, life-changing? Yes
Incredible trip? Yes
More updates to come since I'm totally spent and can't think? Yes