My three weeks in the USA in late June and early July was a great time! Food, friends and fun was what it was all about.
Driving from Detroit to Chicago with a mate for a week had to be the highlight. I loved spending time with him as well as eating some great American burgers and fries and slow cooked meat and seeing some new sites. The most memorable day was the one when we picked up a hippie hitchhiker then I got pulled over for speeding and then we attempted a 10 mile mountain bike trailer. It was my first ever speeding ticket. It turns out they do care about speeding in the USA despite everyone going about 15mph over the speed limit on the freeway. As always a bike ride is a great way to deal with the frustration and it was a good challenge to ride around lakes in American forest, which is very different to Australian.
I feel like the speeding ticket is a metaphor. Here is me that never speeds and generally doesn’t do anything wrong and the one time that I do, I get caught! I probably sound bitter, but I feel like I’ve done the right thing for years and years and there is never any internal reward for that.
After the drive, I hung out in Chicago for about a week and a half. It was a good time. Unfortunately a friend I was originally going to meet there for a few days was stormed in on the east coast just before independence day, but it was fun otherwise. I love slowly exploring a city and getting to know it inside out, so it was good. Chicago was such an easy city to get around in and had some great neighbourhoods.
On the way back to Australia I spent two days with a friend in LA. It was such a chilled beautiful time of hanging out and taking it slowly. It was very therapeutic.
One of my favourite memories was reading Matt Chandler’s Recovering Redemption as I walked around the Chicago Botanic Gardens. I sat down and read a chapter then I walked to another part of the garden and read another chapter and so on. It was a great reminder about the basics of the faith and how the gospel changes at and how it works out in day to day life as I was surrounded by God’s creation on a beautiful warm day.
The holiday acted as a great life reset after I got pretty exhausted towards the end of the school term and had been sinning pretty frequently. Things are the same as before I went, but something’s changed and I’m thinking a lot more positively about things in general and I’m doing a lot better with temptation.