The (Temporary) End of the Australian Dream

I guess I better spit it out now because I totally (and purposefully) forget about this.

I’m not going to Australia for World Youth Day 2008.

I know. Surprising, after having this (not so active) blog, and the posts about me registering as a pilgrim and me saying I’d push through even if I know I’d be totally wiped out from all the expenses because I know the experience will be worth it. It still pains me to really accept that my more than a year-long dream of going to Australia for this event is not going to push through. But I’ve got to face and stick to my decision, no matter how painful and regretful I feel, because I believe it’s the right thing to do now.

The main reason why I am not going anymore is that my visa arrived just three days ago. Interesting, right? Especially since my scheduled departure is on the 13th. And because my visa did not arrive on time, I wasn’t able to book any flights. Sure, I had some reserved, but since the visa isn’t here yet, I couldn’t pay for them. And time was running out.

Why didn’t the visa arrive on time? I passed my application papers to our group last May and was expecting to get them back the following week. But the next week they’re still not with me, and the following week and the following…until I finally heard that they were on hold because of some missing papers that I’m not supposed to pass because someone is supposed to take care of it. And then, I heard it was passed again and I got another message that the application form I used was the old one, so I had to sign again. And so I did. I thought I wouldn’t be approved anymore because I know the validity of my certificate of employment is only for a month. The week went on without any news, and I told myself that if July comes in and there’s no news yet, I would not be going regardless of what the results of my visa application is.

Well hello. Visa approved. I learned this the day after I finally made my decision not to go. :|

It was one of my biggest stresses the past week, with me deciding, then undeciding, then deciding again. Then came Friday, when I finally picked up my passport and I learned something, which finally closed the deal about me not going (complete with tears and laughter and anger and all). It’s frustrating. VERY frustrating, especially after I knew a lot of things could have been avoidable. If I had known all these would happen, I would’ve done something early on, and maybe, I’d be paying off my airfare and buying winter clothes now. It’s disappointing, after me getting all excited about seeing Sydney and participating in the WYD events, especially the Lifeteen one, watching Altar Boyz Australia, and finally seeing (and holding) a real live koala. I was looking forward to be in the same place as Catholic youths worldwide, to be in the same place as the Pope and hear his homily. I wanted to see Sydney, the place I’ve been dreaming to go to since November of 2006. It’s heartbreaking to finally let go of this dream for this year. :(

Maybe I could still try, yes. I have my visa, and I can still book a flight and buy clothes and leave on the 13th. However…it’s not that easy. I saved for this, yes, and I know I said I was willing to go broke for this, but not this way. Ideally, yes, I can still go, given the first flight quotation I got, but how sure am I that I can still get cheap flights this close to my departure date? The past few days I’ve been wondering if I can afford all of this and go back still being financially okay, and I realized that if I still push through, I would really be broke and in debt when I get back, and I might end up paying for all of that until the year ends, and in turn, sacrificing all the other plans I have for myself for the year.

So…maybe in the end it’s just not worth it. At least for now.

I honestly don’t know if I made the right decision, and if I will forever regret this. I am feeling tiny hints of regret right now, but I’ve got to stand by my decision and be at peace with it. The past few days I’ve been praying about it, and I was asking God for an answer, for a decision, hoping that maybe He could decide for me. But who am I kidding? For the longest time I believed that the “practical voice” in my head is just me chickening out, but then it hit me: what if that was God? What if God was telling me to stop, to assess the situation properly and then make a decision, instead of just jumping in too much without even looking?

If it’s any comfort, I know Australia will always be there. And I can go anytime I want (provided I have money :p). Also, I know there will be next World Youth Days. No, it’s not going to be in Australia, but it’s okay. At least I get to see another place. :)

It’s sad, but I know in my heart I fought for it in the best way I could. I could have fought better, but I’ll reserve it for the next “battle”. I believe God appreciates all my efforts for the past months. I guess it’s the time for me to learn that as much as God wants me to dream big dreams, sometimes these big dreams have to wait so He can give me something even bigger and better than what I can ever imagine. :)

To be honest, I’d really rather not talk about it after I post this because it still kind of hurts and I’m really not in the mood to talk about it, so…I shall let it go. :) I’ve forgiven all those that I need to forgive, and I’m moving on to focus on my other goals for the year. It’s still a great adventure, and although it’s the end of my Australian Dream for this year, I know it’s just temporary. Maybe not this year, but soon. By God’s grace and in Jesus’ name, this dream will be fulfilled. :)

Watch out, Australia. I’ll see you soon enough. :)

11 thoughts on “The (Temporary) End of the Australian Dream”

  1. This post makes me sad, really. Before, I was actually happy to know that you’ll be going to Australia. At least someone I know would be attending the WYD, if not me. I know how hard it is for you not to go to Australia for the WYD. Cheer up, Tina!

  2. I feel bad, coz I know how much you’ve been wanting to go to this event, and that you’ve been planning this trip for months. But I also know things like this happen for a reason. The message yesterday at church is perfect for situations like this. “Joy” is the product of right thinking. We, Christians, should rejoice in the good and in the bad. Eventually, we’ll understand why God allow things like this to happen. I’m sure He has something more exciting for you to experience. :)

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