Long Journey to Paradise!

What an interesting journey. I received my first taste of being a minority in Vancouver, as I checked in with Japan Airlines, my luggage (clearly overweight) was gently put through and I attempted to converse with the lovely customer service rep, with hopes she might not charge me and it worked! Security was not a major issue minus the fact that my liquids always seemed to be at the bottom of my travel pack! The first ten hour flight was quick and painless, I even managed to stay awake for the entire flight to avoid major jetleg, planning to sleep on the next flight. I stayed awake thanks to the wonderful man from Prince George who chatted with me practically the entire trip. He is a successful helicopter pilot who has two daughters, we discuss global economics, social issues, facebook, world travels and much more. He was en route to Sapporo, Japan for a two week ski trip, a place I now long to visit. I shared with him my upcoming Rotary adventures and he was very interested in the process of me receiving the scholarship as he would like his teenage daughter to consider a youth exchange or potentially applying for the Ambassadorial when she is older. We parted ways in Tokyo, which was a beautiful stop over, sky was clear blue and I was met with many smiles, again the only Caucasian insight, I found my way around. I was on a mission for authentic Japanese sushi however I was too hungry to search very far. The Yen vs the Canadian Dollar was a bit confusing, I still think I must have overpaid, but ending up eating some rice and vegetables, drenched in oil… gave me a bit of fright for a soar tummy for my next ten hour plan trip to Sydney. The hustle and bustle has distracted me a bit from the incredible journey that awaits me, but I am soooo very excited and ready for this new era in my life! As I sat in the cafeteria during my 6 hour layover, listening to the broken English cover band melodies coming from the music system, sipping on a Budweiser (which is cheaper than water I might add), I couldn’t help but smile and recognize just how lucky I am to have been chosen for this amazing opportunity.  I boarded my second flight to Sydney and managed to sleep the entire ten hour flight. I arrived in sunny Sydney at 730am ready for a beautiful day!! Checked into my hostel at Bondi Beach which has a resemblance to Monaco in Europe, it’s incredible!! Within 20 minutes I have met several fellow travellers, from Ireland, Ontario and England!! I just ventured down to a small cafe to write a first short blog, so there will be much more to come!!!


About Nicole Ripley

Chosen as the 2011-2012 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar for District 5060. I will be studying a Masters in Counselling Psychology at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle, Australia. I will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Attadale and South Bunbury in District 9465.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s