This week was much less eventful than the first three, but I did have an experience that makes it perfectly okay. A few other exchange students and I went hiking at Mount Ngungun, part of the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland. I mistakenly did absolutely no research on the trail we had chosen, so when we arrived and started “hiking” along stone steps, I was a little surprised and disappointed. Someone had mentioned it was an hour to the summit, but we made it in 30 minutes. Despite this, when we reached the summit, it took my breath away. It felt like I was on an island in the middle of nowhere, and it felt like I was alone. In a good way. To the left was a small path with a steep drop on either side, which led to another tiny island of rocks and boulders. Every corner on the way up had signs saying “WARNING! FALLING ROCKS,” and now it made sense as to why. I wasn’t even thinking about that. I wasn’t thinking about much at all. I was just in awe. Everyone wanted to go out on the tiny peninsula at the other side of the path. I would never have done this before this very moment, but for some reason, I just joined. I didn’t think about it– I just went. My hands were shaking the whole time and my heart was racing, and I was happy. It wasn’t a difficult hike, and I wasn’t very tired, but something about being at the top of this mountain just really got to me. I felt different, better, and I felt proud. I was doing something I never would’ve done before, and it was beautiful. I was speechless, and I still am. I don’t think I have the words to describe just how I felt at the summit of that mountain. I sat on the furthest rock overlooking Queensland, and I stayed there for a while trying to take everything in. When I finally joined the group again, we stayed at the top for a long time, talking and eating, satisfied with what we had accomplished. I think I was feeling a lot more than everyone else was. By the time we left the mountain and went to get food, I was finally starting to get tired. We realized at one point that the train was almost there, and we had to rush getting our food into boxes before running to the station. Sitting on the train, it seemed like I was feeling an entirely new emotion. I felt different, better, and I was happy about it to say the least. It took me a few days to fully digest the experience. I still haven’t. But I know I loved it, and I’m still surprised that a single moment could’ve affected me so much.