Whereas JEXIT Stop 1 was all about jump starting my post-Indonesia recovery and JEXIT Stop 2 was all about my friend, food and coffee, JEXIT Stop 3 was all about my spiritual life. I went to Atlanta to attend two churches that have meant a lot to me in the last couple of years and to see my two spiritual mentors. There were conversations that I needed to have with them and since I hadn’t seen them in almost two years, I thought it was well worth the effort to add this stop to my JEXIT itinerary.
I left A last Wednesday afternoon and boarded a flight headed southeast. It was a 3 and a half hour flight and I arrived in this new time zone – my last time zone of the year – just before midnight. With my arrival in LA from Singapore, I jumped back in time by 16 hours, from Singapore Time to Pacific Standard Time. With my arrival in Atlanta, I jumped forward again by 3 hours, from Pacific Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time. I am now officially back in the same time zone as most of you, readers, which is exactly 12 hours behind Jakarta. To be honest, I’m a little sad not to be Whatsapping with my family and friends from the future anymore. As much as it was difficult sometimes when I wanted to talk but everyone was asleep, it was still super cool.
Anyway, back to Atlanta.
I got out of the airport at about 11:30 pm local time on Wednesday night. I had decided to get an Uber to my hotel. In fact, I had thought about how I’d get around Atlanta during my JEXIT planning and had decided that Uber was my best bet; it was the more cost-effective option since cabbing it everywhere would have added up the dollars much faster. Plus, Indonesia’s many travel options have made me stop sticking to the traditional and fearlessly utilising non-traditional transportation methods.
Unfortunately, my stupid phone wasn’t picking up the airport wifi and when I tried to use my mobile data, it absolutely refused to work. By the time I gave up and headed to the taxi stand, it was going on midnight; I wasn’t about to be hanging around the airport in the dead of night trying to get my stupid phone to work an app properly. I got a cab very quickly and it only cost me $30; an Uber would have cost me less than $20. Anyway, I got there safely and quickly so I’m not complaining.
By the time I arrived at my hotel, it was going on 12:30 am on Thursday. I was quickly checked in and I tried to hit the hay at around 1 am but since I was still on LA time, it took me about an hour to fall asleep. I awoke after 9 the next morning feeling pretty rested so I quickly had breakfast (hotel breakfast, nothing to write home about) then spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon Whatsapp calling with a couple of friends.
Then it was time to get going. I ordered an Uber and headed out to meet Spiritual Mentor #1 at her house. We had a lovely afternoon and evening together. In fact, we spent about 6 hours talking, me sharing with her my spiritual experiences and struggles of the past year and her offering me advice, guidance, and wisdom, and both of us just generally catching up with each other. By the time I left her, saturated with her prayers and blessings, I was bursting with joy in the knowledge that I had made the right decision to include this stop in JEXIT.
I had scoped out the neighbourhood in which my hotel was located while I was still in LA so I had some food places I wanted to try out and I didn’t have to go far to get to them. In fact, they were all within walking distance. So when Spiritual Mentor #1 offered me dinner in the evening, I declined because I had eaten breakfast very late by my standards, but also because there was a restaurant I had in mind for Thursday’s dinner. So it was that when my Uber dropped me off just before 10 pm, I ambled a few steps away from my hotel to a barbecue place to get some food to go. I normally don’t eat that heavily that late in the evening, but I really wanted to try this food so I made an exception.
After gorging myself on my delicious and extremely satisfying pork dinner, I did one more Whatsapp call with a friend and wound myself down for bed. I felt so grateful for the day I had just had, even as fast as it had gone by, because I had spent it with someone who fed my spirit. Every day I feel so grateful for the life that I am living now and the life that I know God has in store for me.
I went to bed feeling peaceful and content, anticipating the rest of my visit at JEXIT Stop 3.