Location: Cairns, Australia

There are things known and things unknown, and in between, there are the doors. Everyone on board feels the static tension as we wait anxiously for these “doors” to unlock. We commenced the day by rising with the sun. We gathered on the deck surrounded by the mountainous tropical forests. However, at this point, none of us strangers realize what the forests have to offer, but that will soon change. We then took about an hour bus ride to our first destination, which was a savannah wetland where we saw kangaroos, emus, colonies of termites, and a snake. Next, we moved on to a fascinating bird show given by an enthusiastic Aussie. The group had the privilege to see an all-white barn owl and a peregrine falcon plummet downward at a speed of roughly 200 miles an hour. Shortly after, we finally experienced the rainforest with a brief hike to a mammoth hole in the ground we like to call “The Crater.” Also, the group took a swim in the waters under a waterfall. It was literally breathtaking due to the cold water. Then we ended the day gazing at a gargantuan curtain fig tree and another swim in a glistening lake surrounded by rainforest. After today we all can sense the change to come. The only thing constant in life is change, and we all wait for this inevitable change. Cairns was discovered by Captain Cook and his crew, and 132 years later, it is rediscovered by Captain Koch and his own.