Hoo Roo Australia

In The Art of Travel Spring 2015, Sydney, Farewells by Avanty Kavi2 Comments

Though there are still about three weeks left and a few major events left (trip to Botany Bay and FINALS) before my time in Australia ends, it feels like I’m just about to say my inevitable farewell. The sun and warmth of the summer that greeted me when I first arrived in Sydney has noticeably begun to fade. Aussies in warm ‘winter’ gear remind me of the season’s and semesters end, and already increasingly early sunsets feel like a page being turned away from this chapter of my life.

There have been all sorts of ups and downs from my time in Sydney, but I’d say the most important thing I’ve gotten from my time here is a deeper knowledge about myself. Being alone for such a long time was definitely not easy, but it was definitely worth it. I learned more about what makes me happy, what makes me sad. I learned to love the beach and have fully embraced the Aussie attitude of just dealing with things.

Furthermore, I have also learned more about those around me. Living in Australia has allowed me to see my America more clearly. Through the eyes of another country, I’ve come to understand a different part of my country. I admittedly was quite disillusioned with America before coming here, but after hearing first hand the stereotypes and impressions others have of the U.S., I can see with pride that I come from a nation of bravery, and perseverance and passion.

Honestly, if I were to predict what I will remember from my time here in Australia, the two things that stand out are: my time in New Zealand, and the social struggles I faced here. New Zealand is a given since it’s my favorite place in the world, however before coming to Australia, I did not expect struggles I faced here. For some reason, I expected a giant, happy, NYU family that did everything together. In hindsight I think I was thinking of summer camp, however I really did expect we would all form a giant group of friends. Although this isn’t how things worked out, I did become more comfortable being on my own, and I met someone who I think I will be close with for many more years to come. If I could have given myself one piece of advice before coming here, it would have been to focus my time and effort making local friends outside of the NYU bubble.

My time in Sydney was full of introspection. Sometimes it was uncomfortable, and painful having to face parts of myself I did not like, however the wisdom I gained about myself was absolutely worth it. I am extremely grateful for my time here in Australia, and the opportunity to witness the unique way of life here. It was fascinating hearing about the lives and experiences other students were having all over the world, and it was wonderful to spend time each week reflecting on my travels in all kinds of thought provoking ways. Thank you, and farewell.

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Comments

  1. Hello! I cannot believe we are almost done! Like you, I have felt like I have grown so much over the last few months. Having to deal with a multitude of things on my own in a foreign country has allowed me to grow as a person as I’m sure it has with you as well. I love how you discuss seeing America “through the eyes of another country”. I also have a newfound appreciation for the US and will try to appreciate it more when I am back. If I study abroad again, I too am going to try and meet more locals. In order to truly immerse yourself, I think that is very important! Overall, it sounds like you had an amazing time in Australia (and New Zealand), good luck with finals!

  2. Hi Avanty! ONLY ONE MORE WEEK OF CLASSES! YAY! I really enjoyed this post because I think we had completely different experiences in Sydney. I have never been to summer camp but I imagine it would be something like my time in Sydney. I completely identify with your semester being filled with lots of time alone though; That is exactly how my freshman year was. It was a lot harder than this semester, but that experience completely changed my perspective. I was able to be more reflective because I was not surrounded by people all the time.

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