See you later Alligator

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 15. Farewells, Sydney by KD Harbeck

So this post, like many others, I did not know how to start or how to even get what I am feelings and thinking into words. I thought it would be best to write this post after the New York University Sydney Farewell Dinner on May 11th.

I think this course is great in terms of making me sit down and really think about what is going on around me. I, like others (I hope), had a trouble meeting the deadlines. I would read the assignment and think about the questions but because it is a reflection sometimes I was not ready to write about that topic. I wanted my posts to be meaningful to me and that might mean doing a post a few days late because I knew something I was doing later that weekend would connect to that week’s post topic. One of my FAVORITE things about this course was the comment part of the weekly assignment. Without it, I probably would not have read as many peer posts as I did. I thoroughly enjoyed reading what other Gallatin students were doing while abroad. It gave me a deeper insight into what it would be like to be there with them. I think a cool thing to try out with this course would be pairing students at different study away locations and have them be “pen pals” or have a dialog through posts. It would really bring out the similarities and differences of studying abroad along with exposing each to another NYU global site.

I thought the Going Home article was grabbing. What first grabbed me was the first paragraph – that really connected with me. I am originally adopted from China and I know my mother has done and still does everything she can possibly do for me. This was the longest we have been apart and I am definitely looking forward to going back to the US. Although, I am not spending the summer at home at least home will be much closer than it is right now. I think they semester and being so far away really hit me that I am growing up and that home is taking on a whole new meaning. Home is not where I rest my head or where I spend the most time (probably the least) but it is still home, it embodies a certain emotional feel that cannot be replicated.

Upon returning home, I think I will think about my food choices much more. I am usually a healthy eater but being in NYC it is hard not to eat out. Somehow it has been about a month since I last ate out. I cook all my meals at the dorm and I surprising do not miss eating out (and it is definitely been good for my wallet). I hope to continue this, just not as extreme, once back.

Years from now I know I will remember the mundane things along with the extravagant things. I will remember constantly running out of wifi and the 40 min walk to Science House along the same route every day. But I will also remember being 300 miles away with only two hours until class and my plane being delayed forcing me to frantically run through the airport. I will remember Spring Break in Thailand and Singapore, two places I hope to go back to again and again.

I am not sure what could be done to improve this experience. I really liked the cultural dinners that happened towards the end of the semester more of those would be amazing! Other than that I guess more wifi. Sorry but 50GB a month was basically impossible. Some people went through that in 10 days.

Even though the semester is wrapping up and this is the “Farewell” post I know this will not be my last time in Australia. This semester has gone by SO FAST. Faster than any other semester. I will be back to go to New Zealand, Perth, and Tasmania for sure.

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