For the month of January, in preparation for my intended abroad experience in Sydney, Australia, my friend and I decided to travel down the coast of California in order to escape the normal routine that we had developed having been raised and currently residing in New York City. It was filled with four major stops along the coast: Santa Cruz, Oceano, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Because we were constantly on the move, spending a few days in each location, we were unable to really get too comfortable in one place before being thrust into another. For me, this was exactly what I wanted. I have lived in New York City since I was little and have not really left it for such an extended period of time. But the month I spent away got me comfortable with the idea of my soon-to-be departure, and the repetitive upheaval of our homestays got me acquainted with the feeling of missing my home. It was rather easy to adapt to the new places and the promise of exploration and finding new places made up for any longing I felt in my heart.
Wrapping up my trip to California, my friend and I found ourselves caught in the middle of countless cancellations for our returning flight back to New York City, due to the Jonas blizzard and thus resulting in the delay of my arrival in Sydney. I was in a panic mode at that point, trying to get back to NYC so that I could fly out of JFK on time for my flight to Sydney. I was taking planes from Detroit to Minneapolis to Kentucky and then back, but all of the connecting flights to LaGuardia were consistently cancelled. Unfortunately, because I was in Detroit and was unable to get into New York, I was forced to reschedule my flight to Sydney, as well as six other flights flying back to New York that wound up getting cancelled. When I was fortunate enough to worm my way onto one of the only flights going back to New York on Monday, I was emotionally spent having gotten my hopes raised for each of the cancelled flights before. Arriving at LaGuardia airport was almost surreal and I was in disbelief as I took a cab back home.
Frankly, I think it was this emotionally draining experience that dissipated any normal nerves that I would have experienced coming halfway around the world to a completely new continent and hemisphere. By the time I had managed to snag a flight from Minneapolis to New York, I was on complete autopilot. I just wanted to get from point A to point B as soon as possible and all of the expected anxiety over the trip to Sydney just was not relevant.
However, after my 30-hour journey flying from JFK to Hong Kong and then to Sydney, and after settling into my new living arrangements, the nervousness finally started to kick in. At this point, I had missed over half of the orientation week activities and had to sit alone in my room until my suitemates arrived.
Fortunately, they all turned out to be fairly nice people with fun and interesting personalities that made me feel welcome. We were able to go shopping for our shared suite together and had a fun time exploring the Sydney while doing so.