Australia has been kind to me and I hope I have been kind to her, but the time has come for me to return home, and I can honestly say that I’m ready to go.
What can I say about my time in Australia? Well, I didn’t develop an accent or an affinity for Vegemite. But, I did start calling avocados ‘avo,’ and I started drinking loads of tea. I’ve seen Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney and travelled through New Zealand for a week. I didn’t do anything crazy like bungee jump or skydive, but only because I promised my dad before I left that I wouldn’t jump off or out of anything.
I chose Australia initially for the distance and the accents. They have since lost their allure. I was also secretly looking to find myself a long lost Hemsworth brother and I am sad to report that I was unsuccessful. In my head I was taking a four-month long extended vacation and attending classes occasionally. While I did jet-set pretty often, I didn’t really expect all of the assignments and assessments of the semester. Study abroad is sold as an adventure, finals shouldn’t be so stressful.
To be completely honest, Australia was an experiment in self-discovery for me. I came here to see what kind of person I would be 10,000 miles away from home. This semester, I discovered that I am pretty funny, hopelessly cynical, and I am more cautious than I should be. I discovered that I didn’t need to talk to my friends and family everyday to feel connected with them, and appreciated the longer one-off phone calls every few weeks, as it gave us more to talk about and reflect on. I discovered that I’m somewhat of a clean freak, and that I didn’t know as much about the environment as I thought I did.
I’ve seen koalas and kangaroos, but haven’t seen any crazy spiders of snakes. I don’t know whether I should be disappointed or grateful. I also didn’t make it to outback, and I think that’s my only real regret. I would have loved to see the Northern Territory. I guess I’ll have to come back one day. I’d also like to visit Perth, and see what Western Australia has to offer.
This online travel class was interesting. I’m not a natural blogger and I struggle to keep a journal, so having to write weekly was somewhat of a challenge for me. Also, sometimes I felt like I was speaking or rather blogging into the void. I looked forward to the single comments I would sometimes get, because it meant someone other than me and our professor was reading this.
I have ten more days here in Sydney and then I am off to Thailand. My best friend from back home is meeting up with me there. I’m curious to see if she’ll notice any changes in me. I don’t think I have changed as a person in the four months that I have been here, but I do think that I have become way more introspective.
I have three weeks until I’m truly back home. I’m looking forward to being back in familiar surroundings.