See you later Alligator

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 15. Farewells, Sydney by KD Harbeck2 Comments

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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  1. Hey KD, I feel the same about going home. Even though I’m not spending the whole summer there, it will still feel like being home in New York since I spend so much of my life there anyway and have that emotional tie to it. That’s amazing that you cooked more while in Sydney, I definitely tried to cook at home as much as I could, but would still eat out a lot. I relate to the part about coming home so close to class time (one day I came back from London without sleeping the whole night to take an architecture midterm that day). We will remember the boring everyday things as well as the crazy stories. The semester really did fly by. I hope you get to go back someday!

  2. KD,

    I agree with you that this course was a great way to be able to reflect on what was going on during a real whirlwind time, with travel and coursework to attend to. I have enjoyed the experience so much that I will be making my own blog soon after I get home! I also agree that being away from the meal plan and NYC eating that I am accustomed to, I have been way more aware of what I have been eating and plan to focus on healthier, more substantive eating at home. Overall, I am glad to hear that you had a great time and really made an effort to reflect on what has happened over this past semester. BTW, Thailand and Singapore sound like amazing places to visit and they are definitely on my bucket list of places I wish to visit!



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