Bryon Bay, Australia
For those who have studied abroad, you can probably relate to me: I’m still not over my time spent in Australia. I don’t think I ever will be. Even when I’m old and wrinkly, I’ll probably still be reflecting on my time abroad as some of the best times in my entire life. For those who haven’t studied abroad, you probably are sick of me talking about Australia (still) but too bad. If you have time to go abroad still, hopefully this will inspire you to get out there and go!
This past week marked one year since I embarked on my journey down under. I can’t believe how fast time flies and that it’s already been a year. I remember so clearly getting dropped off at the airport in Boston with my parents and sister, Sarah, and sobbing hysterically. I was so scared and nervous, having no idea what to expect when I finally arrived in Brisbane, Australia two days later. But give or take a few days after arriving, I already befriended the most wonderful people, got myself settled and comfortable, and was ready for a few months of adventure.
Honeyboon Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Studying abroad is unlike any experience you’ll ever have again. It’s different from just going on a trip and traveling. I wish I had words to explain the connection you feel with the people you meet along the way. Spending months traveling together, experiencing new cultures, making memories…Yet it’s so much more. You’ve changed together. And I don’t mean appearance, but in the inside.
I once read this article that my friend showed me and the person who wrote it said the hardest part of traveling no one talks about is coming home, having everything be the same, and no one realizing how much you’ve changed from your experiences seeing the world, meeting new people, visiting amazing places, and learning about other cultures. In the article they write, “I mean what’s going on inside of your head. The way your dreams have changed, they way you perceive people differently, the habits you’re happy you lost, the new things that are important to you. You want everyone to recognize this and you want to share and discuss it, but there’s no way to describe the way your spirit evolves when you leave everything you know behind and force yourself to use your brain in a real capacity, not on a written test in school.”
And I couldn’t agree more. It’s why I have wanderlust. I have traveling ingrained in me. It’s a part of me and studying abroad in Australia changed me. I forever urge to go to a place where others know what it’s like to change, grow, experience, and learn, and recognize that change in you too. I learned so much more than I ever have inside the classroom in Australia, about myself and those around me and the world. Every trip I’ve gone on, a little bit of me changes every time I return home.
Bondi to Coogee Cliffs, Sydney, Australia
Yes, I’m still not over my time in Australia. I never will be. It changed me. Traveling, experiencing the country and the other places I visited, the people…It all changed me. One year ago since I left, terrified in the airport about what I was getting myself into leaving my home. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat.