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Life in a Swag

Time June 16th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

I was recently reflecting on my travels since I took off from New York earlier this year. Mostly I was going down the list of inevitable questions and thinking about how I’ll respond (I have a hunch that I’ll be asked these questions millions of times, so it’s better to have a set response in the barrel).

One question that I know I’ll be asked is, “what do you think you’ll remember most?” or some variation of that. I spend a little bit more time thinking about this one because I do truly believe that this past semester has been a great learning experience. I have, without a doubt, changed significantly this semester. Whether or not I’ll be able to put how I’ve changed into words, or whether or not these changes are noticeable to anyone else doesn’t matter so much is still up in the air, but I think it’s important to consider the question.

So what was it? What did I learn? What was the number one most mind blowing, soul morphing, spiritual epiphany that I experienced this semester? It’s not an easy question to answer but I think I have an idea. This may be obvious but I don’t think bulk of the learning was done during the “study” portion of “studying abroad”. What affected me the most was what I learned from others while bouncing from hostel to hostel.

Backpackers are, in general, a great people. The lifestyle they adopt requires a level of flexibility and ingenuity that is refreshing to observe. Even if all they have to their name is the rucksack on their back and the clothes they have on, every backpacker has a story, and each story deserves to be told. I could sit here all day and tell the stories of those who have inspired me, but (since I actually do have exams to prepare for) I’d rather try to emphasize how they’ve influenced me.

Recently, a friend of mine reminded me that the phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side” is a rotten thought to succumb to, because in reality, “the grass is always greener where you water it”. No one embodies that phrase more than the backpackers that I’ve been lucky enough to meet. One man sticks out in my mind especially. When getting to know a German roommate in Alice Springs I inquired, “so you’re here. What’s here for you and what’s your plan coming up?”. He responded, “Well I’m headed west to work where I can find a job, perhaps gather oysters or working in a mine, but after that… I don’t know!”. What stuck out to me wasn’t necessarily what he said, but that he said this last bit, “I don’t know!” not with a wary frown, but with a wide toothed grin, as if not knowing what’s in store down the road is the most exciting thing in the world. It’s people like him that make me realize that there are countless paths that a person can take. In the states it seems that that is understood, but that these paths all need to lead to one place, a big ‘ol office, big ‘ol pockets, and a big ‘ol house. Coming here I learned that these paths can lead anywhere, and as long as you follow whatever path you’re on not with a wary frown but with a wide toothed grin, chances are you’re going to have a damn good time.

To sum it all up, what I’ve learned is this: Relax, it’s all good.

Now I probably should get some studying done…

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New Zealand

Time April 28th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

This past week the University of Queensland kicked us kids off campus and told us to go relax for a week on mid-semester break. Few of us argued. In fact, some of us even decided to relax in a different country! Seven friends and I hopped on a plane over to New Zealand for the week to see if we could find ourselves a good time.

Note: I’m really happy to be keeping a blog throughout my travels, but I’ve struggled to figure out how to accurately put in words how gorgeous this trip was. Where I have to apologize in advance for the simple fact that I won’t be able to convey 100% of the true beauty and wonder of this trip, I’m glad that there is some record of this trip and that I’m able to share it with you.

The trip began in Christchurch, a town struck by a massive earthquake a few years ago and riddled with aftershocks ever since. Our stay was brief, we stayed one night after arriving fairly late and departed the next morning towards the West Coast, but it was probably where I had my closest call with any significant danger. We had decided that we wanted to save money and rent a car as a group. We were only able, as insurance ruled, to designate three drivers. I was one of them and volunteered to take the first leg. I got the whole driving-on-the-left thing down after only fifteen circles around the parking lot and decided I was ready for the road. After about thirty seconds after I got on the road towards the West Coast I entered a roundabout successfully and exited rather unsuccessfully, cutting off a fairly large car who didn’t hesitate to lay on the horn for a solid ten seconds. No one in the car said anything, but the tension in the air was tangible. Needless to say I checked my blindspots’ blindspots from there on in.

The drive to the West Coast was stunning. This is where words won’t do the beauty justice. I’ll leave it at that.

The main city on the West Coast is Greysmouth, but since I was travelling with two other students from my home town in the states, Westport, Connecticut, we took a northern detour and stayed the night in Westport, New Zealand, about an hour north of Greysmouth. The day in Westport consisted of a gorgeous walk through a rainforest which led to the mouth of the cave. We entered the cave and after about 30 minutes of crawling and climbing and staring in awe we came to a natural tavern full of glow worms. When we all turned our headlamps off it was like we were able to see the night sky from within the cave. Again, stunning.

The next day we made our way to Franz Josef where we booked a guided tour to the Franz Josef Glacier through the valley it created years ago. The valley was marvellous but probably the most amazing thing were two things that the guide informed the group of: 1) there are two splinter type faults that branch off from the main intercontinental fault that runs along the West Coast and one of those splinter faults crossed right through the valley we stood within, scary stuff. 2) I was under the impression that all glaciers move at a glacial pace, metaphorically speaking. It turns out that this glacier is not only receding noticeably even on a scale of only a few years, but also it grows from within at a relatively rapid rate as well. If I remember correctly it was one of the quickest glaciers out there.

Our plan was to drive the night after the glacier tour down to Te Aneu through Queenstown arriving around 11, then wake up and Sea Kayak Milford Sound the next day. Unfortunately, the only road that accesses Te Aneu, the road we were going to drive 6 hours on, closes every night and we wouldn’t be able to make it. Long story short, we cancelled plans, rescheduled things, fought, yelled, hugged, laughed, made toasts to one another, and pushed everything back a day. All’s well that ends well.

We made it to Te Aneu the next night, and woke up around four hours later to drive to Milford for a gorgeous sea kayaking trip in the fjord of Milford Sound. The weather was cold and wet but made for incredible ethereal cloud formations looming all around us as well as cascades and water falls covering each rock face. The snow-capped mountains that surrounded the fjord are incredibly large. I remember picking a reference point on the water, say a buoy or something, and using it to gauge how far I had to go until I reached a rock face. I had thought that buoy was right up against the rock face, but when I reached and passed it, the mounting appeared just as far away as it had seemed initially, these things were big.

Our brief yet very damp car ride took us back to Queenstown where we actually bumped into many familiar faces while exploring downtown. Our first night there we just relaxed and geared up for the next day. Said next day was crazy. Of course since we were in Queenstown we had to bungee jump. We decided to jump off the Kawarau Bridge outside of the town. I had previously gone Sky Diving in a speedo and decided to keep the theme going. Not only was the thrill different from anything I’ve felt but the setting was amazing. Surrounded by blue skies, crystal blue water, and a wild assortment of fall colored trees, it felt like something out of a dream. That night we hopped on a bar crawl. Not much is to be said about that. I wasn’t let into one of the bars and I’m still bitter about it. But you know what, the effort was there, and that’s all that counts… right?

The next morning in Queenstown a few of us went shopping while the rest of us took a gondola up to see a spectacular overlook of the city below. It was a great way to cap off what was an amazing trip full of gorgeous things.

I feel as though this is the first blog post where I’m summarizing things as opposed to talking about how I experienced these things, but there’s a reason for that. Sometimes, after telling someone a failed joke, the comedian will say, “You had to be there”. Where it is probably an excuse for a lame joke, there is usually some truth to the fact that you had to be there. In addition, there is a part of me that knows that there could in fact be a huge lesson or takeaway from this trip, one that could be a perfect last sentence to a well written blog post, but I just can’t see to put a finger on it. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that. This trip was something that happened. It was a great experience that, with memories and pictures, I can look back on for the rest of my life, but I don’t have anything life altering to say about it. Sure it changed me, and we all grew, but I have no idea how, so I just wanted to remember the events as they happened, listed above, and let my subconscious fill in the rest whenever I look back on it. For you all reading it, maybe you won’t get the same satisfaction as I will, but at least you get to imagine me in a speedo.

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Busyness

Time April 1st, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

To borrow a statement from my friend Maggie Colson, this week put “study” in “study abroad”. Even with a Tuesday devoid of lectures or tutorials, I found myself in the library for quite a hefty portion of the day. That being said, I’m learning that it’s worth it to get all the work our of the way as early in the week as possible, so that the weekends can be free for all that this wonderful place has to offer. This past weekend is perfect evidence of that, here’s what’s happened since I last chimed in.

Friday – March 21st, 2014
We may be abroad, trying to make the most of our time, but we’re still college students. With an 11am wake up, a few friends and I jumped on a train south to the Gold Coast. Transportation here is wonderful for many reasons. Mainly, because after nine journeys in a week, the rest are free! That means travel to and from school throughout the week (for about AUS$2.00 a trip) then travel down to the Gold Coast or up to Noosa for nothing! It allows for great opportunities in all of Queensland every weekend. From the train station down in the Gold Coast we made our way to a hostel in Coolangatta. After dropping our bags we rushed to the beach and set up shop for the afternoon. We had very simple needs. With music, sun, water, and an empty beach, we had a great time just hanging out for a few hours. Half of our group made their way back to Brisbane that night, and a few of us stayed to check out the area. We ended up pretty beat and stayed in the hostel for the night (I will admit that I went to bed around nine… I lost). But honestly, it’s as good as any other place, simply because of the people you meet. For instance, a man living in our room had been to graduate school twice before joining the military, shipping of for deployment, receiving a bullet wound in the field, recovering, and deciding to take a few years to travel. People have all sorts of incredible stories to tell and wonderful motives for their travels that sometimes it’s nice to just sit and listen.

Saturday – March 22nd, 2014
The next day was just as low key as the first. We made our way along the beach to the central town of “Cooly” and found a long jetty that jutted way out into the water, giving way to an incredible view of both the beach and the ocean, chock full of surfers who made the sport look easy. We stopped by an antique shop where I was surprised to find hotwheels from the early 70’s going for upwards of over $100. I won’t lie I thought about digging up my Beanie Baby collection and getting back to Coolangatta at some point. We had a wonderful lunch at an inexpensive burrito place, then found a gorgeous lookout that provided a wonderful panoramic view of the Gold Coast. Feeling satisfied, we made our way to the Train Station and headed back home, again, for free. That night I did not do anything but rest, as I had a big day coming up.

Sunday – March 23rd, 2014
This was one of the best days of my trip so far. It was a day I’d been worried about for a month, for fear that I might fall apart. Just over one month ago, I signed up to run the Brisbane Twilight Running Festival Half Marathon. Upon signing up, I hadn’t run more than four miles after receiving surgery on a toe on the most recent Christmas Eve. Even when I got to the starting line, the farthest I had run was five miles before resorting to training on a stationary bike due to some foot pains. That being said, I was equally excited for the challenge, and felt great the day of the race. The race expo was massive. There was over 3000 people running in the day’s races, and before the race every person had the opportunity to take part in zorb soccer, rock climbing, or even a bounce house activity. With the nerves and all, I decided to pass on those activities, sit, rest, stretch, and listen to the hilarious man making pre-race announcements.

Knowing that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I wanted some way to document it. I decided to mount a GoPro on my chest to document the race (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADybIZmXiFA). I’m not sure if it was the heaps of students in sombreros yelling words of encouragement in Spanish while handing out water, the gorgous sunset, the nerves, or maybe the fact that I new I had to impress those who decided to watch the video, but I ended up crushing my own expectations and finished the race in 1:44:59, easily the fastest I’ve ever run the distance. I didn’t stick around the race much longer afterwards, dinner at home was calling my name.

Unfortunately, the night was occupied with pacing around in my room with stiff legs, preparing for a presentation I had the next day at 8am. When my head hit the pillow that night, it was back to the grind.

I had a truly wonderful weekend. Even with nothing planned at the Gold Coast it was wonderful to travel and just relax in a gorgeous place with wonderful people, which is very encouraging for the weekends to come.

This weekend I’m going to try to head north, this time to Noosa National Park. I’ll be back with more photos and more stories to tell.

Until then, love you all, and I’ll chime in later!

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Kayaking Through Brisbane

Time March 10th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

IFSA-Butler took me on a journey kayak-style through Brisbane and I took a short video! Check it out:

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The World in a Building

Time March 9th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

A lot happens out here. I’m not alone when I say that every moment I think, “this would be great to write about tonight”. I’m not alone in also saying that it’s difficult to find a moment alone where you can sit down and write about those moments, which is great for me, but bad for you all. That being said, this was such a wonderful weekend that I had to chunk out some time to share my first real hostel experience.

I traveled to Byron Bay this weekend, a short bus trip south of me. There I walked to the famous lighthouse, relaxed on the beach, tried to surf, ate great food, took a day trip to Nimbin (a very eclectic town to say the least), but most important of all: I stayed in a true hostel. I’ve stayed in one before, about a week ago actually was my first time. That, however, was with people who were on the same program as me, and one of them I had known since high school. If you’re reading this Scott Feder I want you to know that you snore like a walrus and laundry is a weekly thing at maximum, not a yearly thing… you pig. But Byron was my first experience living in a hostel for real.

For those who have never stay in a hostel, I’ll do my best to paint a picture. Check in and check out work the same: you walk into a main entrance, state your name and you’re given a key. The people giving you the key, however, are usually around your age and either own the place or are working behind the desk to pay for their upkeep. When you head to your room, instead of walking into a freshly made room with clean everything, new shampoo, and chocolates on your pillow, you enter a larger room that simply has beds. These beds are occupied by a range of people that seriously make you change your view of the world. I walked into my room with two people from school. We entered a room with a Canadian who was taking a gap year, had lost his luggage, and knew the owner of the Hostel. He was moving in for two week and was a hoot to say the least. Our other roommate had been at the Hostel for two weeks already and had landed a job nannying in the nearby area. She worked for the hostel to compensate for her stay and nannied or traveled when she wasn’t working.

This may all seem fairly normal, but the reason I bring it up is because I was expecting a totally different crowd, a crowd full of kids like me. I expected to room (in a room with 8 beds) with 7 other Americans studying abroad, travelling with a limited budget, and eager to see the country. At the central hangout area of the hostel (which was packed between 6pm and 10:30pm each night) I found out that hostels are full of people who can, with a quick summary of their ambitions, change my view on what it means to live.

I was thinking about how to write about hostels earlier today, and the most accurate way to convey the way this weekend affected me is as follows: I thought I saw the world in color, but this weekend and the people I met opened me up to a new spectrum of life that I didn’t even know existed.

In the past 48 hours I met a woman from Switzerland (by the way age doesn’t matter in a hostel, everyone is living and that’s what matters) who is taking a year off to travel all over Australia, I met a kid from Charleston, SC who is taking a year off to work while he travels, a Publisher from DC who is taking two years off to travel (for one year) and decided where she wants to live and work (for the next year), and a man from Canada who is taking a year off with the ability to extend his stay if he finds a job that can supply a living wage within the first year.

Those are the people that stuck out in my mind just now, but I know that barely scratches the surface. My view of the world had been school, study abroad, come back, finish school, work right out of school, and make a living wage. These people living for the next day with the money they made the previous day without an ounce of visible anxiety were nothing short of inspirational.

This entire weekend, even without the gorgeous views and beaches, was incredible and I cannot wait to travel again. I realized very soon after leaving that I had done more listening than talking in Byron Bay than I had done anywhere else in the world, and I think that’s a sign of a period of where I’ve grown. My life is now filled with more possibilities, and with that comes uncertainty. This weekend though, I met people who take that uncertainty and turn it into the most interesting stories I’ve ever heard. Time to write my own story.

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My Home!

Time February 26th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hey all!
I filmed a quick run around the gorgeous area of South Bank and Kangaroo Point in Brisbane Australia. These locations are right near university and also take you right up close to the CBD or Central Business District, more or less the Manhattan of Brisbane. Take a look as I become so awestruck by the gorgeous Australian sunset that I forget to run on the correct side of the path!

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Getting lost in the World

Time February 21st, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

Hello all! It’s been a busy few days, filled with great sights, great weather, great people, great food, great animals, and great glimpses towards what will surely be an awesome semester. All that said, however, there sure are treacherous moments out here in the wide open air and I want to share those moments instead of just giving you a bullet-pointed list of crazy animals I’ve seen, the places I’ve forgotten to take pictures of, or the pubs I’ve relaxed in.

So today was the first full day that I’ve had in Brisbane. After attending a “Getting Started” orientation again I walked across campus with some new friends to find food, student id’s, and travel cards (this card I got on campus will allow me to travel all up and down the coast, sometimes for free, it’s actually pretty sweet). I arrived back to my apartment around noon thirty with some time to take in everything I had just learned about school while I waited for some buddies across the city. These buddies lived with my during our program orientation in Sydney but now live in a dorm off campus where I’m across the river in an apartment building with international students (sweet digs). They had some orientation program with their building later that afternoon so we planned to go shopping for room supplies together after they were finished. I spent about 15 minutes after I got back sitting in front of my desk thinking about what I could do. I had a flurry of ideas, but nothing really stuck out as anything I had to take care of, mostly chores and organization, but things I wanted to get out of the way nonetheless. I kid you not I spent the next four hours navigating the course registration system with tons of conflicting feelings flying through my mind. First off, I wanted to set up as many free days as possible such that I’d be able to travel without missing class, after all, I’m here to see the country aren’t I? Second, I had to make sure that I was able to get into the classes that had been approved. All the while those ideas of things I could be doing (the chores) are still plaguing my mind: I don’t have the proper converter for my alarm clock. Where should I go for spring break? Do I need to get more clothing (smelly laundry pile says yes)? What will I do with all these weekends? Who will I travel with? Will I be making the right decisions? Are my classes too hard? I can’t keep track of all these thoughts where can I get an assignment planner? When am I going to work out today? Do I even have enough money to be here??? All these questions have barely scratched the surface, and I know I’m not the only student abroad who thinks these things.
After calming myself down a little bit I called my buddy who was done with his program, and asked him where he planned on going. Long story short, I wasn’t able to join them, and had to go into the city alone.

I figured travelling into the city alone in a country I’ve never been to would be a true test of my survival skills, and it proved to be nothing less. To start, I couldn’t understand the bus schedule at the stop by my building, so I asked a stranger if any of the approaching busses would get me to where I needed to be, Queens Street. He answered with a very reassuring, “Yeah, maybe”. So I took a chance and picked one. As a measure of security I asked the driver if this would get me to Queens Street, to which he said in a heavy Russian accent, “You can walk to there from Adelaide or wherever what’s the big deal” and motioned for me to swipe my “go-card”. I sat down, admittedly slightly shaky with nerves. Keep in mind that I don’t have the access I usually do to google maps, and anyone I could possibly reach on the prepaid phone I received would be of no help, I felt like I was flying blind. I got off at the first stop because it appeared that I was in the city and I didn’t want to go too far. Looking at the schedule once… no twice… no I had to check again… (Are people staring at me?) I decided that one of the approaching busses was the one that could get me to the stop I needed to reach. It ended up being one stop further and I made if to a bus station below a mall. Now all I needed at this mall was an adapter, a calendar, an assignment book, and some notecards, so I went to the place that looked the most familiar, Target. Nope they only had pink notebooks, no calendars, and no adapters (they did have some sweet Australian flicks though). So I went exploring. I found a small clothing shop and figured I should try to get some cheap, functional clothing that would last the semester. I didn’t find any of that, but I did find a few adapters I could use for that ‘murican alarm clock I had (I didn’t realize that the adapter was not a converter, and now my alarm clock is fried, but that’s beside the point). Still fairly empty handed I decided to leave the mall and venture out to the streets to explore some other shops. I walked by a live band and a protest in a central square (I’ll look into that) before finding the equivalent of a small Staples. Many figure eights through that store and I was good to go. Venturing back to the bus station below the mall I realized it was three hours later than I expected so I decided to grab some food. I had told myself I wasn’t going to get subway till it was a last resort, as there is a subway literally across the quad back at Wake Forest, but in this case, I was down to the final dollars I had on me and just needed something healthy and quick. This actually ended up being pretty fun.

It turns out that on this giant island of meters, liters, and grams, that subway has refused to conform to the norm and still sells foot longs and six inch subs, which is good because a “.3048 meter” or a “15.24 centimeter” would have hurt to say. They didn’t stop there though, they continued to blow my mind when I gazed upon the options of cheeses. They had not just cheddar, but old English, and Swiss, amazing. Moving down the line, the sandwich creator asked me a strange question, “And any salads on that, mate?” Of course I don’t want a salad on my sub I want toppings where’d you put the topping menu and why is there a salad menu? Oh. Salads are toppings, capsicum are peppers, and Jake is learning. With my belly full I had the confidence to try and navigate my way back home, the full two stops. First I had to figure out which bus would take me on those two stops, which turned out to be impossible. I can’t sit here and tell you the mistakes I made reading the signs because I simply don’t know what they were, and I don’t know if I ever will. I picked a bus, asked the driver again, and without any Russian accent, he gave me a tired nod. I sat down, put my bags on the floor, and let out a big sigh.

Writing this all out doesn’t seem to really convey the true extent to which I felt out of the box. Maybe it’s just my writing skills, but I think it’s more the fact that it’s very tough to describe the nerves and worry that students go through when they’re abroad. Having gone through an orientation at a university once before, I remember the feelings of being lost and looking back on it I know that it all gets better. Having reflected on that time, I came here knowing that I was going to experience all the feelings of uncertainty, homesickness, loneliness, fear, and all the things that come with being thrown into an unfamiliar situation. This time around, I’ve tried my best to embrace it, and writing this post was an attempt at doing that. Am I lonely right now? For whatever reason, yes. Am I homesick? Of course! Am I scared? Most times, for sure, but am I aware of those feelings? Absolutely. I knew that these feelings would weigh down on me throughout my trip, but I know that everyone experiences those feelings and we all eventually get somewhat out of those holes and enjoy this incredible opportunity that we have. The greatest people I’ve met on this trip so far are the people who are open with those feelings, but just as excited about moving forward into the future as that are worried. It’s nice to catch myself when I’m missing home and tell myself, “Be homesick, home is great, of course you miss home and the care you receive when you walk in the door”. Instead of taking that moment to try to force a different emotion, it’s nice to realize how normal it is, and to stop and think about those at home who have made this trip possible and those who will always be in my heart. I’ve realized that everyone has these feelings, we’re not alone, and we almost always find ways to fill the voids. Stopping to embrace the homesickness, nervousness, and fear instead of faking anything else makes even the down moments a wonderfully memorable part of this experience. Was the silly bus trip to the mall nerve-wracking, you bet, and I’ll remember it forever.

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The Waiting Game

Time February 13th, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

It’s been over two months since I left school in North Carolina and came home for winter break. Now, a countdown on my phone tells me that I have one day and nine hours until my flight departs from New York. I’m sure that every student who has been abroad can agree that the entire process bring you through a range of emotions that aren’t always the easiest to deal with, and I’m currently at the crossroads of two of those emotions.

Boredom: What could I have done for the past two months? Perhaps what other students are planning on doing over the summer, I could have gotten a job, I could have seen some shows, maybe traveled around the country, I could have visited family, I could have done any number of things. Unfortunately, it was tough to find anyone who was hiring for such a short period of time and without a job it was very simple to convince myself that I should save money for a, based on what I’ve heard, rather expensive country. Although I haven’t been completely sedentary this entire break, I’ve construed this brief period of time as a transition, a time between two more significant chunks of my life that won’t necessarily hold any significant place in my memory. As bad as that sounds, that’s just the way it is. That being said, I’ve grown used to this state of relaxation. Every day I can wake up late, go on a nice walk with the dog, get a quick workout in, and watch everything on Netflix two times over, and I’m very content with that. I know, however, that this feeling cannot last forever, and such a lack of significance and fulfillment has me slowly slipping into boredom.

Part of me is ok with that boredom, as I know that an end of boredom means that it’s time to travel, and that realization is met with the other emotion.

Anxiety: I’m sure all students who have been abroad have felt this. I remember feeling like this before heading to Orientation Week at Wake Forest my freshman year. This time though, I’m not only going to a new school but a new country, in a continent I’ve never been to, on a side of the planet I’ve never been on. That’s a lot of newness. In addition, I feel as though I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to make the most of every moment while I’m in Australia, so much so that I’m afraid I’ve set unfair expectations upon myself. I know I should pressure myself like that, and realizing that I have is making it easier to reduce that pressure, but the fact remains that the pressure is there.

With a repetitive routine draining me of enthusiasm, a wave of uncertainty washing over me, and the internal pressure bouncing around in my head, I’ve found myself, on the eve of my journey, plagued with boredom and anxiety. Fortunately, I think that these feelings are just a byproduct of the more important emotion I haven’t mentioned, which is excitement. I know that it will be an amazing time and what’s left to do now is get over myself, pack my backs, and dive right in.

Next time you hear from me I won’t be such a curmudgeon, because next time you hear from my I’ll be on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia.

Now to start packing…

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Onward and Southeastward: Why Blog Abroad?

Time January 3rd, 2014 in College Study Abroad | No Comments by

First off I’d like to welcome you to this blog. Here I will lead readers through a whole semester of my studies in Brisbane, Australia. On the surface, readers can expect pictures of beautiful scenery as well as (hopefully) eloquent encapsulations of my travels and experiences. However, follow this blog closely and readers can expect to be transported into the Australian experience. Now I’m obviously not exactly sure what that experience will entail, but by following this blog one will meet intriguing Australians, taste unique cuisines, travel to distant lands, and learn things they would have never though they’d learn of.

 

I would like to achieve more than just creating a document of a trip, what I would like to do is join two worlds. I want people following my travels to live what I’m living and understand a totally different culture through my eyes. To do this, I would as that if you find yourself reading this blog, that you let me know and keep in touch through comments or by other means of contact. Ask questions, request photos, give me ideas, and most of all enjoy the experience.

 

I will depart in the middle of February. Until then,  feel free to contact me with your experiences in Australia or other parts of the world. I’m incredibly excited to head down under and I hope that, by following this blog, you enjoy the journey as much as I can.

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