The Final Post – Home Sweet Home
Unfortunately, this will be my final post about being abroad in Australia because I have returned back to the States. What a semester is has been and MAN! did it fly by. Everyone said that it would but it seriously seems like just yesterday that I was saying goodbye to my family at the Newark airport. Four and a half months later, here I am, sitting in my family room reflecting on my incredible experiences that will stay with me forever. I have learned so much about myself, about my culture, and about Australia’s culture. I have thoroughly enjoyed living on my own, cooking my own meals, and taking on new responsibilities in general. I loved trying new things including eating kangaroo pizza at a small cafe in The Rocks and going bungy-jumping in beautiful Cairns overlooking the horizon. They are memories that are simply unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment being abroad (even the stressful schoolwork ones), because they made me grow as a person and I can’t complain about that.
I also can’t complain about leaving such a lovely country because I received the warmest of welcomes when I walked through the Newark airport terminal on July 1st. My mom, being my mom, snapped a photo of me, and then preceded to give me a big hug. More hugs followed by my father, brother, and finally, my boyfriend. It was particularly nice to see each and every one of them after over 24 hours of travel, especially because they took my heavy bags from me that I was lugging around for what seemed like days. I felt like I was in a dream for a few moments, but then reality slowing started sinking in. I hadn’t seen these people (besides on a computer screen) for four and a half months! That’s a lot of time to be away from people you see regularly. The car ride home was filled with many questions and stories. When I walked through my garage door and stepped into my home, I saw red roses on the kitchen table (from my thoughtful boyfriend) and welcome balloons tied on the chairs (from my family). We celebrated my return with champagne and good ‘ol Tim Tams brought from Australia. It was a very late great night.
Now that I have been home for a little over a week, I definitely have gotten back into my typical summer routine, but I miss Sydney dearly. Nothing compares to that city. There’s always something fun to do and good people to meet. Long Valley (my home town), although it contains lovely people, seems pretty dull, especially after living in such a wonderful vibrant city. So here I am, sitting in my family room, reflecting on the great times that I had, starting to feel some reverse culture shock, but it’s okay because it all actually happened. It wasn’t all a dream. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am beyond grateful of my journey across the world.
A special thanks to my family for all the support that they have given to me and to my boyfriend who stuck by me and listened to all my Aussie stories every single day. I love all of you.