Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Jet Lag and Overweight Bags: Week 2

Tired doesn’t even begin to cover it. I could feel my bone marrow aching to be in bed. But no. Don’t fall asleep they said. I mean they were right but still….it was hard.

Jet lag took three and a half days to get over. But Sydney was the perfect place to take on the challenge. We stayed at a hostel with sweeping views of the Sydney Harbor (or Harbour to the locals, but “no worries”). So watching the lights of the Sydney Opera House come on as the sun went down on the first night was enough of an incentive to push to at least 9 pm. Plus the drinking age being only 18 meant the pubs were calling my name. But mom if your reading this, it’s because I really like Coca-Cola on tap.

On our second day, after a breakfast at 7 am where coffee was the true hero of the day, we headed out to Featherdale Wildlife Center. It was ok there. We just got to, ya know, PET KOALAS AND FEED KANGAROOS. Like, no big deal. But actually, it was incredible. A quokka literally took a carrot from my hands. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks IFSA!

I probably should have mentioned (though I’m sure if you’ve found this link you know) I am a LGBTQ+ Correspondent for IFSA-Butler. This means issues of sexuality, gender identity, and gender/non-gender equality are going to be a big part of this blog. It has not however, been a big part of my experience so far. I am out as bisexual to my fellow study abroad students. And they have no qualms about it. However, I am the only openly non-heterosexual person (that I know of) in my group. That in itself is a bit isolating.

So far I’ve only had 1 mention of the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage in the U.S. It is not (yet) legal in Australia. I say yet because, from what I understand about 70% of Australians support marriage equality. Funnily enough, that’s the same percentage that do NOT support the current Prime Minister – one conservative by the name of Tony Abbott.

As far as being a queer student in Australia, I was pleasantly surprised to have LGBTQ+ offices on campus. We have one on my home campus, as well as support groups for all sorts of niches in the queer community. To be honest, I was worried about having that support here. Back home, I have my friends and teammates (many of whom identify as queer) that have been my main support. Like I said, being the only out person that I’ve met has been somewhat isolating. So it eases the transition a bit to know I have a place where I can seek the support I’ve found at home.

Speaking of similarities to home (yeah, it’s a crappy transition, bear with me I’m exhausted), the fact I have unlimited wifi in my dorm makes me happier than it probably should. I’m definitely having a millennial moment.

We also had the unfortunate experience with overweight luggage and the strains – emotionally, physically, financially – that came with those heavy suitcases. ┬áSeeing those orange heavy tags are now the bane of my existence. Nevertheless, we made it to Melbourne – finally.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


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