Kangaroos? Check. Koalas? Check. Vegemite? Regrettably, check. Now where is P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney??? (Come on, any Nemo fans out there?)That’s right! I’m in Sydney!!! I been here a little over a week and it still doesn’t feel completely real yet. It feels like I am just dreaming and any moment now I’m going to wake up to find myself back home in Atlanta. But no, it’s real.
But besides the sappy talk, let me tell you- this past week has been a non stop whirlwind of emotions and amazing things… well after I got past that never ending flight and the airport chaos.
The IFSA orientation was a ton of fun. From day one they gave us the aussie treatment and took us to all the things you would hope to see when down under. Of course my favourite was my time with the koalas, kangaroos, and my good friend the wallaby. That one definitely left me feeling guilty when looking at my coat of arms pizza with emu and kangaroo!
Then we arrived at our dwelling for the semester, and being completely honest, I don’t think I lived anywhere this nice my whole time in college. I love my flatmates and have enjoyed our adventures to all of Australia’s sites and surprises. This city has so much to offer. There is always something to do whether its a chocolate and coffee festival or a crab race at a local pub. I guess this is what it’s like to live in such a large city.
There are so many new and different things here, yet at the same time so similar to home. Which only makes the differences stand out that much more. The birds look like dinosaurs, the people are all so genuinely nice and helpful, the universities are huge, the views unbelievable, minimum wage is $17, Mcdonalds goes by Maccas, and I can’t find alfredo sauce! So many little things that are just… different.
These differences are mostly exciting things and an opportunity to see what makes Australia so unique, but sometimes all the changes and new things can be exhausting. And those are the moments when home-sickness comes knocking at my door.
Those are the moments when I yearn to talk to my mom, but its 3 am at home. Or when looking at Bondi beach and just wishing your closest friends were there to experience it beside you. Sometimes it comes when I wish I could snuggle with my dogs, but the pillow must suffice. And the worst is when you want peanut butter or ketchup but its just not the same here. Of all the triggers, however, Facebook is the main perpetrator. The images of all that is going back home is just no good! And all that scrolling kills your internet (its quite precious here). In those times its just a want for something familiar.
But no worries! Those moments are fleeting. It may only take a FaceTime party with buddies or merely a dance party to some of my favorite music to pull you out of the runt. And in the meantime, IFSA makes it easy to turn to advisors that become your “mom abroad” (Hey Fiona!) or your new friends that you have inevitably made.
But now classes are starting, I’ve started going to church with lovely aussies, and I’m starting to settle in!
Next time mates!