it’s been real, australia

“Four months will fly by. Stay out late, wake up early, walk everywhere (you learn cities better that way) keep close to friends you’re traveling with, and your passport closer. Take every single opportunity you get to experience something you’d never get to do again. Go on that trip that’s a little too expensive that you really want to do- it will be worth it.”

Those words were advice given to a friend of mine by her sister before she left on her study abroad. It’s true. Your study abroad will fly by. So make the most of it. After rereading my posts, I can honestly say I’ve done just that.  That is not to say I have no regrets, but I am overwhelmingly glad I chose University of Queensland to study abroad.  This whole experience has been one for the books and I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the most amazing people.  That’s why this post is dedicated to all of my study abroad friends.  You really meet a special group of people through this program.  They are open, happy, grateful, and willing to experience everything (within reason… and budget) with you. I’ll miss every one of you and offer my home in Indiana as a place to stay, if you ever dare venture into the land of corn. I love you all and will miss you dearly.

Speaking of, here are some more things I will and will not miss about Australia.
Things I’ll miss about Australia:
1. goon
2. hearing Aussie/British/Irish/Scottish accents every day
3. the weather. bye bye sunshine, i’ll see you in the spring
4. the drinking age
5. my friends
6. my gym classes
7. UQ’s gorgeous campus
8. the glow stars on my ceiling
9. ridiculous college drinking traditions
10. easy courses
11. traveling every weekend
12. knowing the beach is only two hours and four dollars away
13. city life
14. rarely using a phone (no mom, you read that right)
15. timtams (aussies feel free to send me some!)
16. the RE, specifically karaoke night with my girls

Things I won’t miss about Australia:
1. goon
2. union college food
3. people convincing me to give Vegemite just one more try
4. lack of a proper heating system
5. the prices
6. paying for every gig of Internet
7. the hole in the ozone layer
8. that nagging feeling that I am behind on my blog
9. coed bathrooms
10. the time change
11. bathroom tap water

My study abroad experience began with a stranger handing me his handkerchief in the Chicago airport because I was crying so hard.  I remember sitting in the San Francisco airport ending my very last phone call to my boyfriend with even more tears streaming down my face. Whether I wanted to, and I definitely didn’t want to, I was boarding that plane and leaving everything safe behind. If you’ve read even just this blog post, you’ll know it was worth it. What I’ve learned is even when you’re scared and you don’t want to leave, you should do it anyways. With the greatest risks come the greatest rewards. Take a chance and step out of your comfort zone. Even if it isn’t about committing to a study abroad program. I’ve met people who leave their homes for years with nothing but a plane ticket in hand and I’ve always had that little twinge of jealousy when they talk about their travels. I couldn’t possibly imagine doing anything near that extreme before this experience. Now, it’s different. You just have to take that first step, as hard as it is, and everything else will fall into place. I can tell you from experience. In the end you won’t want to leave. In the end it’ll all be worth it. Every tear, every mistake, every bad day.  Because for me, I finally got to be that person I was always jealous of.

I’ll miss you Australia. Until we meet again.

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