I’ve spent about twenty four hours in transit in the last 3 days or so. Cheap tickets are cheap for a reason. Hello, 5 mph trainride to Byron Bay. It was beautiful though, green for miles. Refreshing.
Nevertheless, I think I needed it. It was starting to dawn on me that my time in Australia is really coming to a close. But for that to sink in, I had to realize that I had even had…time in Australia. Say wha?
The conversation going on in my head wasn’t pretty or very sane.
I had to keep rephrasing things over and over in my head so that the little guy inside it would finally grasp the concept. He was messing with my mind. Perpetual mind-fuck (pardon, but how else do you describe such a thing?) But that’s what it felt like.
"What? I’ve been in Australia for five months? I’ve been away from home for five months? I’ve made…friends here? I’ve been living by the beach? I’ve been living the daily life of an Australian student? I’ve been using public transport? I say ‘uni’ and ‘no worries’ and drink boxed wine?"
Yes, Yael. Yes. All of those things, yes.
B…b…b…but when? …How?
I know there were moments in the first few months where I couldn’t believe I was here, mostly because I kept thinking about home. And then there were the last few months where everything felt quite normal. Normal life, with friends, studying, going out… it’s kind of hard to sum all that up and say…well, it’s over now.
That’s what my head was telling me. Say goodbye. You’ll probably never see these people again. You may not even come back here, to where you’ve spent five months, independently, learning so much about yourself and other people and life. I can tell you honestly, if you’d asked me three months ago, I would have told you I probably wouldn’t miss this place that much. I was so wrong. I am coming to realize how much this place did for me. How many amazing experiences I’ve had here, that won’t be matched by anything else. They are different in kind, in their spirit, in that they happened when they happened and where they happened.
I keep thinking about how when I go home to all those people I’ve missed so much, life’s just going to pick up where it left off and go go go. And it’s going to feel a little weird at first, but then so natural—like I’d never even left. My semester in Australia will be floating atop my home life. A separate entity completely.
It bothered me for a while.
A long while.
12 hours on a train, a while.
But then I realized something.
…it’s okay. It’s really okay.
I got to experience a life away from home. It was necessary, and it was good. It was really good for me. Better than I can consciously realize, I’m sure, as is the nature of these types of experiences. I am so grateful for the help my parents gave me so that I could have this experience. Endlessly grateful. And to all of the people I love so much in my life for helping me through the tougher times while over here.
This experience is one I’ll have trouble describing when I get that “Tell me all about your trip!” command from all of my loving friends and family. It’ll be hard to explain.
The different kinds of people I’ve met, the best friends I made, the places I’ve seen—I’ve been so lucky. Rather than dwell on the fact that my experience is over, I’d rather think about the lasting effect it’s going to have on me. And the rejuvenation it’ll provide when I look back to it in the future. I achieved something I wasn’t really sure I could achieve. And now that I’ve done that? Well…guess there’s no telling what else I can do.
And, even better than that.
I’m lucky enough to be able to go home to more people I love, to a place I love, with all of these happy memories strapped to my back.
I could not be more thankful, more appreciative, more loving of life and all of the people who make mine as special as it is.
Thank you, Australia.
Here’s to enjoying the last week of normal life in Sydney.
And here’s to traveling with the parents I’ve missed to death in a week.
Let’s make this true :))
Just spent about ten minutes balancing a flashcard on my index finger. Productivity at it’s finest.
..meep :) this might be an adele cover…and it might not be.
and I might have just made the best pb and j ever. but really.
procrastination gettin tha best of meeeeeee
time to study. fo reals. reals reals.
I had one of those mornings. My stresses focused mainly on money and bus passes. And believe me, every thing went wrong. I’ll spare you the details. Plus, there was no room for my apple in my overstuffed bag. So I had to eat it.
Sounds…horrible. Right? Right?
Yeah, I know it’s all b.s. Everything seems a million times worse when you’re in it, when you’re the vibration, the catalyst, hitting every one of those dominoes into the ground and all you can do to keep from falling down is hold your head high, back straight, and brace yourself…but you fall anyway, until that little pity party (thrown by Mr. Negativity) that started it in the first place is all over and done with.
It followed me all morning. I molded my face into a frown and head out to face the day I was dreading. School. Bleh. Presentation. Bleh. Movement. Bleh.
I kept speaking to people about how their last two days have been shit. It was as if this weird sad something was attacking us all.
So, I called my mother. Yes, I still do that, and often, because I love her, and because we talk all the time, and I’m not ashamed of it (all you haters;] ). And she told me “it must be global.” Because she felt it too. That downward pulling. But she said then to take a deep breath, and think positively, even more positively than normal actually since the negativity seems to be so strong, everywhere. And I got my shit together. “People Should Smile More” by Newton Faulkner couldn’t have come onto my ipod at a better time. I realize even though it feels good to feel bad sometimes, it feels better to feel good.
So, friends. If you’re feeling down, try and smile. Realize that you’ve got everything you could need. You’re lucky, you’re blessed. No one wants to come to your pity party. Ever. No one, I swear. We’re lucky. There are lots who aren’t, but we are.
Who knew Cairns was going to be so hot and humid?
This girl (arriving in sweatpants and lacking proper hair products) did not.
Ten days exploring Cairns (which really could be explored in one) and some lovely areas further up the coast (port douglas, daintree, cape tribulation) left me tired, but happy, and a little tanner.
I snorkeled. Wowsa. It was amazing. Sea sickness pills worked the trick and I was happy as a clam. I didn’t get to see any turtles :( or sharks (which i’m not too sad about) but I saw some awesome coral and fish and even some sting rays (one was polka dotted :D).
I managed to eat gelato like, four times. I would have eaten more if I had had a greater supply of lactaid pills. What can I say, vacation means…well, all the gelato you can eat, ya know?
So, as I said, not much to do in cairns. Gianna and I frequently referred to it as a “one horse town.” Not to be rude, but you know, save for a cute community pool/grass area, overpriced shops, cheap hostels, and some mediocre beaches…there wasn’t much to see. Maybe we’ve been spoiled, but we were getting a little antsy.
We visited Fitzroy Island one day which was a nice break, but it was a coral beach so that when you decided to lay out (as we did) after going for a lil swim in the water, you were forced to not only step on unbelievably painful heaps of coral, but also lie on it. Made for some pretty interesting looking indentations on the body.
Gianna, kyle, and I took a shitty old car for a road trip up the coast. The car survived.
We went to a crocodile park and saw lots of crocodiles and things.Let me tell you something. These folks are not your friends. Saltwater crocs? Well, they eat everything. And they don’t ever really lose their appetites. Opportunistic feeders you see.
(this little guy wasn’t so lucky)
I also got to pet a koala’s butt at the croc park :) hehe. so fluffy. so cuuuute.
Then we went up to port douglas which is absolutely beautiful, quite expensive, though. On the way we stopped at Mossman’s gorge (and on the way back) which is this lovely clear, freshwater swimming hole in the middle of some rainforest. Freezing waters, but so fun and so gorgeous.
From there we went through the daintree rainforest up to Cape Tribulation. Basically driving through beautiful rainforest for a few hours. Now, cape trib is teeny. We were staying at one of the three or so accommodation places there were there in a cabin style room which kind of reminded me of our 8th grade yosemite trip. We explored the beaches up there a bit, but didn’t go into the water too much for fear of the jellies. The water is so shallow there, too… you have to walk out SO far just to get half your body under water, it’s weird.
Anyway, that night some guy bought us drinks pretty much all night long and we shmoozed in the rainforest at our hostel listening to a “reggae” band play pop songs for a while. The next day we headed back down toward cairns (mer) and stayed there that night and another day, and left in the weeeeee hours of the mornin (330) to catch our flight. We probably could have left at 430 had we known our flight was at 720 instead of 6 am. Go us. It’s alright, we joined the other spring breakers sleeping on the floor in the departure lounge until we got booted out by people pushing trash cans across the student-ridden floor. Ah well. I’m home now. I have to catch up on school work and do laundry but it all sounds so unappealing. As a result, I may just take a nap.
Can’t believe I’ve hit the real half way point. 2.5 months done, 2.5 months to go. Missing you all like crazy. <3