Just today, I received an email from the International Programs Office at Linfield. Contained in this email was information on how to readjust to life back home upon return. This really hit me hard-in just a short period of time, I will be returning back to the United States. This is a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, there are so many comforts of home that I miss having. I miss my car, the food and ability to cook in a kitchen, and of course, my family and friends. On the other hand, I've gotten so accustomed to life here that leaving is going to be really difficult. I've made so many friends that I can't imagine not seeing every day. Walking to class won't be the same; the walk through the city will pale in comparison to the gorgeous walk to University here.
In light of these facts, I've come to the realization that I really need to take advantage of every opportunity I am faced with here. I am so incredibly lucky to be studying abroad in such a beautiful country, with such amazing people and an unparalleled support system. In order to realize the full potential of my study abroad experience, I made a bucket list of things I'd love to do before I leave Australia.
1) Visit Stoney Creek
2) Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef-this was supposed to be checked off last week, but at the end of the semester here I will have plenty of time to check this off my list!
3) Hike the Botanical Gardens-just a bus ride away, this place is a beautiful hiking destination, something to do for free!
4) Make it up to Port Douglas. Some of my favorite things that Australia has to offer are the myriad markets set up everywhere. One of my friends from the lodge here had great things to say about this town--the markets, as well as seeing crocodiles in the wild! I've only seen crocodiles in captivity, so I'd love to spot one in a river! Every time I ride on buses, I stare intensely into the riverbanks to see if a crocodile is lurking there, but I have yet to find one.
5) Go to all of my favorite spots in Cairns (Esplanade, nightclubs, cafes, shops) and take photographs that will capture the essence of my time here.
That is my list, thus far. It will be expanded for sure, but for now I'll focus on these things!
The other week, I was shopping at the IGA across the road from the lodge and I was buying chocolate. The total came out to be $2.99, so I handed the cashier $3. I waited patiently for my penny, and she looked at me like I was silly! It was then, after being in Australia for 3 months, that I realized I'd been losing pennies this whole time! I forgot they don't have pennies here. I thought it was quite humorous. The coins here make a whole lot more sense. They have 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, $1 coins, and $2 coins. These come in handy often for buses, etc.
It is that time of the semester at which homework is piling up and I really need to begin to focus on my schoolwork! So, I intend to be fairly busy over the next few weeks.
Until next time!