Time is winding down, day by day I’m one step closer to being back home. I feel like I’ve been here for so long that it’s almost weird thinking about what it’s going to be like when I’m back in New York. It really is a different culture here and I feel as though I’ve just about adapted to it. When I get home I feel like I’m going to be walking on the wrong side of the street, or asking my friends “how ya goin?.” Maybe I’ll even ask for some Tomato Sauce for my hot chips.
A lot has gone on since my last blog. First off my father and brother came to visit me which was amazing. They finally got to see what my life is like here, and put visuals to all the things I’ve been talking about on the phone. I loved being able to show them around the city, like I’ve been living here my whole life. It reminded me of how I felt when I had just arrived, amazed with everything about Sydney. It was so great to see family, and I had hoped that when I walked into the lobby of my apartment building to meet them that they would remember what I looked like…luckily they did. When they arrived we did some fun things in Sydney, like the wildlife park, the aquarium, a wildlife sanctuary where you could pet and feed kangaroos and wallabies, and even a bus trip into the Blue Mountains. I was able to show them the touristy side of Sydney, as well as the hidden treasures I’ve come about through befriending locals.
School is done, I finished one final and now I have to get through three more. It’s like that last little hill I have to climb before I’m home, well, that and the 20 hour plane ride. I started to send some stuff home in the mail, it’s weird packing up my room. This has become my home. The major difference with study abroad and a vacation (aside from the school work) is that when you go on vacation, you know your going to be going home soon. When that point comes on vacation, where you think to yourself “I can’t wait to be back in my own bed” you know it’s not far away. With study abroad, a point hits where you realize this isn’t a vacation, your actually living in the country. When the “can’t wait to sleep in my own bed” thing hits, you have no choice but to suck it up and wait it out. It really pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Throughout the trip, I personally haven’t done much traveling. Instead I did exactly what I wanted to do which was to immerse myself in the culture. I have made so many great friends who live here, so I’ve been able to go out with them, have family dinners at their houses, etc. It’s been so wonderful being able to fit in somewhere where you have a noticeable difference that makes you stick out (the accent). As different as cultures may be, the natural principle of what it is to be a good human being remains the same. Therefore, no matter where you are from, or where you go, as long as you are respectful, you should have no problem fitting in, adapting, making friends, and exceeding all expectations.