Friday, April 16, 2010

Take Me Back to the Start (Flashback to Australia)

Happy Friday everyone! It's time for Flashback Friday and I'm on to the semester when I studied abroad in Sydney Australia.

Deciding to study abroad in Australia was easy, I just wanted to and that was it. It was never really a question. Actually getting on the plane by myself to go to Australia was by far one of the scariest things I ever did. It was also one of the best things I ever did.

My first stop in Australia was not Sydney at all (well technically I had to stop in the airport there...) but Lady Elliot Island where I took a week long course on coral reefs that somehow counted as my science + lab credit.

Tough life, I know. Lady Elliot Island is an island so small you have to take a 9 person airplane to get there, and you can easily walk around it. Every night we had to hand write papers while literally watching our professors drink in the "island bar"...but it was easy to join them after we finished. Sorry but, when was the last time you tried to handwrite a paper? It hurts your hand!

Anyway, Lady Elliot Island was a cool experience and I made one of my best study abroad friends on the trip, Alicja, who was also living on campus when we got back to University of New South Wales in Sydney.

I choose to live on campus even though most study abroad students live off campus on the beach because I was hoping to have a bit more of an Australian experience. That ended up being an awesome decision. Even though some of my friends were also study abroad kids, one of my best friends was from Sydney and we hung out with mostly Australians on the weekends.

So what did I do for 6 months in Australia?

Ate amazing strawberry crepes at a place called "Pancakes On the Rocks"...

Drank berry blast smoothies at a place called "Boost Juice"...

Student taught adorable kiddos in cute uniforms who always laughed at me when I didn't understand Australian terms...

Went on beautiful walks on the Cliffs of Bondi to Coogee...

Traveled to places I had only dreamed of seeing...

Did things I had only dreamed of doing...

Saw Christmas decorations in a tank top...

Made Australians become Red Sox fans...

Went wine tasting in the Hunter Valley wine region...

Lol, I love this picture but seriously the wine was good, I think this was when they gave us something else haha.

Became too close to Yankee fans...

And if it's possible, had way way too much fun...

Ah. I went a little crazy with the photos, but there are just too many good ones :)
Not only did I do all of those things above, but I also learned a lot about myself on the other side of the world.

I can get on a plane and go to Australia by myself. I can travel by myself. I can live by myself. I can even have fun doing it. But I choose to stay here, 3 miles from the house I grew up in because even if I can go anywhere, I most want to be here, with my family, with my friends. I can go all sorts of crazy places, but in the end this will be home.

"I feel fine, so fine
In knowin' that this road I'm wanderin' on
From time to time always leads me home, back home." -Home, Tim McGraw

What is a huge risk you have taken that had big rewards? Can you pinpoint a time you learned a lot about yourself?


  1. Definitely moving to Germany! I really didn't want to do it at first because it meant leaving so many thing in life that I was comfortable with, but it has been really worth it!

  2. Aw,you just took me back to my trip last summer to Australia. Isn't it amazing? I'm thinking of moving there to be with family but sadly it's such a long process to obtain a visa. I know that this summer I'm planning on being spontaneous and moving somewhere completely new where I know no one. I want to have one of those amazing life-changing experiences so why not now? I'm going to ignore all my fears and go for it!

  3. I think I'd go there just for those crepes! I love that you were photographing your food even then!

  4. When I moved to London for sure. It was a huge risk and definitely paid off!

  5. I can't get over that wine picture, CLASSIC!! That girl's face just cracks me up. What an amazing trip! I have always wanted to go to Australia. The pictures are amazing. I would also like to go to New Zealand, for sure.
    The biggest risk I have taken was to get involved with this new workplace wellness business. The rewards have not been great, but I HAVE learned a ton. It may not work out in the long run, but all in all, I have learned a lot and had a GREAT time!

  6. I LOVED seeing these photos! Australia is so gorgeous with so many things to see and do. Love, love, love.

    Getting on the plane to Korea was the scariest thing I've ever done. One year, by myself, not speaking the language. Not going to lie, there were some tears. But now I'm happy I did it and a much braver, stronger person for it. There's no more travel fear. Going to Oz and NZ for two months? No problem!

  7. What an amazing experience. I would love to visit Australia. And New Zealand too! My brother did a semester in Australia while he was at BC. He studies in Perth.

  8. I studied abroad in Melbourne, it was one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life. I visited Sydney 3 times and I loved it.
    The wine picture is fantastic!

  9. Ugh jealousness. You should have showed me this post before I decided against studying abroad in Australia.
    I don't think I've ever taken a huge risk that had big rewards haha or can't think of one now

  10. I learned a lot about myself when I first moved to NYC.

  11. Love the Australia pictures. My best friend spent a summer in Australia and absolutely loved it.

    Not studying abroad is one of my biggest regrets - I wish I had gone somewhere!

    Enjoy your Friday - and the yucky weather!

  12. What an amazing trip! I'm so jealous :)

  13. I was in Australia this time last year. I fell in love with the Gold Coast. I want to go baaaack!

  14. Sounds (and looks) like a great time! I wish I would have studied abroad or taken my first job outside of ND, but I am so glad to be close to home as well!

  15. Awww loved this post! It's so gorgeous over there, I sure hope I get to go to Australia one day! I really wish I'd studied abroad. *sigh*

  16. Deciding to sign up for my first cross country cyclist was one of the scariest things I've done. 9 weeks on a bike with 30 strangers? Of course, it totally changed my life and those 30 people are now some of my very best friends!

  17. and by cyclist I mean cycling trip. I blame it on my lack of coffee...

  18. I love this post! Your pictures are fabulous and there's no doubt you had the time of your life! :o)

    Plus I think it's awesome that after seeing the world you still want to live where you grew up. At least you don't wonder what else is out there.

  19. Hey girl, long time no comment on your blog! I'm back to blogging, and loved your pics and Australian adventures. My wife and I will be in Boston on Monday to watch the marathon. Will you and yours be there??

  20. Going to Australia alone is definitely one of the boldest things I have ever done! It was scary, but exhillerating and I grew more as a result of studying abroad.

    seeing your pictures makes me really, really miss Australia. :( I had such an amazing time there!

    Oh, and when i chose where to go, I contemplated going ot Europe, but surprisingly never thought about France. i never knew how much i was going to love France. But even knowing how much I love France, I am still glad I went to Australia... It's just so dang far away so it was great to be there for 4 months so I could see so much of the country. I can always go to Europe, but going to Australia requires a heck of alot of time off!

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your pictures!! Makes me miss Australia!!

  21. What an awesome experience! An opportunity arose when I was still pursuing an education degree to do a teaching experience in some European country. (I can't remember now.) But money issues kept me from doing it.

    I really haven't done anything wildly adventurous and I'm really want to. A part of me wants to find a job in a different state once I graduate just so I can have the experience of moving somewhere completely different.

    Thanks for sharing!

  22. I LOVED every single picture!!!! The wine tasting and red sox ones were super hilarious ;)

    This just made me want to go to Australia so badly! I've always wanted to go so that probably doesn't help ;)

    And it's funny, here, we have BoostER juice! wonder if the companies are related in some ways!

  23. I had no idea Australia was so gorgeous! Have you been back?

    I'd love to feature one of your posts on Pink Pangea (, a travel site specifically geared towards women travelers. Submit a photo of yourself in Australia and write a post about your experiences. You might also want to provide some tips for other women travelers to Australia. We will be sure to link back to your site.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

  24. Well it's been a while since the last post, but i believe that if it can be of any help, it's worth it. I'm planning to go to Australia for a postgrade. I'm 24. Any comments you have on the matter, such as a recommended University, a city to live in or employer whom i can contact, will be well received.