It’s actually ridiculous how fast time is flying by. Like, it’s already September and I’ve almost been here two months. THAT’S SO WEIRD. As the eve of my two-month anniversary approaches, I’ve taken a few moments to reflect. I’ve realized that Australia has already given me everything I wanted to get out of my studying abroad experience. I have proven to myself that I am a lot stronger than I believed I was and that I am truly the only person in charge of my happiness. I was convinced that my parents had made a mistake and misjudged my ability to survive on my own. I thought for sure I would never really like it here because I missed everything familiar back home. I stressed myself out beyond normal limits thinking I wouldn’t make any friends or find anything to be a part of here. Now, looking back on all those negative thoughts and worries, I realize that they were normal and expected, but I’m so glad I have made it out on the other side. My bed, my friends, my classes, my home are all things I knew were great when I was there in Bloomington. However, having been completely stripped of anything that reminds me of home, besides Devin, has made me realize just how great everything and everyone is. Thinking about everything I have to return home to fills me with such a happiness I truly can’t describe. I feel like a completely new person and it’s exciting. Before I came here I had always believed that in order to grow, a person needed to experience change – hence why I moved half way across the world – but now, I can fully understand why that change is necessary. While I don’t want any of my friends to leave me after I get home, I do want them to be able experience the same life changing experience Australia has given me. But maybe instead of going far away, just, like, go to Indy. And instead of it being for a semester, make it, like, a month. I think those are reasonable requests, and I’m sure all of you do too.

While Australia has given me many things, free water has not been one of them. Water fountains are not a thing here and it’s really inconvenient. I’ve only been able to locate one water fountain on campus, and in places like the mall and movie theatre, they simply do not exist. I’ve decided that if you are going to attempt to find a water fountain, you better make sure the bottle you have with you is decently filled, as you’ll be thirsty from your search efforts. Another thing Australia doesn’t have here is the letter ‘z’. For example, the word ‘realization’ transforms to realisation here. Don’t worry, my autocorrect isn’t happy with it either.

However, while water fountains and the letter ‘z’ are sparse here down under, double rainbows are a plenty. I’ve seen three since I’ve been here and each time I treat it like it’s my first time ever seeing one. I’m absolutely captivated by them and I find myself daydreaming for as long as I let myself to, and on Friday it was the whole 15-minute bus ride to campus. Even though I’m almost twenty-one, I still spend my time thinking thoughts such as “I wonder if I could ever run to the end of it”, which then sends me into an even deeper daydream – sprinting off into the distance to find my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Yesterday afternoon was spent at the beach, attempting to make my freckles reappear across my face. It was a beautiful day, the beach was packed, and we were soaking up the sun. Even though the last day of winter was a couple days ago, I somehow believed that the water would be at least decently warm. Wrong. As I tiptoed into the Aussie ocean for my first time, I turned right back around once the water reached my anklebone; in total I would say it was about a four second experience. Even though the beach was filled with people, the only other people that were in their bathing suits were little children. It’s become pretty clear that people here are used to it being a lot warmer before they break out the shorts, because even though I find it decently warm, for the most part, people are still in hoodies and pants. But for me, and the other Americans I was with, once it got above 70 degrees, bathing suits were fair game. 


Jennifer Collins
09/01/2013 5:50pm

You are amazing. I have been reading your blog watching you grow into a thoughtful,global citizen before my eyes. So proud of you. Dorothy - there's no place like home but remember home doesn't have to be a physical place - it's inside of you. Hayley is never far away from me - just like your mom is never far from you. Keep amazing me!


Leave a Reply.