In less than a week, a dream that’s been over 10 years in the making will come true. So I’m not really sure how to put this feeling into words. I think the best way to describe it is as a concoction of: over the moon giddiness, critical thinking, nervousness and a sense of independence. All of these feelings, and more, are swirling around the fact that I am moving to Australia!
Now the word “moving” might be a bit of an overstatement… BUT I’m going to defend using it because I will be there for 4.5 months and will have a permanent mailing address. So yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I can recall wanting to live in, or at the very least visit, Australia since I was 8. Now, at the age of 20 I can finally say I have a plane ticket purchased, and a bag half packed.
One of my biggest goals for this trip is to, first and foremost, engage in my classes. My study abroad program is a direct exchange. I am enrolled at Edith Cowan University (ECU) and will be attending there as if it were my home university (minus all my amazing friends at WWU – shoutout to you guys). In beautiful Bellingham, I am an environmental science/marine science student. As a student in that program, I know it’s imperative that I learn about all facets of the environment, from multiple perspectives. Thus I am really looking forward to my course schedule at ECU, which includes: Aboriginal Perspectives on the Environment, Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management.
I know what you’re thinking…. those classes seem AWESOME. That’s exactly what I’m thinking too.
Secondly, I am incredibly excited to be in a different part of the world. I am looking forward to the challenge of navigating a big city… across the globe… on my own. Of course I am daunted by this prospect too. I am the type of person that likes to plan everything to a T and research all possible options. Something I am actively working on during this process is relinquishing control and accepting that I can’t plan everything. For instance I have planned on where to buy an international SIM card once I get to Perth, but I haven’t planned on where to do my grocery shopping. Some things I’ve realized are okay to figure out in the moment.
I think a really common narrative kids hear about being in their 20’s is that it’s a time of travel, education and self development. I’ve decided to kick off this decade of my life in Australia. From what I’ve read about the country, it seems like the perfect place to have these experiences in! I am nearly done with the brilliant book, In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, which is both informative and witty (recommended to me by a friend, and now I am recommending it to all of you). I have learned a good amount about the history and culture of the place we now know as Australia, but of course the best way to learn is by experiencing a place first hand!
I plan on experiencing not just Perth but Western Australia (okay well maybe not all of it, as it’s a pretty big state). I hope to make friends that are just as interested as I am in seeing the city, the beaches and the more rural areas. So I’m going down under with a big ole smile on my face and tons of charisma baby. After all, how could I not?