It has been two months since I returned home from Australia.
It is hard to imagine Australia as anything other than a place I have lived in, like Madison or La Crosse, and it is hard to comprehend how incredible it was to get the chance to become accustomed to an entirely different way of life. It is even harder to accept that it isn’t a place I can just drive to and enjoy on my weekends and holidays.
There are things that I’ve subconsciously taken home with me. I repeatedly find myself nearly walking into people on the sidewalk because I no longer strictly keep to the right side. I use terms like “top up” and “rock up” and sometimes describe things as “full-on” before explaining myself. And I am just waiting for the day that I order hot chips at a restaurant.
Looking back on my time abroad I am satisfied in the things I did, the places I went, and the people I now call friends. I did all the big things I wanted to, and a lot of smaller things I never expected to mean so much to me. Yet there are still some things I wish I had done more of and definitely some people I wish I could have spent more time with.
After spending four months in a place in which I discovered something new everyday and things never got old or uninteresting, it is hard to accept that I do have to ultimately return to the hard work and dedication that once got me to that point. One of the most fun and enjoyable things about being abroad is that everywhere you go you get to introduce yourself as “an American,” and even without the introduction people automatically want to talk to you because you are obviously from abroad. Oftentimes you forget that you have an accent at all, and sometimes you know full well and just can’t wait to see the reaction when someone hears your voice for the first time.
However, the first day of classes in Madison Wisconsin begins today, and there is no special attribute that sets me apart from my classmates anymore. There is no more ‘adventure budget’ and there are no more lazy days at the beach. The friends I made keep in contact, but seeing as there is a fifteen hour time difference we often will go days without speaking – which is strange after spending everyday with them in reach within a moments notice. And to be perfectly honest, there are many mundane reasons why I miss Australian living.
And even though all this seems to be adding up to a sad story, I take comfort in the fact that I have an experience that not many others will ever fully understand, and I wouldn’t want them to. I hold memories that go beyond words and souvenirs and pictures. I have friends all the way from Australia that are counting down the time until they can see me. And I take comfort in that after all of this time away, I can still come home to the people I love and I am still excited to see my friends and family and to be home again.
So instead of seeing the rest of my time in Madison, or even in America, as something less, I am going to see all of my hard work and dedication pay off. I am going to use each day to its fullest to make sure that I can realize the other bigger dreams I had for my future before I ever left. I am excited to build the life I want and now only feel more capable of success. And even though Australia is in the past — the adventure is never over.
Thanks for reading all or any of my posts! It’s been fun 🙂