With just a couple months left until I travel halfway around the world by myself for the first time, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling about a hundred different emotions right now. First of all, I’m EXCITED!!! Ever since I watched a Travel Channel documentary on Australia with my dad when I was about four years old, I’ve had a slight obsession with the country (to say the least). Koalas became my favorite animal, the Great Barrier Reef became the number one place to visit on my bucket list with Uluru as number two, and the Australian accent became my favorite of all accents I’ve heard. I’ve read and learned everything I can about Australia between then and now, and it’s hard to believe that the moment I’ve been dreaming of for years is almost here! It almost feels unreal. The Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, all these things that I’ve been seeing in pictures since I was a little girl I’m finally going to see in person!
But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel NERVOUS at the same time. Though I’ve been fortunate enough to visit other countries (Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and Canada) with my family, those experiences can’t compare to the one I’m about to embark on. I’ve never traveled alone internationally. Sure, I’m excited now, but what if I have terrible homesickness once I get there? What if I don’t make friends quickly and feel lonely? Will I feel like I’m missing out on things happening stateside (like Badger football season)? What if I’ve been building up Australia over the past 16 years and it doesn’t meet my expectations? I can’t help but have these thoughts every time my upcoming trip to Australia crosses my mind (which is basically 24/7!).
At the same time though, I know that no matter what, I’m going to have the experience of a lifetime. I’m going to meet new people, see new things, and try things I probably can’t even imagine now. I’m also looking forward to my classes, as Macquarie University is one of the best in Australia! Though I have mixed emotions when I think of going halfway around the world alone, I know the fact that I even applied to the program and accepted my offer once admitted means that I’m ready. I’m ready to take the giant leap over the US, across the Pacific, into the southern hemisphere, and down under. And I’m ready to take Sydney by storm! In the meantime, I have lots of planning and preparing to do so hoo roo for now (that’s goodbye in Aussie slang)!