Well folks, this is it. We’ve finally come to the end of my five-month adventure in Australia. At the beginning of this journey I had no idea what to expect of this country. As I’m leaving, I realize that it has become a second home to me. Before all my friends left on June 26th they kept saying how it didn’t feel real, that they weren’t really leaving Australia. Or, that if they were leaving they would be coming back for fall semester. But, alas, we are not. I didn’t think I was going to get that feeling because I figured that being all over the country an extra three weeks would make me eager to go home and it definitely has. It is so true though- I always think I’m going to go back to the Gold Coast come September. I love Merrimack and I would not change my college experience there for anything, but right now as I am flying over the Pacific, I just keep thinking that in a few months I’m going to be back on this plane to go to school with Jenna, Cathy, Julia, Tanya, Jill, Brittany, and everyone else who has made this abroad experience amazing. I talked to Jenna shortly after she got home and she said she finds herself saying “in Australia…” a lot and I can understand why. Although we’ve lived three years at Merrimack, this experience has been unbelievable.
When I arrived in Cairns on February 12th, I honestly was scared about what was going to happen or if I was going to make friends. And just when I was comfortable there, I was dropped off on the Gold Coast with no explanation as to where anything was or how to live. I was completely on my own and it was weird. I’ve come a long way since then I think and Australia has helped me achieve that goal. From having to cook all my own food, clean my room, to watching after myself after a crazy night out in Surfer’s, I’ve grown up a lot and I don’t think I would have turned out the same if I hadn’t been abroad and taken this experience for everything it was worth.
I’ve had some of the best times of my life in these past five months. Let’s reminisce for a minute… There was the time I held a koala and it pooped on me. And the first time I went to Sydney and met my future husband who has been to almost every continent except for Antarctica. Or there was Mid-semester break when Jenna, Jill, Brittany, and me rented a RV and frozen to death all over New Zealand. And one of my favorite times, going to Byron Bay and doing absolutely nothing but laughing for three days. All the family dinners cooked, teasing Cathy relentlessly everyday of her life, laying out by the pool on a Thursday between classes, and running to my room at 8:30pm on a Tuesday night to get dressed because the bus to Surfer’s would leaving in 10 minutes. And these past three weeks with my mom have been unforgettable! So many memories that I’ll never be able to forget with people I’ll always be friends with no matter how close or far away they live.
I’ve been on this plane for 7 hours already and I still have another 6 to go until LA and then it’s another five and a half to Boston. This may be the longest and saddest Thursday of my life. Although I still can’t believe this is the end, it is. I know I’ll be back some day, but it won’t be the same. This semester has been incredible and I couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone at Merrimack and my family. The End.