I have lived a week in Australia. I am one Australian week older. Do I feel any different? Well, my feet are still cold from the damp chill in the air. Do I look any different? Mirroring the winter fashion of Aussie natives, I bought some black jeans, leather boots, and top every outfit with a slouchy beanie I found on the sidewalk. Don’t worry, I washed it.
I would like to believe that when you travel thousands and thousands of miles away from home, you evolve. But truth is, it’s the same old me. I still get tired, and hungry, and restless even though I am living my dream. The romance and nonstop inspiration that is synonymous with a semester abroad feels different than I had daydreamed. My enchantment of being here comes in small, intense flashes- in moments when I realize I that I am in Australia. For example: *Discovering that my American accent is hard for locals to understand
*Seeing a rainbow over the Pacific Ocean for the 4th time in one week
* Getting woken up by pterodactyl sounds that are just the local birds.
*Watching in terror when boys in their wetsuits jump into the ocean in the middle of a windy rainstorm. No, they are not committing suicide; they have just grown up surfing, and won’t let a little 30 mph wind and torrential downpour stop them.
This place is nothing like I expected, but what in life is?
Also… This just struck me. I am the first person of my ancestry who has ever stepped foot on this continent.
I am a stranger to every soul I pass on the sidewalk Each tiny decision; coffee or tea, say hello or keep walking will inevitably change who I meet and who I’ll become these next few months.
Its all a little overwhelming.
What if I don’t meet that one person, or find that one restaurant, or discover that hidden beach I was meant to love? These “what if’s” leave me anxious.
I am only scared that I won’t do and see everything I am meant to. But really- every choice we make is what was “meant to be.” It is impossible to screw up fate, so no worries mate.
I am so blessed to be here in this beautiful country that is both the driest continent in the world, and has forests bigger than Texas. A nation that was settled by convicts, yet is the most civilized and welcoming place I have ever been.