Tag Archives: australia

Ending of a Chapter

chapter end

It’s the middle of the night here in Australia, and even though I’ve adjusted to the time change a while back, I still find myself awake some nights.  Usually nights when I’m stressed.

My time here in Australia will be ending soon – at the end this month to be exact.

I’m torn about it.  I love this country, even more than I expected to, but I do miss home.

I miss being able to call my siblings the second I need them.

I miss my friends and being able to talk to them whenever.

I miss my English teacher.

I miss my brother Scotty using me as a stand in to rehearse his lines for plays.

I miss running my book club at school.

At the same time, I’ve gotten to do some cool things here in Australia and I’ve met great people.

I explored some caves.

I saw geysers up close.

I held a koala bear.

I scuba-dived in the Great Barrier Reef.

I made three close friends from other countries – Lars (Australia), Ella (Finland) and Alek (Norway).

I’ll be sad to be apart from my new friends, but that’s the good thing about social media and especially Skype… I can stay in touch with them easily.  I’m excited to see my siblings in person though.  I’ll be staying with one of my sisters for most of the summer, like I did last year, but I’ll probably be visiting two of my brothers in a different state before school starts up again.

Despite the fact I love Australia and being an exchange student, I want to spend my senior year at home.  Well, boarding school, but it’s basically been home to me since I was a freshman.  I want to be able to pass off my book club to a deserving underclassman, play on the tennis team and do all the usual senior year activities with my friends.  There will be time to travel after I graduate.

I might even study abroad in college.

I’m so grateful to have had this opportunity and you can bet this will be a great chapter my memoir.

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17 Before 17: An Update

Since my birthday is about two months away, I think it’s time I gave you all an update on how I’m doing with my 17 Before 17 list.

17 update

I’ve blogged on a few of them as I finished them, but due to my absence I haven’t been posting as I complete the items on my list.  So what have I done in the past few months?  Well, let’s take a look…

  • I’ve held a koala bear cub.  It was seriously adorable and if it wasn’t a “wild” animal, I would want to take it home and just hug it all day long.
  • I went para-sailing.  It’s so much fun and if you need any item for your own bucket list, I highly suggest this!
  • I’ve sent hand-written letters to a few people.  Well, more like all my siblings.  I figured they mean the most to me so I decided to sent them a letter telling them of how the exchange program is going and all the cool things I’ve been doing here.
  • I explored a cave.  I have to say I felt a bit like Indiana Jones when we were in the cave.  It was definitely fun and I’d love to explore a few more of them.

So that’s only four things, but I thought I’d let you know that they are now done and I can check them off my list of things to do before I’m 17.  I still have a few to go, but I don’t think I’ll be finishing them all since the time has passed for me to do a few of them (like visiting NYC for Christmas).

 

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Homesick

I’ve been feeling a bit homesick lately.

It’s not that I’m not enjoying Australia, I really am.  I love it here.  In fact, this experience makes me want to travel more and see new places.

But I miss my family.

homesick

I guess growing up with 8 siblings and a lot of cousins being around on a consistent basis can really have an impact on one’s life.  You get used to them always being around, then you move away and they’re suddenly not there with you.

Going to boarding school was different because I had at least one of my brothers with me.  He was just across the room so if I needed him I could throw a pillow at him and talk to him.  I know my family is just a phone call or video chat away now, but at the same time they’re not because the time difference is huge.

I have just about two months left of my exchange student program, so I will be going home soon.  I intend on enjoying every moment that I’m here in Australia, but I’m also counting down the days that I’ll be able to hug my siblings and talk to them face-to-face.

Those are my thoughts for today… at 2am.

Have a great day everyone, no matter what part of the world you’re in!

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It’s Been Too Long

I’ve just been a little too involved with this exchange program to focus on schoolwork, adventures and keeping up with my family and I guess I forgot about the writing part of it all

Australia is treating me well.  I love it here… if I haven’t told you all before.

I finally got to ride a zip-line, which was fun.  It’s like those short ones on a school playground, only much larger and downhill… and through a path of trees.

My most recent adventure though was being a junior captain on a boat that set sail for nine days on the Great Barrier Reef.  I got to learn all that goes into captaining a boat out at sea and the nautical terms that go along with it.  I was also able to go snorkeling a few times and I got to cross off scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef off my bucket list.

snorkeling

Australia is definitely helping me grow as a person, but it’s also helping me cross off items on my bucket list… which is more important, right?  Haha.

But that’s a quick update for now.

Thanks for reading!

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Destination: Australia

australia globe

So I have mentioned that I am going to be an exchange student this coming school year, and that I will be in Australia.  As the day I leave comes up this week, I can’t help but think how this is really going to affect my life in a number of ways.

For one, I’ll be on a completely different time schedule from my family and friends here in the USA.  It’s one thing when I visited Greece earlier this summer, but Australia is pretty much an entire day ahead compared to where my family and friends live.  When they’re sleeping, I’ll be awake and when they’re awake I’ll be asleep.  Am I looking forward to that?  Not so much.  But at least we’ll be able to communicate through emails and Facebook messaging… so it won’t be all bad.

A good aspect of going to Australia for a year is the culture change.  Not that I don’t like my country or anything, but I think it will be a good experience to learn about the society in another country.  Learning more about other countries is a good thing because we can better understand why these people have their certain customs and why they live the way they do, and it’s a good way to learn about ourselves.  The best way to do that is to experience their culture for a good amount of time, not through a textbook.

One other concern I have is my hearing issues, especially since Australians are known for their accents.  While I can hear with my hearing aids, it’s not always easy for me to pick up certain words when a person talking to me as a strong accent.  I guess I’m pretty lucky that two of my classmates going with me in this program are fluent in ASL, just in case I miss some important words in a conversation or class.

So while I’ll miss my friends and family here, I’m excited to meet new people and experience a new culture over the next year in Australia.

By the way, I leave tomorrow, so wish me luck!

I’ll be sure to update as soon as I’m settled into a good routine there.

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Why I Have Been M.I.A.

Sorry it’s been about a month since I have posted, I just sort of got caught up in school things lately.  And reading, always reading.

First of all, you all know that I’m the president of my school’s book club.  So there’s that responsibility on my shoulders – choosing books, researching for new books to read, leading the discussions, etc.  It’s a lot of work, especially since my particular club is surprisingly successful, but I love every second of doing what I have to do as the leader of this club.

Now that spring has sprung I have been back to playing tennis for the JV Varsity team.  Our team is doing pretty good this year, better than last year anyway.  So I’ve been packing that in with the book club during the week and frankly, it’s keeping me real busy.

This last one hasn’t been taking up time, but it’s a pretty sweet announcement I have to make – next school year I’ll be in a student exchange program and I got the placement for Australia!  I’m real excited for this opportunity.  It’s going to be weird to be even further from my family than I already am, but my siblings all encouraged me and told me it will be great for me.  And I also feel weird about leaving my book club at school because I’m the one who started it in the first place, but we are working out a way for me to still be included (and possibly still president) while I’m studying abroad.

So that’s what’s been up with me and why I haven’t been around in the blogosphere, but I’m going to make more of an effort to keep up with this.

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