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01/30/17

Kangaroos and koalas

Posted by bostonki on January 30, 2017 in Australia, travel, Uncategorized

It’s crazy to be thinking about summer plans already considering that it’s only the first day of the spring semester.  But here I am, daydreaming away before my first class sucks me in like a tornado.  I did something huge this winter, something that I vowed to do before I graduated college.  I decided to study abroad.  My ideal location was Europe (isn’t that everyone’s dream destination, after all?  The history, the art, the architecture, the food…), but the program I was looking at in Italy fell through.  So I’m going to Australia.

I’ve never left the country except for Canada and a six-hour jaunt in Nassau via a cruise.  The longest plane ride I’ve taken was five hours.  I’ve never seen a snake except behind glass at a zoo.  And I’ve only used the phrase “shrimp on the barbie” to poke fun at a saying that probably isn’t used all that much anyways.  Now my longest plane ride will be twenty hours.  I’ll be an ocean away from everything that’s familiar to me.  I will be around animals that supposedly can kill me with one look.  Needless to say, I’m terrified.  But, I’m also excited beyond belief.  I’ll see koalas and kangaroos in their natural setting.  I’ll get to meet Australian aboriginal folks and learn about their way of life in the Outback.  I’ll get to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, for crying out loud.

Uluru (or Ayers Rock), a sacred site to the local aboriginal peoples.

The Great Barrier Reef.  Just a sampling of the wild diversity found under the clear, warm waters.

A kangaroo and her joey, added for this post’s cuteness factor.

Australia has always been on my bucket list, since I was a little kid and saw Finding Nemo (unfortunately, I don’t think 42 Wallaby Way exists).  It’s a location that seems so remote and otherworldly to Americans, so far away.  And while it is, it won’t be a complete culture shock the way that countries in Africa and Asia may be to us.  I wanted to go someplace that I felt safe and familiar going to, but one that also pushes me to the edge of my comfort zone.  I felt as if Italy did not do that for me, so now I’m packing up my bags to hang with the Aussies for a month.  What a rush.

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