There and Back Again - an Australian Tale

There and Back Again - and Australian Tale

As of Friday, October 1st, 2010 I have officially been accepted to study abroad in Cairns, Australia. This program marks a new page being turned - another new start. I feel like my life is in need of some revamping and by traveling, submitting to my wanderlust, going somewhere new to learn new things in new ways - well, this trip is just billet I've been looking for. Come along and laugh at me, with me, or both as I prepare to tally forth, wander en and return from, the Land of Oz.

Australia's New National Animal

Australia's New National Animal
A Fez ?!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

144 you say? I think I'll just take your word on it ...

So P.S. and just in case you haven’t gotten the memo yet … I have successfully arrived in Melbourne, subsequently Cairns and have officially parked my tired, travel-worn ass at the Footprints Student Lodge across from the University.  The rest of the trip was really easy and I got some amazing pictures from the plane of sunrise on the way into Melbourne and then sunset through the clouds as I began to descend towards Cairns. 

                      Sunrise                        Lake Outside Sydney                       Sunset

There was even something oddly relaxing about the 14 hour flight. Maybe that is only because I managed to pass out for about 8 hours of it. I remember wondering as I began falling asleep what the procedure is for loud snorers on planes but apparently I didn’t care quite enough to put the sleeping off all together. On another note, two hours before the plane landed and after most people had woken up to enjoy our breakfast everyone experienced what I have decided to call “Seventh Inning Stretch Syndrom” – aka: SISS. For some reason everyone decided it was in their best interest to stand up, walk around, stretch and do yoga in the isles of the plane. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was pretty cool and I definitely partook but it seemed like a very strange and random occurrence.

And now for more on those not so random occurrences that occur when flying!


Number 19:

When traveling on planes or making plans to travel – if your area of the country (or departure city) experiences freak and/or violent weather make sure you book your flight with plenty of time between connections just in case of delays or cancellations.

Number 20:

Check ahead about baggage requirements and limitations for each airline you will be flying on – make sure you are aware of differences in baggage allowances so you can prepare for them accordingly. For example: 1) if your first airline only allows one piece of free check in, know the price for an extra bag, 2) check the number of allowed carry-on’s – don’t bring two on the first flight if the second only allows one otherwise you’ll probably have to check something in for an extra charge/when chucked below it has a high probability for getting destroyed, 3) make sure, once packed, that none of the above luggage exceed weight or size requirements because it will result in fees. Et cetera.

Number 21:

Make sure, especially if you are traveling between countries, that you have cash available to yourself in both currency forms. Also make sure you do not keep it all in the same place – this way if you lose a bag or find some of it to be missing you have some for back-up.

Number 22:

When you go through security, it is nice to have the people seeing you off stick around. If you realize that you have forgotten that you left your favorite multi-tool in your back pocket or in a carry-on, they can take it home for you instead of ending up in the trash. I saw a woman almost get tackled for wipping out a pair of tweezers from her jean pocket; security in the US = no joke.

Number 23:

Chasing the sun or chasing the moon – either way you are going to feel it when you land. Getting a feel for the local time of your landing will give you a way to estimate (using the length of the flight in total) when you should sleep on the plane and for how long. The less the jet lag, the better the night sleep when you arrive and the better you feel the next morning. Don't get your butt kicked by Jet Lag.

Number 24:

Be aware of what you will need at customs when you arrive in your abroad location – if your needs exceed your passport and visa, have them ready. Check with past students who have gone or your international studies office to be sure you are aware of everything you’ll need.

Number 25:

When you land or arrive, make sure you call your parents/significant other/friends who are wondering about your well-being – if you have landed overseas and can’t find a payphone, it is worth the extra charges on your cell phone bill to get ahold of them.

Moving on.

There was no one else moved into my suit of three when I got here so after unpacking/creating a semblance of order in my room I forced myself to stay awake by reading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy until 9:30... after which I officially could take no more and finally crashed. That time difference really hits pretty hard. My roommates showed up that Saturday and Sunday and are pretty cool – Chantelle is a freshman from Australia and Nikki is a senior from Austria. I’ve met a lot of other people since they arrived, mostly international students who were also arriving early for Orientation week and the few token Australian students who have been sprinkled in with the early arrivals "just because". The group of us have had a few welcome parties, birthday parties and just-because parties down by the lodge’s pool over the course of the past week and a half. I’ve had a blast – although I will say that drinking a lot over here is not anywhere in my future. When the cheapest price of a six-pack is $14 bucks and a bottle of rum will cost you $50 for the brand that no one has ever heard of it makes you consider what your money is actually worth to you. I for one would rather drop $100 on a day trip some Saturday and travel around the country a little bit than drink – I can do that when I get back home and hit 21 for more than half the price here.

And speaking of dropping money on trips I have arranged for my first official trip through the school heading out on a 2-day Outback Tour to the Limestone Caves in Cillagoe. But that’s not going to happen until next weekend, so more on that trip when it comes up (^_^). On the other hand and not speaking of dropping money I won a contest during O-week and now have a free dive trip to cash in on - going out to the Great Barrier Reef via the Ocean Freedom (a beautiful ship) *fist pump*. Also, I have already done a few day trips in the area and let me just say, choosing the rural campus instead of the one in Townsville was one of the best decisions I have made thus far. One of the trips was out to Crystal Cascades where our group of students went cliff jumping and waterfall sliding ...

Another was a day trip into the city of Cairns to see the markets and activate my Aussie phone and the third one was out to Trinity beach for some ocean Frisbee, hiking and tanning (within our designated netted boundaries so we may be safe from jellies and crocs).


I do apologize for the wait on this one and the relative short length but after surviving my second official freshman orientation week and finding time for fun in between, time has been stretched a wee-bit thin. Hopefully I will be able to keep up a little better from here on out - especially with courses starting on the 21st.

Also, before I go to bed, I would like to bring to explain the title of this particular entry to my blog.

Someone, potentially bored to tears or death, had decided one day to write out the lyrics to the song “Around the World” by Daft Punk. For those of you who know how terrible this is - just go listen to the song and say a quick prayer for this poor person. For anyone who will need a brief sum-up to understand what I am talking about because you have never heard of the song or Daft Punk hit the link below:

Wishing you all well,

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