Location: sam's, last night.
It's my last night in Australia. It feels like my heart is being ripped out of my chest the closer I get to leaving, but I know that I've truly put my heart and soul into this trip, and that's all I could ever have asked for. I am so thankful for ALL the amazing things I've experienced here...Diving in the great barrier reef, learning how to throw a boomerang (but not being good at it), Having a few good surf sessions including one with dolphins in Crescent head, (and a few less successful but humorous ones), meeting some amazing Americans, meeting some amazing AUSTRALIANS, meeting one amazing person in particular <3, Climbing the Sydney Bridge with my dad, Seeing the opera house, seeing my favorite band (kings of leon) in concert, going to the gold coast and surfers paradise, lots of beach volleyball, catching australian sunrises over the water, turning 21...the list goes on and on of things I never DREAMED of experiencing...I know deep down that I'll shed a few tears in the next week or two, actually I know I'll shed a lot of tears, but I'm trying to be positive because I know this experience is one that will forever bring a smile to my face.
I have developed a strong passion for this country, it's people, it's values, and the amazing scenery. In our last few days Sam and I also took a trip to the Hunter Valley Vineyards and went wine tasting, and took one last trip to Sydney to see Bondi Beach, which NEITHER of us had seen yet! Being here has really strengthened my sense of the beauty around me. Sam thought I was crazy at times while I was standing, mouth dropped to my feet, at the green vineyard and the "mountains" as the back drop (he called them mountains but where we come from they could have been considered large hills). I suppose he lives here so to him the scenery was ordinary, but I just found so much peace standing in the sun (again, in the middle of WINTER) at the vineyards. I suppose it's just a feeling of wanting to soak up every last ounce of this place that I can, even noticing things I may have passed by or taken for granted.
As I said aside from the scenery, people of this country are so welcoming, witty, and they really are just BEAUTIFUL human beings inside and out. Sam's mother has been so wonderful to me while I've stayed with her family for the last 2 weeks. She made me a card with a message inside that brought tears to my eyes. I've been so lucky to spend time with Sam's dad & step mom, and all of his great siblings, and everyone's had a part in making this country my home. Sam has a great group of friends, they're all a bunch of funny "blokes" :) and the girls all treat me like they've known me for ages. I can't believe my time is up here. I'm currently sitting my room, clothes in piles everywhere, puffy red eyes, packing up my suitcases.
But it can't all be sad! Sam and I have a relaxing last night planned together. We are going to pick up take out (or take away as they would say here) and come back and eat and then we are going to his dad's to hang out with the kids and say goodbye. I don't know what the future holds and I certainly have a lot ahead of me---Family and friends waiting for me at home, summer jobs, and my senior year ahead of me! I have a strong feeling, and truly hope, that this will not be my last trip to Australia, because i have absolutely fallen for this country. I'm leaving a large part of myself here, and while leaving will be very hard, I know I'll be a stronger, wiser, more worldly person!
**Sam I know sometimes you sneak onto my "plane-tranger" to have a read, so I just want you to know that I'm going to miss you HEAPS! While you're reading this I'm actually probably already missing you. You've not only been such a wonderful boyfriend, but you've been my best friend. Leaving you is going to be so hard, but we've had so many good times and SOOOO many laughs and I know we'll keep in touch and I hope to see you in the future. I'm just a plane ride away. hugs and kisses <3 XOXO
Love & SEE YOU ALL SOON,
YIIIIIIIKES only one week left in OZ! One week exactly, this feels nuts! I've been living with Sam for the past week, and I've been having such a great time. I'm so glad I decided to stay an extra two weeks, because these last two weeks are turning out to be very special and memorable. I moved out of my apartment last Sunday. It's been nice living in a new environment, though moving out and saying goodbye to my room mates was sad, it was definitely bittersweet. Being in Sam's house has been so much fun so far, and it's nice being around a family again--even the little things about being around a family like eating dinner together every night or Sam's grandfather coming over every day for a chat, remind me how important my own family is to me!
I've been pretty busy this past week! Sam's Dad took us to a place called Forster. It was such a gorgeous town with a few beautiful beaches, not that there aren't a million of them here.. one in particular that Sam and I walked was the One Mile Beach, and we ate lunch on the harbor at this little seafood place called Paradise Marina. We also went into a few shops in town, and grabbed some ice cream before heading home. I also experienced my first "nude beach", it was quite interesting! I also had the chance to go to Nelson Bay for one of Sam's rugby games. Sam and I went up early before the game to check out all the boats with a few of his team mates, and while Sam was warming up for his game, his mum showed me around the bay. We went to a beach called Zenith beach which Sam's mum told me is one of the bigger surfing beaches in Nelson Bay, and it had the whitest sand and the nicest water! Sam's rugby game was so fun to watch and they killed Nelson Bay 73-10! I always enjoy watching Sam play, it makes me happy to see him playing so well, and I try my best to understand whats going on. I never get bored, I think it's such an interesting and fun sport. I've figured rugby out for the most part having watched a 6 or 7 of his games and I have to say I enjoy it a bit more than "American Football" or "Grid iron" as they call it here!
This week coming up we're hoping to go to the vineyards in hunter valley to do some wine tasting :) Mmm! And hopefully we have the chance to make it to Sydney one more time! I'd really like to see Bondi Beach and get one more glance of the Sydney Bridge and the Opera house!
The weather here in Newy is still great! Not nearly as hot as when I arrived in the Aussie summertime, but when it's 70 degrees and blue skies in the middle of their "Winter" I'm a happy camper! I laid out today and read in my bathing suit and even got a little color and found myself thinking...geeze, couldn't do this in our winter! Hope you all have had a little more sunshine at home, I've spoken to both Mom and Dad and they both said NH has had quite a big of rain this summer! Don't worry, I'll bring the sun home with me!!
Love & Miss you all (pics coming soon!!) xoxo
Wow SO much has been going on in the last few weeks I don't even know where to start. Only having 3 weeks left in Australia is a little overwhelming. For the last 5 months this place has been my home, and these people have been my family, and now I'm facing goodbyes. It's just too weird. Let's see if I can catch you all up on my life :) Because it's still going pretty amazing!
All done with Uni! Finished all my final papers last week and it felt so good to hand the last one in the drop box. It's summatime! It was father's day back at home and I really missed Dad...He sent me a picture of him sporting his new "Hardrock Surfers Paradise" shirt that I sent him and it made my day. I've actually looked at the picture a few times and it always makes me smile! Mom has really been keeping me sane out here as well...I've called her a few times freaking out about leaving and she calms me down and reminds me that I can come always come back. I never thought leaving would be such a rollercoaster! I thought I'd come out here for 4 or 5 months, get a great tan, do a little surfing, and live the single aussie life. I guess I didn't take leaving into consideration. One of my room mates, Steph, left a few nights ago and the boys who live a few apartments down from us have all left and we were all really close...that was really hard, and one of my best friends out here Michelle leaves tonight with is going to be tough, but we just keep saying it's not goodbye, it's see ya later!
Knowing that I only have 3 weeks left makes me want to spend each day a little more whole heartedly. I don't want to take a SINGLE second for granted. Last night Michelle and I watched the sun set and this morning we woke up at 6 and watched the sun rise at Newcastle Beach. Sarah, Michelle, and I were snuggled in a blanket at 6:30 am and dawn couldn't have been more beautiful. I was taking a video and a pelican swooped down and almost crashed into my head. I've already watched the video on my camera 5 times and every time I see the pelican swoop down and hear me screaming combined with all of us in hysterics, i start laughing out loud. Those are the memories that I want to last FOREVER! The ones that nobody else will understand, except for the people that were there. (but try to picture it because it was REALLY funny)
Every single night our apartment is crowded with people, and if we're not at our apartment we're at someone else's...taking as many pictures and having as many drinks and good times as we can squeeze in. Everyone else will be gone by the 30th, I'll be the last one left. It's a strange feeling but it's also a little comforting.
Last night Sam and I babysat his younger siblings and watched Marley and Me, and even though the movie was "TORTURE" (it was so sad) it was a night that will really stick in my heart. It was one of those nights where nothing particularly glamorous happened, but a night many people might take for granted...definitely one I didn't want to take for granted. Joseph, Sam's 4 year old brother sat on Sam's lap while his younger sister Allie fell asleep laying across my lap. I adore Sam's siblings. His other brother George showed me slide shows of pictures, and even though parts of it was the same picture 5 or 6 times in a row, and Sam kept telling him I didn't want to see it, I genuinely did. Nights hanging out with the kids, watching movies, playing mario kart, and wii, have become some of my favorite memories. It was also nice to have a calm night after the string of 21st birthdays and goodbye parties we've been having! This morning was a fairly relaxing day...went down to the beach with 10 or so people and had a beach volleyball game going while the sun was setting!
I'll put up some pictures so you can all see what i've been up to for the last few weeks! Hope you're all doing well & enjoying your summers
Love & Miss you all
So I'm finally done with classes and most of my final papers! I'm sorry if I've been a little out of touch the last few weeks have been crunch time as far as finals are concerned, and even though I'm finished with class time I still have one more final paper to write. It's not due for another week though so I have a few days to relax before I get cracking on it! We've been lucking out on some gorgeous weather here in Newcastle during the past week! I've made it down to the beach a few times, though hardly tanning weather, it was nice to be at the beach again without the rain. It's warmed up a bit also which is always nice, I'm usually pretty comfortable in jeans and a tshirt, sometimes I need hoodie or some kind dof pullover, but as long as its not windy the sunshine feels good! I finally had the chance to meet the other half of Sam's family at his little brother's birthday lunch a few weeks ago! They all seemed very nice, and his younger siblings are a riot. Sam's dad also scored us tickets to the Pink concert, she was preforming at the Newcastle Entertainment Center and the concert was awesome! Sam was a good sport for missing out on watching a rugby tournament to go to the concert with me :) Last night I took Sam out to dinner for his birthday at this really nice gourmet pizza restaurant on the harbor!
While the idea of saying goodbye to all the friends I've made and leaving Newcastle does make me very sad, I'm so lucky to have to chance to stay here an extra two weeks and I'm starting to get a little homesick again! I talked to my mom at the end of last week and I talked to my dad and Peter this morning! It's been good to hear familiar voices of friends and family from home and I can't thank everyone enough at home who has kept in touch through email and through this website! I also talked to a few of my room mates at home today about our new apartment at Plymouth and made me feel a little better about coming home. This place has been my home for the last 5 months and it's going to be VERY hard to leave my apartment here in three weeks and even harder to leave Australia in five weeks!
Love & Miss you all
Location: back in newcastle, Australia
There's nothing like Australian Rain. It's lonely, but comforting. It doesn't MAKE me feel lonely, it makes me feel comfortable, but it creates a lonely atmosphere here on campus. It's winter here to the Aussies, and they hide from the rain--it's a warm rain, to me. More like a light spring rain, the kind I like to run in. Here on Uni it becomes quite lonely in the rain because everybody ducks inside...I get crazy looks from the fellow students passing by whenever I stop in the rain...But I think it's lovely. I guess coming from the cold snowy, rainy, sleeting, New Hampshire winter, "cold" here doesn't really seem to phase me. I still find it funny when I see people walking around all bundled up. Today it rained, and I wore a dress.
The rest of my Gold Coast trip was fantastic. It still rained, still a pleasant lonely rain. I walked around the city by myself and enjoyed it, knowing despite the rain I would never forgive myself if I went all the way to Surfer's Paradise and didn't spend time at the beach. Although I didn't get to surf because the ocean was restricted due to hazardous conditions...aka really big friggen waves and a current that could probably drag my little 5 foot 6, 120 pound body back to New Hampshire, I did manage to stick my toes in the water without getting swept away. On a warmer, sunnier note, Monday was absolutely gorgeous and The girls and I squeezed in a shopping trip and ate lunch outside. Our last night In Surfers was a great one as well. We went to this bar called fishO's and drank by the harbor and danced to a live band all night.
Sam and I found ourselves counting down until we could see each other. I received a witty text in which he had calculated the exact days, hours, minutes, and seconds until I returned. It put a big "smile on my dial."
Pictures coming soon, i promise.
I'm almost finished with all my classes. I'm a little stunned that this semester flew by as quickly as it did. I feels like a week ago I was having anxieties about not knowing my way around campus and next Thursday is my last class and I'll be saying goodbye to this campus. I have two finals due Monday and one due in 2 weeks, but other than that I'm done. It's going to be really nice to be able to relax with all my favorite people, but the closer I get to saying goodbyes the more nervous I get, not even to go home really, but to be the last one left here. I'm staying until July 12th with Sam and pretty much everyone else is leaving by June 28th. Saying goodbye to all the wonderful people I've met here who will be leaving before me will be hard, but I'm glad a decided to stay 2 extra weeks.
I met Sam's dad last night and after the unexpected, hour long conversation we had in a grocery store parking lot, Sam and I both left stunned that there wasn't a single awkward silence or broken moment in the conversation. His dad and I talked almost as if we'd already known each other. I was extremely pleased with his personality, and even more pleased at how alike Sam and his dad seem. They share the same sense of Humor.
That's all for now, I have a bus to catch.
Love & miss you all,