First day in New Zealand


Well, I’m in New Zealand. I wasn’t really planning to blog while here, because our schedule is going to be so hectic, but there have been way too many emotions going on in my head today, so I decided to blog about it.

Getting here was a little rough. It sucked to leave Sydney, and even though it was far harder to leave Perth a week ago, leaving the entire continent of Australia for the foreseeable future made me sad all over again. And our flight was delayed and they changed the gate about a billion times, and it took forever to get through security and customs at both ends of the flight. So all that was a bummer.

But landing in Queenstown was so surreal. I swear the place doesn’t look real. No real place is this picturesque and quaint and peaceful. That, added to the simple fact of being in a new country, made me pretty excited, even though I was still heartbroken over Australia at the same time. Like I said: conflicting emotions. Read more →

The Red Center, and some study abroad pro-tips


Pro-tip number one: don’t study abroad if you aren’t okay with leaving part of your heart behind when you have to leave. Because you will. And it sucks.

I left Perth and Murdoch University five days ago, and I already miss it so much it hurts. I know it will get easier with time, and part of the reason I had such an amazing experience is because we were all there for just a semester, so we made the most of it, but knowing that doesn’t really make saying goodbye less painful.

I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to do a guided tour of the outback immediately after leaving my home in Perth, but I guess it didn’t occur to me when I was booking it that all I’d want to do is be alone in a room with a few cats, a guitar, a piano, and some ice cream.

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Bali: Day 4 (plus being gluten free in Bali)


The fourth day in Bali was when we did all our major sightseeing. Six of us rented a driver for the day (it only cost us $10 each, and we had him for almost 12 hours!), and he just drove us wherever we wanted to go! He didn’t speak too much English, and the first place he dropped us off we actually had no idea where we were or what we were supposed to do there. There was a little garden with some statues and what looked like little temples, so we just roamed around for a bit and then got back in the car to drive to the monkey forest.

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Bali: Days 2, 3, and 5


On our second day in Bali, we did something that I thought was pretty random: we went to a water park.

It ended up being incredibly fun, and a perfect thing to do since it was so unbelievably hot and humid, but since I can go to a water park pretty much anywhere and I’ll probably only be in Bali once, it definitely seemed like an odd choice of activity.

We caught a few taxis to get there, which wasn’t difficult since you’ll probably see at least ten taxis within any given minute on a Bali street. The taxi drivers also constantly honk and shout “taxi” at you to let you know that they’re free, which got a little infuriating at times. But aside from almost melting on the drive there, we got to the water park in one piece. Read more →

Bali: Day 1


I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted something! I’ve started writing at least seven different posts, but haven’t gotten around to finishing them. But I’m determined to finish this one. So get ready.

Last week, I travelled to Bali for five days with about 20 of the other study abroad students at Murdoch. I wasn’t originally planning to go, because I wanted to see Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island instead, but then I decided that I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to spend 5 days in an awesome villa with a ton of fantastic people.  Read more →

Pinnacles tour!


Yesterday, I had my first official Australian tour! We were scheduled to leave at 7am, so I set my alarm for 5:45am – absurdly early for me, since my earliest classes start at 9:30am, and that’s only two days per week.

As it turns out, my alarm was unnecessary, because I was rudely awakened at about 5:15am by a fire alarm in our flat. When one smoke detector in the building goes off, the entire building has to evacuate, so we all shuffled outside into the cold and tried to figure out who had the audacity to burn something at five in the morning, so we could all glare angrily at them. We never figured out who set it off, but it’s nice that said person chose the one day I needed to get up early anyway! It also gave me time to make an omelette for breakfast, which is always a bonus. Read more →

It’s official: I never want to leave


I know I’ve been pretty slack about blogging lately, but today was just about perfect, so I can’t not share it with all of you. But first: I feel like I’ve reached a turning point in my time abroad. Sydney was wonderful, but when I first got to Perth, I really struggled for a while with feeling sad, lonely, and homesick. A lot of that was just because my expectations for this trip were really high, and things don’t always match up to what you expect. But I’ve also discovered that I don’t deal very well with change in general, so that didn’t help!

But when I did start feeling homesick, I would just think to myself no worries, you’ll be home in just a few months, and anyway – you’re going to have tons of fun while you’re here! But even when I had amazing days, the thought of going home in six months was welcome and comforting. But now…I’m don’t think I’m going to want to leave! Read more →

Finally visited Perth!


Well, after being here for 3 and a half weeks, I finally made it into the city! Karl and Kat (two of our non-exchange friends) showed us around a bit, which was really cool of them. First we just walked around a little, and there were some really pretty green areas with awesome huge trees.


Then we walked to the bell tower, which is a touristy kind of thing to do. You can climb to the top to get a nice view, but we didn’t want to pay, so we just took a picture outside. Read more →

Starting classes, and other stuff


Sorry I’ve been slacking on the travel blogs! I guess it was bound to happen; a post a day gets to be a little much. There also hasn’t been as much exciting stuff going on, and I haven’t been taking as many pictures. And I haven’t really been in a blogging mood. But now I am in a blogging mood, so this post will probably be excessively long with very few pictures. Fair warning. Read more →

Yes, this is what Australia should be like


Let me start out by saying that the last couple weeks have been fun. It’s been fun meeting heaps of new people, going out at night, and having orientation sessions and organized tours of Freo and Cottesloe. But it’s definitely not in my personality to do these things constantly, and even though I was having a good time, I still felt almost like I was waiting for my trip to start. Now, I definitely feel like it has.

Yesterday, a bunch of us took a bus to the beach in Freo, even though it was cloudy and a little chilly. It took longer to get there than I had expected (people told me it was a 15 minute bus ride to the beach…what?), but still way closer than I’m used to. I actually went in the water even though it was SO FREAKING COLD, and I even stayed in for about ten minutes. The other guy who was in the water kept getting stung by jellyfish, and that definitely made me feel relaxed about the whole situation. Read more →