As I am make my way to San Francisco on the first leg of my 30 hour journey, I can’t help but think how things are different this time around. Heading to the land down under for a full five months would’ve been frightening 6 months ago. But like I said, things have changed. This time is much different. Last June, I made my way outside of the US for the second time (with the first time being to Cancun for a week, spending maybe one day in the real, non-tourist part. How’s that for a cultural experience?). I would think about London for hours and hours wondering what it will be like. How much different will it be? Will I be homesick after a week of being there? How will people treat me as an American? This curiosity and wonder caused me to do an incredible amount of research. Researching things to do, how to get around, everything. Only 8 months later, it’s totally different. I know what to expect and I have no fears or worries about it. Comparatively, I have researched almost nothing. Just 10 minutes before I left for the airport, I printed out a map of campus to know which direction from the train station my dorm will be. I am still not completely sure on which trains to take from the airport, but I’ll figure it out. Unlike my pre-London meetings where I tried to meet many of the people, I have intentionally avoided the whole group from Iowa and have not met one person yet. I know it’s inevitable to meet them in the next five months, but I won’t be searching anyone out. Looking back, it seems like I was just leaving for London. But in other ways, it seems so long ago. Even though these all seem to have changed, the goodbyes are still hard. That’ll probably never change.
You’ll see some changes to my blog. With lack of better imagination, I have renamed it to the unique name of “The Australian Experience” and have replaced the opening picture. I will also make changes in the future with my blogs. I find that I try to explain things too much and it makes for my blog to be very long. Although I do like writing these, it seems that it takes too much time writing these and I am less likely to write. Like my Spain blog. I started that a month ago and am just finishing it now. I’ll also throw in more thoughts rather than just experiences. Although it’s probably good to write about the experiences in full detail, I think it will be more interesting if I write about more of my own thoughts during these experiences. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this, be sure to leave me a comment. If you have any comments or questions at all, let me know. I think it would be cool if it was more interactive rather than just me talking to whoever will listen to me. I am sounding more and more like one of my favorite musicians, Todd Snider, who’s famous opening to each show is, “I’ve been driving around 15 years making this stuff up telling anyone who will listen to it. Some of it is sad, some of it is funny, some of it is short, some of it is longer than others, and sometimes I’ll go on for as many as 18 minutes in between the songs.” But it’s easier for you to avoid my ramblings in a blog than if I were actually talking to you. You should feel lucky for that.