Another end

It really does seem like I just arrived to Australia, excited to explore the country and meet some new people. It also seems like I was just in London. Also that I just started university. It’s amazing how quick it has went. Coming to back home doesn’t just put an end to my semester in Australia, but also to my life as a student. I really can’t be happier with both of these.

My semester in Australia was all that I thought it could be. I have met a lot of new friends, had the opportunity to travel around often, and was able to pass my classes with minimal time and effort (grades still pending). Living in an international dorm allowed me to meet both internationals and Australians, and it couldn’t work any better. The social events and just the overall atmosphere in the dorm makes it easy to meet so many people. I had the opportunity to learn and live in a new culture and can now see the US with a more global perspective. Besides Canada, I think Australia has the most American-like culture in the world. You will hear about the US every day in the news, through tv shows, movies, and just people talking about it. And really, people have a good image of the US. A lot of the Australians that I have met are either studying abroad or planning to make trips to the US in the coming years.

Traveling was also a priority of mine. I managed to see almost everything I wanted to see, which is a rare opportunity I am happy to have had. Australia has to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and seeing it has been a privilege. I hope to be able to come back and see what I haven’t seen before, but I have many other places in the world to see first.

I skipped twice as many classes this semester than I did in 3 ½ years at Iowa. And that’s not an exaggeration.  Having the chance to come here, academics wasn’t my main priority. I have managed to pass all my courses and finish my degree while having the time of my life.

Of course, after 4 ½ months, I have missed a lot of things at home. I have really missed my family. It’s always hard to talk when the time difference is so large, and being able to see them will be great again. Also, to name a few, baseball season, Hunot, Wendy’s, American TV, and having a car.

As my college career is ending, I must say that I can’t be happier with my college experience. The experiences I have had really shape who I am today. Fulfilling my dream of going to Iowa, working on a sports team, enjoying my business classes, meeting a lot of people from both the US and other countries, internships, going to London, going to Australia, and receiving a job offer from a company and job that couldn’t suit me any better. I have no regrets about my 4 years at Iowa, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with my experience. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through all this, including Mom and Dad, my brothers and brothers’ wives/fiancés, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, Maya (f you’re reading this), and friends. It wouldn’t be the same without all of you. So thank you for that.

Thanks for reading along. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing. Until next time.

Now it’s time to go to work.

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.


Australian hospitality and the Australian language

Last weekend, a big group of us from our dorm drove up to a town called Tamworth. A huge group of 15 went up and stayed with the parents of a girl that we know. The girl was with us too, along with 2 other girls from Tamworth. We had a great weekend there away from the university. About a 4 hour drive northwest of here, it’s just a city of about 70,000 people. We stayed at the farm of this girl’s parents, so we had a huge bonfire on Friday night when we got there. One of the highlights of the trip was the food. The family was amazingly generous, and they cooked for 15 of us the whole weekend. Big breakfasts and dinners. The highlight of the food on Friday night was the kangaroo sausage. Just the second time I have eaten kangaroo and I enjoyed it. On Saturday, we just went into town and visited the other girls’ homes and walked around the town.

One thing that Australians like is big statues of weird things. Around towns in Australia, I have heard of the big lobster, the big slushie, and the big banana. This city has the big guitar because it is called the country music capital of Australia. So we stopped at the guitar and took some pictures, then went on our way. Overall, it was a really fun weekend to visit their homes and to just spend a weekend away from the university.

I also want to comment on the Australian language, as they have an enormous amount of unique sayings and different words. Some of the common words they use that we don’t include:

Ages – It took ages to get home.
Heaps – a lot, very – I am heaps excited for the match.
Keen – interested in – I am keen to go to the game.
Take a squizz – take a look – Take a squiz at this funny video.
Maccas – McDonald’s
Arvo – afternoon
Good on ya – nice job – my personal favorite Australian saying
How you going? – How are you doing?
Brekky – breakfast
Ute – pickup truck
Austraya – Australia
Cheers, mate – thanks
G’day – the obvious Australian hello
Rock off – rock, paper, scissors
Mozzie – mosquito
Budgie smugglers/swimmers – swimming trunks

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.




View from the first winery.


Our tour bus and view from the second winery.


View from the ferry with downtown, the Opera House, and Harbour Bridge.




I guess I’m not that far away afterall…

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.


Jungle Speed

As another week winds down, I find that I am running out of things to do around Newcastle. It’s not too big of a city (only about 200,000 I think), so obviously it’s hard to find as many things to do as there were in London. However, I am going to try to start traveling more now to see more of the country and to keep busier. Heading to the Blue Mountains next weekend, New Zealand the week after that, then Melbourne a few weeks after that. Other places I want to see are Brisbane, Cairns (Great Barrier Reef), and others. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to see it all.

My dorm had tryouts for the touch footy (touch rugby) team the other day. I went just wanting to learn the game, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a pretty simple game, so it’s not tough to learn. After thinking about all the rules in American football, I can understand why people think it’s confusing. Touch footy is a lot of straightfoward running, then when touch you, you have to put the ball down between your legs and another person on your team takes it. You get 6 downs to score. You can’t throw it forward, so it’s hard to get past their line of defense. It’s hard to break through their line without getting touched, so it’s somewhat different to our football. I would say it’s less exciting, but it’s still fun to play. Obviously, being a first time player meant I wasn’t exactly sure of the strategy and wasn’t good by any means. I didn’t make the team, but it was expected. I had a good time learning it.

I also went to the badminton tryouts. I had just played badminton in p.e. class, so I’m not really skilled in this either. Everyone made the team, but I will be gone during the competition next weekend.

I found that our community room tv has ESPN, so a few of us have been going in every morning to watch the NCAA basketball games live. To say I haven’t kept up with college basketball this year is an understatement, but it’s good to see the final games. It makes me feel more at home, since it’s something I watch every year. Just something about normal things like that are soothing. Just the normal things like the familiar commentators (even just understanding the lingo and expressions), the familiar rules, and seeing familiar places. Watching rugby on tv with a bunch of Australians just won’t give that same feeling. Not many things will give that feeling in a foreign country, so it’s nice to have it. It makes it even better when it’s just American guys watching the games. When someone else walks through, they have no interest in the game and probably can’t understand why we’re so into it. It definitely gives a common connection between people, even between people who might not know each other at all beforehand. 

Maybe I have talked about this before (sometimes I forget what I wrote about 10 minutes after I leave the computer), but I think sport in culture is pretty interesting. Just the different popularities of sports across different nations. I think the US is pretty unique in the amount of sports that are very popular (or maybe it’s just because we have so many people in the country). If I were to rate them in terms of popularity, I would probably say football, baseball, and basketball are the most popular, in that order. However, I don’t think football would be that far ahead of baseball. And basketball has a huge following too. A lot of countries will focus on just one sports. A lot of European countries favor soccer by a good margin, such as Spain, England, and France. Canada easily favors hockey. Australians love rugby much more than soccer (I think). Japan loves baseball. Korea loves soccer and baseball. I find it very interesting that millions of people watch American football in the US, but if you ask people in Spain to explain how it is played, probably only a fraction of a percent might know. A good portion of the 20 million people watch rugby here in Australia, but there aren’t that many Americans (proportionally)  that would be able to explain the game correctly. Because of this, sports are a big part of each culture in my opinion.

A Swedish girl had a 23rd birthday last night, so 15 of us went out to eat at an Indian restaurant with her. It was a great group of people we had, and we ended up staying at the restaurant for a good 2 hours before finishing up. It was pretty much a mix of Australians, Americans, Canadians, and the Swedish girl. We then went back to a dorm room and played a game called Jungle Speed. I had never heard of it before, but I guess it is a French game. It involves cards and a wooden totem in the middle, and it involves quick reflexes to grab the totem when your card matches another. Sometimes the totem is flying all over the place with people trying to grab it. It’s a good time after you learn the rules.  As I learned, it takes a lot of practice to be good at the game.

I realized I haven’t posted many pictures on here yet, so I’ll do that here. I still haven’t taken many pictures of my room, but I’ll do that and get them on here. Talk to you later!

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.



Australians are confusing when they speak of football, or “footy” as they would say. Confusing because when they say footy, it really could mean 3 different things depending on who you are talking to. The most common meaning is rugby, but it could mean rugby league or rugby union, two different leagues. Some people are like Europeans when they call soccer rugby. And finally, if you go down to Melbourne, their footy is Australian Rules Football. Aussie rules football is an entirely different game, and I guess it’s biggest down in Melbourne. So when I hear someone say football, I have to think who I am talking to to figure it out, or just flat out ask. Of course my natural instinct is to think of American football, but of course no one around here talks about that.

Unsurprisingly, it is really nice to have a beach close by with nice weather. I find myself going to the beach at least twice a week.  It’s just something nice to do outside when there is nothing else during the day. Luckily, I am usually done with class around noon or early afternoon, so it’s easy to jump on the bus down there or to get a group to drive there.  It’s definitely something I will miss once leaving here.

About Trent

I started Frugal Purpose to share my love of personal finance to assist your pursuit of a more fulfilling life. I am a financial analyst by trade, traveler at heart, and want to share with you the beauty of this world.