Tag Archives: travel

Vivid Sydney

5 Mar

via Daily Prompt: Vivid

 

I have found myself more nostalgic than usual these days, and one of the memories I find myself exploring more often is the 6 months exchange semester I spent in Australia and the freedom it brought. For the past year I have felt as if every decision concerning my life and my future was in someone else’s hands and it made me feel so weak so powerless. But in Australia, for 6 months, I, alone, was in charge of every waking moment and I pushed myself out of all my comfort zones to explore a new continent.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Quote

Australia or my newest 6 month relocation

12 Mar

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Study Abroad.”

The question today’s prompt asked is where I would choose to go for a year if I had the chance to study abroad. Coincidentally I am currently on a study abroad program in Australia, while already being an international student in the US.

The why question is one I got a lot recently and the easiest one I can answer probably. Why not?

I am young, only 20, I am free, not bound to any job or place and when else would I get the chance to explore a new culture, meet, live and study with people my age but raised differently and simply travel some more.

My initial choice of studying in the US came easy. It was far away from my parents and my own country that I had grown disappointed in, I got a chance to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, enjoy a world-renowned education and experience a permanent summer. UCLA meant all those for me.

Leaving now for Australia was an even easier decision.

I needed a new change, a new adventure. It was again one of the furthest points I could find on a map. LA-Canberra  time difference is 18 hours. It was the best choice for a school in my field. ANU is ranked number 7 in the world for political science. I got to add number 34 to my ever growing list of countries visited and I had always had a fascination for the unknown land down under. The fact that is was actually cheaper to study here than in LA as an international student came as a bonus.

Now one month in my newest adventure I must admit I have mixed feelings. I came in overly confident that I had basically no need to adjust whatsoever. I had already been an international freshman and had done quite well. I had already moved to an English speaking country and hadn’t had any problems. I had traveled the world and never felt lonely. But I was surprised at how many challenges I encountered.

Nobody cared about me. The freshmen wanted to make friends with others who would be here as long as they were. The uperclassmen already had tightly knit groups of friends. Semesters run quite differently than the fast-paced quarter system I was used to and doing research by myself without being constantly tested requires all my determination. Tennis training proved to be a huge issue since Melbourne is the tennis capital of Australia and not Canberra. Slang use is wide-spread and I often find myself nodding and smiling and having no idea what the other person is saying. Even traffic being on the other side of the road requires daily reminders to look right before crossing. And on top of that, to my impression, Australians are so laid back and content with their country my international background and capabilities make no impression. Oh, you speak five languages, cool, let me grab another drink.

However, by all means, I do not and will not regret the decision to come here. Worse case scenario if my situation doesn’t improve I will have cut off a country from the list I mentally keep with possible ones to live in after I graduate. In any other possible course of events I emerge more mature, more confident, more open-minded, more cultured, more knowledgeable than before I left. How could someone regret that?

School here is amazing, with smaller classes and professors who insist on practicality (policy briefs instead of essays is just one example). ANU and Camberra are truly international spaces where I’ve met people from around the world. And I haven’t even begun to explore the rest of the country or the other major cities.

It’s true. I’ve had some tough days when I missed my already established routines and friends at UCLA. But I also enjoy the challenge of making it here as well. To consider myself an international citizen or part of the globalised youth I should be able to have a positive experience here. And even while eating lunch alone ( a feat I am definitely not used to ) I am certain I will find my way around. And if not, one can live through anything 6 months right?

Continue reading

Skiing or the art of flying without wings

21 Dec

Inspired by the first  ski day this season, I’ll try and put into words my feelings about my favourite winter hobby.

First of all, I’ve been skiing since I was two and a half years old, and am pretty good at it, if I may say so in order to perfect my image of a modest person. I loved it so much since the beginning and should my country had a more developed ski tradition, school, and  better ski areas, I fear my first sport wouldn’t have been tennis but this, skiing, the sport of sliding over snow.

So, why is it so awesome, and why do I love it this much? It’s the freedom it gives me, the sense of empowerment I feel when I fly over the hills, whether on the perfectly arranged slopes or through the forest. The sense of be capable to do anything, to jump, to go as fast as you can, to make as many curves as you like (my first ski instructor used to call this “knitting”), to ski on one foot or backwards, to cut the ice; the options are limitless.

backgroundDefault

Continue reading

Continuing writing a novel

13 Nov

Though I should have prepared for my math test, I spent my free time today translating the continuation of the story I wrote in a post 2 days ago, here: Writing a novel.

I never actually neglect my school work, but sometimes I feel I need to do and to work for the things that interest me and not only for and the ones that I “must”, as I would soon become someone different. So here it is, the continuation:

She didn’t cry. She didn’t have enough feelings in her for this. She was upset. No, actually not. She felt drained. Why? Because she had cracked under pressure; because she had not been able to be herself in the crucial moment. She wished to have something to analyze, to find a reason, a point she could have played differently to change the score, but she did not. Simply put, it seemed as if she had not been on the court. Everything was over too fast and for the first time, Laura did not know what to do. Normally, after a loss, she would feel motivated and would wish to go back on a court as soon as possible, to practice the strokes that had not worked, to develop a new tactic, to work in order to get the feeling that she was training to prevent a repeat of the failure. One of her favourite quotes came into her mind: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm”. Usually, in each of her losses she would see the sad part, but not only. One of her greatest qualities was that in a loss she would see a success in form of a reason to keep playing, to perfect her game and herself and to become better. But now, there was no enthusiasm left in her. Continue reading