The Honeymoon Phase in Sydney

Ashton Diggs
July 11, 2022

I’m over halfway through my internship in Sydney and I can honestly say this has to be the best summer of my life. I can’t think of another summer where I’ve seen or done or learned more about the world and myself.

However, that’s not to say that it’s all been easy. There are still days where it’s a struggle to get up and go to work even though I love my job. Sometimes, when it’s cold or rainy or I’m tired, I hate having to walk from the grocery store with my bags full of food. Sometimes the train to work is so full we’re packed in like sardines. But most days I wouldn’t change a single thing about this experience.

At our orientation, they told us we’d go through a “honeymoon” period where we loved every little thing in this new place, but it wouldn’t last the whole trip. I’m still waiting for the moment when I stop being amazed that I’m here. I’m still waiting for a day when Sydney stops feeling like an adventure.  

The first night, when I saw the sunset behind the opera house, my heart raced because the sky somehow felt different here. It’s bigger, though I can’t explain why. I think I stopped breathing when I stood on the beach in Bongaree because the world felt so infinite where the skyline met the water. It’s intoxicating, being here. I just feel like I’m a part of the land and the city and I have no doubt that even after I leave, Australia will remain a part of me.

Sydney will always be the first place an Ibis stole my food and the first place I walked on the beach in the middle of winter. Most importantly, Sydney is the first place I ever traveled and fell in love with all on my own. There’s no one here telling me what to do or who to be. I am exactly who I want to be, and I think that’s the thing I’m most grateful for.

I keep expecting to wake up one morning and miss home. I keep thinking I’ll miss my favorite coffee shop back home, or the public library I visited once a week in the summer. I don’t know if it’s the newness or if I just love this place, but I already feel sad to leave. The idea of leaving seems so heartbreaking that I can’t even think about it.

If this is a honeymoon phase, there’s no end in sight. I don’t know if it’s possible for me to get sick of a place like this. I don’t know if the charm of this beautiful city wears off. There’s still three weeks for me to explore and discover and learn, so the verdict is still out on Sydney. The one thing I do know is this place is in me. This experience has already changed me and I couldn’t be more excited to see what happens next.

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Ashton Diggs

<p>Being from a small town in Oklahoma, I've always been eager to travel and see the world. Through IES Abroad, I have had the incredible opportunity to be an intern in Sydney for the summer. Through this, I have been able to develop my dreams into passions. At the University of Missouri, I am studying English and psychology, which encompasses so many of my passions. In my free time, I love to read, write, and cook!</p>

2022 Summer 1, 2022 Summer 2
Home University:
University of Missouri - Columbia
Jenks, Oklahoma
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