There's No Place Like Sydney

Ashton Diggs
August 5, 2022
Sydney skyline

As I'm packing up and preparing to leave tomorrow, there's an overwhelming feeling that my time here is incomplete. I feel like I could cancel my return flight and be happy to stay indefinitely, but there's too much waiting for me back home. There are classes to take and friends to see and things that I'm excited to go back to. Only, I wish I could take Sydney with me.


But in so many ways, I am, aren't I? I get to keep all of the memories and the laughter. I get to walk around for the rest of my life, knowing that this summer in Sydney forever altered who I am. Sydney is a part of me and Australia has given me so much to be grateful for.


Going in to this experience, I expected to like Australia, and I expected to think that it was a cool place. I expected to meet some nice people, and maybe make a few friends I'd stay in touch with. I didn't expect to work at an internship I absolutely loved or make friends that I now can't imagine living without. I didn't expect to be able to see myself living here. I thought it would be a fun summer, not the best summer of my life with some of the best people I've ever met. 

I'm feeling just a little bit sad that my suitcase isn't big enough to fit everything I love about this country. I can't fit the Tim Tam Slams, Northern Beaches, and random weekend trips to Tasmania in 70 pounds worth of luggage. I just have to remember these things and count down until I can come back.

If I could give one piece of advice to someone considering this program, it would be this: just say yes. Say yes to a place with people who are unbelievably friendly, who will stop on the sidewalk and find directions for you on their phone because yours doesn't work. Say yes to a place where the residents love their city as much as the tourists. Say yes to a place with enough to do that you have to come back. Say yes to a place that values humanity and nature and respects all that the world is. Say yes to long days and long nights and endless adventures.

Just say yes. It won't always be perfect, but it will always be worth it. You will never regret saying yes to Sydney. 

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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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