Reminiscing and Returning Home
It’s crazy to think I’ve already returned from Sydney. I feel like it was just yesterday I was landing at the Sydney airport, meeting my internship coordinator for the first time and fighting jet lag. Now I’ve returned to a life of sweet tea, lots of queso, and free to-go cups.
If I could describe it all in one word it would be: bittersweet. I made so many friends and positive relationships while abroad, and it’s hard to be away from that, especially since I felt like I was just getting to be close with everyone once the final few weeks approached me. I was so excited to return home and see my family, but it had felt like I made a new family in Australia as well. When we had our final lunch and said our goodbyes, I was already missing everyone so much, but couldn’t wait to see home again.
They say when you travel abroad to somewhere new, you end up learning more about your home country than the country you’re visiting, and I couldn’t agree more with this.
I learned so much about America- things that I missed, things I didn’t miss. For one, I missed the free to go boxes and to go drinks, although that may be specifically something that’s done in the south. The weather in Australia was nicer- In regards to being below the equator, it was winter and I avoided the hot temperatures at home. Once I got my feet on the ground and settled in Sydney, I remember talking with my dad about things I’ve realized- specifically where I want to be and where I want to settle later in life.
I like America. I like the familiarity and the comfort of driving on the right side of the road and not having to pay on one check everywhere you go to eat. I was raised here for the 21 years of my life and this is what I was used to. I’m sure if I spent a few years in Australia I could get used to it, but the saying if it’s not broke don’t fix it also can apply here- if I’m happy at home, why change it?
Another thing I talked with my dad about, and this is just a perk of growing up in Alabama, is the southern hospitality. I missed this a lot more than I realized. I’m not talking about the yes ma’am and no sir, but just simply southern behavior and attitude that I’ve been around my whole life.
After discussing these two things with my dad, I concluded that when I find a place of my own one day, I want to live in the US, and preferably in the South. But I would never have been able to realize these things if I didn’t take this trip- if I didn’t challenge myself and go beyond my comfort zone.
Australia has taught me so much more about myself than I realize. I learned so much more than just the basics of an internship, but important life lessons- personally, emotionally, mentally, all of it. I’m so forever thankful for this trip and for all the benefits, friendships and connections I've made from it.
A new life goal of mine is to save up and one day take my parents to the Great Barrier Reef, something I didn’t get to do while in Australia but something I think we’d all enjoy.
As they always say, the possibilities are endless :)
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Hey everyone! I'm Elisabeth Grosscup, and I'm a junior studying Psychology with a Creative Writing minor at Auburn University! I'm from a small town in Alabama near the beach, and a fun fact about me is that I can say the alphabet backward!