This past week in Australia, I had an amazing opportunity to learn how to surf.
My instructors were from France, Belgium and Poland. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, being able to take surfing lessons from people who are from all around the world.
I can tell you that I wasn’t very good and that is why I have no pictures of me standing up in the water. Also, people make surfing look a lot easier in the movies. I definitely want to go again to try and get better.
I was also able to explore the city with some of my friends. Learning the subway and bus system was not as hard as I thought it would be.
People are shocked to find out that in America, we drive everywhere unless you live in one of the bigger cities.
I was really nervous about taking the train across the city for the first time. The only thing about the trains and buses is that it is very expensive to take one trip into the city, but while we were there my friends and I decided to make a day of it.
We made a stop at the Sydney Aquarium, which is one of the largest in the world. We saw sharks, sting rays, sea snacks, dugongs (if you don’t know what these are, look them up), penguins and exotic fish. I was able to find Nemo and Dory. We also celebrated Chinese New Year and walked through the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
I also got the opportunity to take a cruise at Darling Harbour. I saw the skyline of the city and also saw the Sydney Oprah House. This was an incredible night with great friends.
I have been on an emotional roller-coaster since the day I landed. I realized that living abroad is a lot different then I ever imagined it to be. I thought I would just magically know everything there is to know in just a few days, and let me tell you, it all takes time.
Also, it is important to try to find a balance between hanging out with friends here, having alone time and creating time to talk to friends and family back home. The most important piece of advice I can give is take care of your mental and physical health. Don’t overload yourself with everything at once — eat the elephant one bite at a time.
Collegian Australia Abroad Blogger Michelle Buser can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Buser_Michelle.