Australia Abroad: Old friends and new friends

Michelle Buser

Even though I am a half a world away from my family and American culture, I still find myself seeing similarities between Australia and America. I had one experience in particular that made me realize how small the world actually is, and it made me appreciate where I have been and where I am going. 

As little children, my sister and I, like many children our age, had an imaginary friend. His name was John Whitton. We had no reason for naming him John Whitton, we just decided on the name one day. As five year old girls, we saw him as a real, honest and loyal friend. We talked to him, and always seemed to include him in our made up games. We always showered him with love, and he was the best friend anyone could have asked for. This man was a big part in Laura and I’s childhood. As we grew older, we did not play with him anymore, but we never forgot about him. He would come up in conversations every now and then, when we would be reminiscing about childhood memories. You get the point. 

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Laura, my sister, arrived here in Australia on June 3rd. We were exploring the city after a long day at the zoo, both exhausted, and were headed back to the train station to go home for the night. As we were we walking into the train station, Laura realized she had lost her ticket to get on the train. She searched her entire purse and still could not find it. So we decide to find some place to sit in order to more thoroughly go through her purse.

We ended up sitting on this tucked away, awkward ledge that was not made to be sat on. As she frantically searched her purse, I casually glanced up to see engraved before me the name “John Whitton” on a statue near our seat. We were shocked; it was really him. John Whitton. Before doing anything else, we decided to capture the moment with a picture, then continued to search for Laura’s train ticket, which happened to slip into the pages of her travel journal. 

What are the odds that we would have ended up in a shabby corner of a train station. It was like Laura was meant to lose her ticket so we could reunite with our friend John Whitton. He was not only an imaginary friend but happened to be the Father of the New South Wales Railways. 

No matter how far you are away from home, always take time to remember where you came from and value what makes you, you. 

I have met so many great people during my time here. I have been blessed with new friends along with strengthened relationships with old friends back home, and I have learned that all people in my life, even the imaginary ones, have shaped who I am and where I am going. 

(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)
(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)

Cheers. 

(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)
(Photo Courtesy Michelle Buser)

 

 

 

 

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Collegian Australia Abroad Blogger Michelle Buser can be reached online at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @buser_Michelle