By now, I have set a good routine for my life in Australia. I am making sure to manage my time as well as possible to make sure that I get all my school work done and so that I can see what free time I have so that I can take advantage of that time and not let it go to waste. I have found that for me, I am most productive when I have a set schedule for the day or for the week. I plan out what I need to get done and roughly how long it will take and then I will plan what fun activities I want to day for that day/week. Right now, I am at the stage where I have my school work under control and I am traveling a whole lot, almost every weekend. Last weekend I went to the Whitsundays, where I was able to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef (one of the seven natural wonders of the world). While in the Whitsundays, I also took a sailing daytrip to Whitehaven Beach, which is known as one of the nicest beaches in the world with the purest and whitest sand. This weekend (10/24), I am traveling to Sydney, which is known as the biggest city in Australia. This will be a nice change from my trip last weekend because instead of water-based activities, I will be doing a lot of sight-seeing such as visiting the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. Next, weekend I will be heading to Auckland, New Zealand. I am most excited for this trip because I heard from several Australians that New Zealand is so beautiful and it’s a must visit. The weekends following these big trips will be dedicated to traveling locally around the Gold Coast. I want to equally balance international and local travel so that I don’t miss out on anything that’s right in the city that I’m studying in. Traveling so much has been pretty expensive because you have to factor in flights (because Australia is so big that you can’t travel to most locations by train), accommodation, activities, and meals. In order to be able to travel, I have tried to minimize my spending during the week and save my money for the weekends. During the week, I will usually cook for myself or eat on campus and not buy anything that I don’t need; this has worked out well for me.
One of the classes that I am taking at Bond University is photography, so that motivates me to take really good pictures when I travel so that I can have high quality, creative photography assignment submissions. One thing that I have realized about traveling is that I expected to always be going places with a big group of people but that hasn’t been the case. While I have become extremely close with the people in my study abroad program, we all have different goals and expectations of our abroad experience. Some people don’t want to travel or only want to travel around Australia and just don’t want to see the same things as you. This is okay but I have not let that stop me from seeing the things that I set out to Australia to see. I made a list of the things that I knew that I MUST see and do during my time here and plan on accomplishing all of it. So what I would tell other study abroad students is that if you know there are things that you are dying to do, don’t let other people’s plans discourage you or influence your plans; you will regret following the crowd and not doing what you wanted to do.