Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The End: One Month Later...

I will never forget this amazing building. But I will always miss it.
First off, writing this post is going to be hard. Looking through all of the pictures that I was going to put into it I really realized just how special my time in Australia was. No...I take that back. How perfect my time in Australia was.

It is now a little more than a month since I returned home and I am truly starting to realize what people mean when they say that Studying Abroad is a "bittersweet" experience. I wont even lie, there are have been some times in the last few weeks (this last week especially for some reason) that I have found myself longing to
Another missed sight...
be  back in Australia; to wake up in Sydney again in my house on 2/48 Botany St right near the Pizza Hut and the 7-11. And when I say longing I mean that my heart literally aches to be back there. The first time it happened about a week ago, I was astounded. It really took me by surprise as I was lying in my bed in ULofts, trying to go to sleep. The only feeling that I can compare it to is depression.

Now before you go getting all worried about me, dont fret. I'm still happy to be back in Denver, CO. I guess there are just times that I wish I had the power to move my life (friends, family, belongings, and all) to Sydney, Australia and combine the life I had during Study Abroad with the life that I have at home. It's an impossible scenario sure, and that is ultimately why looking back on my time in Australia is so hard. It was such a life-changing, exciting experience that I now realize will never be replicated, even when I do eventually return to Australia someday. That is the part that gets to me the most...that no matter how many times I visit Australia again, it will never be the way it was during Study Abroad. It wont have the same people or friends, it wont be at the same point in my life, it wont have the same day-to-day routine...  :-(  I need to stop writing this sentence, it is making me too sad.

But instead of this post being about my bad case of SWD (Sydney Withdrawl Depression - it's a real clinical diagnosis...seriously), I would like to reflect on what really mattered while studying abroad: my friends and my unforgettable experiences.

If you knew me in Australia at all, you knew that I had a huge crush on TimTams
Petting a Koala was one of my must-do things while I was in Australia. Mission Accomplished!
A lot of time was spent on Coogee Beach. As my tan now fades, I miss it more and more.
My good friends Alan and Kevin on our way to my first rugby game. "Yeah bro!"
Two of my best friends on the trip: Soren and Rachel. Taken on our wine trip to Hunter Valley
Darling Harbor. Home to great food places, the world's largest IMAX, the Sydney aquarium,
where we went to get on our cruise ships, and a nice restaurant that still does not know
how to split a tab. Haha I will never let that one go.
Quite possibly the best picture I took on my entire trip and one of the
best pictures ever taken with an iPhone.
I think I made this walk over 100 times, easy. And now I sorta miss it...
Climbing the Harbor Bridge with my dad: an unforgettable experience for the both of us.
Halloween Cruise 2011 with some of my best friends on the trip: Myke, Ian, and Soren. Ridiculously
fun and memorable night.
The infamous tattoo. I got some of you SO good. 
My application picture for the next James Bond and the next
Mission Impossible. I'd say with a photo this cool, I have a strong
Ian and one of my best Australian friends, Sarah! This was the
last night that I was in Australia. 
The dangerous duo of Sydney. Taken at Rachel's birthday, another insanely fun
 and memorable night
One of the most classic pictures taken in Australia. Ian and I at Rachel's 21st birthday.
We both received modeling contracts after this picture was posted online.
Using an ice pick on a glacier in New Zealand. Im guessing
it was probably an awesome one-time experience.
Queenstown, New Zealand. The BEST place on earth (sorry Sydney).

Skydiving. 15,000 feet. Two mountain ranges. One lake. Queenstown, NZ.
What does that all add up to? One experience of a lifetime and one happy Jordan.
Conquer Pose: Coogee Beach
Conquer Pose: Minus 5 Ice Bar at -7.3 degrees.
Conquer Pose: Scenic stop, South Island, NZ
Conquer Pose: Queenstown, NZ
Conquer Pose: Milford Sound, NZ
Chappy, Kelsey, Jenny, Matt, Emily, Charlotte, Traci, Beryl, Kristina, Molly,
and Andrea. The group that made my New Zealand trip the best trip I
have ever taken or will probably ever take in my life. Thank you!
Alan, Rachel, Ian, Madeline, Michelle, Phylicia, and Caroline. The group (minus Soren in
this picture) that I spent most of my time with in Australia. Thank you for an amazing
experience and for your friendship!
Study Abroad is a funny thing. It seems so far away at first, punches you in the face once you are actually abroad, slowly grows on you, gives you the time of your life, then ends without warning. It teaches you great amounts about yourself: how you interact with other people, how you handle other cultures, how true to yourself you stay while abroad, and ultimately how you enjoy the highs while accepting the lows. It teaches you to appreciate what you have and who you have, but to not be afraid to try new things, get lost, and meet new people. But most of all, it teaches you that life isn't about how important you are or how much money you have, its about the people you meet along the way and whether or not you are happy with your life at the end of the day.

I'd like to thank anyone that had ANYTHING to do with my experience in Australia. Anyone I met, anyone that helped me to get there, anyone that read this blog, anyone that missed me, anyone that misses me, and most importantly, all of my good friends that I made over there. You are the reason that I will take all of my Study Abroad memories with me to the end of my days, and you are the reason that it is so hard for me to officially close the book on this chapter in my life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope that our paths will cross again.


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