During unpacking and getting back into the swing of things in Vancouver I was able to reminisce about my time in Australia, explaining story after story to my friends about the amazing time I had during the past six months.
I was able to think about the good times and the bad times, the funny times and the sad times. To get something straight, it was not all butterflies and rainbows. I think overall I cried a considerable amount more during the past six months than I have in about the past two years combined. This is not all bad news because it made me appreciate home, friends and my life more. These times showed me the ones that really mattered, and was sometimes was an eye opener to me (if I didn’t know about who mattered).
Now that we’ve gotten the serious stuff out of the way, I’ve decided to reminisce about the narrow misses I had during my time in Australia.
1. To start it off, let me just say that I have never been happier that I do not have a horror story to tell about Tiger Airways. For those of you that don’t know, Tiger Airways is the Aussie equivalent to Ryan Air in Europe — ie: very very shady. They are a very low budget airline that cancels flights without warning, with no compensation leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere … but with just some luck, you might avoid this all like me. I made it through this without being stranded anywhere and only one flight out of four being about 20 mins delayed which is not a big deal at all!
2. With the amount of times I rode the trams (without tickets) in Melbourne I was lucky to get away with never being questioned or asked to show a ticket! I had heard horror stories (again) about those that tried (and failed) to pull the exchange student card when asked for a ticket, but still got fined $150 on the spot. I think the more you ride it, the more inevitable it is.
3. After years of thinking that Vancouver had the more erratic weather on the planet, I was proven wrong by Melbourne weather which yes, is even more bipolar than Vancouver. It will literally rain, be sunny, windy and probably have an ash cloud over you in one morning. Just be warned if you are going there. And yes, it DOES get cold in Aus and specifically in Melbourne so when I was complaining about cold weather it was decently cold!
4. For the amount of times I had to get from my place to the airport and that I used the express service called “Skybus” and paid $26 for a return fair, I should have just bought shares in the company. I would have made my money back and probably made more for the amount of times I recommended it to others in Melb.
5. I learnt that “there’s a really important hockey game on in Vancouver” is a legitamate excuse to postpone a group meeting, skip class and not do my tute homework. People understand that I’m Canadian and this comes with the territory!
6. Although not having a printer was a huge pain at times, I was able to finish off the semester with $.01 cent left on my printing card. That’s quite the feat if I do say so myself!! (And no I did not just print random stuff to finish my money on my card!)
7. I also learnt that rice does indeed go bad, that wine does indeed freeze (thanks Meg) and that one text message is all it takes to start something good.
In the coming days (or even today if I’m bored enough) I’m going to go through my travel diary (the bit of it that is actually written in) and break down my travels! Overall going on exchange was the best experience I’ve ever had and would seriously do it in a heartbeat again if I could. I do wish I could have done a year, but with the opportunity to see my family in between somehow. A year without seeing them would be hard. Who knows, in the future I may end up in Australia for an extended period of time (longer than 6 months this time)! 🙂