Monthly Archives: February 2013

Freefall

It’s like skydiving. Except it doesn’t seem to stop. You just decide that it’s a good idea to throw yourself out of a perfectly safe airplane. You really do have good, logical reasons why it’s a good idea, how it’s a bucket list thing, or how your overcoming fears. You have a logical basis for why it will be perfectly safe. But really, your not doing it for those reasons, you want it to be dangerous, you want to feel that panic, you need to feel it. If you don’t, you stagnate. And when your still seeking yourself you sure as hell won’t find it where your complacent.

The first few seconds of a skydive your brain can’t handle the tumbling of the earth around you, the illogic of throwing yourself out of a plane at 14,000 feet and plummeting at 120 mph. It just shuts down, says f*** it and enjoys the ride. The first week or so of being across the world from everything you know is like that. Except when your abroad, it never seems to end. There really is no way to process it, you just keep your feet moving and live on that adrenaline rush. You wake up everyday and still aren’t sure in the least what your really doing, or why you had this desire to chuck yourself out of the things you knew, things that were good for you, safe and healthy for you.

It’s such a strange thing, because literally as soon as you get on that airplane you immediately feel a different person. You would expect to be one on return, but to have it take shape while there is still an ocean to cross is unexpected. And the next day, you wake up across the world in lands unknown to you. the feeling grows stronger, but your still tumbling and disoriented. And the next day, you find yourself petting kangaroos, koalas, watching gargantuan crocs, and playing the digeridoo. Your still constantly in motion, feet skimming above the ground, and you can’t help but feel euphoric. And then you hit freefall, and before you know it, you scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef, went skydiving, met some incredible people, heard their stories, flown across Oz, gotten dropped on a doorstep and somehow not only survived, but loved every single second of it. And had a few ridiculous adventures along the way.

I didn’t think you could cram so much stuff into a single week. And on top of all that, the nightlife is just as fun. I’d feel as if I was doing myself a disservice if I didn’t take advantage of every opportunity. I feel as if I have been here for months…it’s been a week and a day. If you designed a city to be as good as possible you’d end up with Melbourne. The architecture is so varied, but all of it beautiful. The food is cosmopolitan and always delicious. The air is clean and crisp, the weather beautiful, and most importantly the people are quite simply enjoying their lives. I have not seen a single stressed out person on the street. I’ve seen a good bit of the city, and every part seems to one up the last. It’s unbelievable.

I still can’t process this, and I don’t have words to make you understand what this is, which is such a shame because I want so badly for others to understand, to have this experience and feeling. I can see why they say it’s tough to go back, why one of the people out here for a year said that all of his friends who went home after the first semester are dealing with depression and other issues. It’s such a beautiful world out there that it would be a shame to confine yourself to s single corner of it.

White Night Festival

White Night Festival

Sunset from my Apartment

Sunset from my Apartment

IMAG0705

IMAG0724

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7000 miles away

I’ve finally landed in Cairns after a 14 hour flight to Brisbane, then a two hour layover/run thru customs and then a 2 hour flight up north to Cairns. It’s been awesome so far, met plenty of cool people, everyone’s been real friendly and helpful. Still all very surreal at this point. Watching the sun rise behind us as we flew across the pacific was pretty amazing.

Currently sitting in my hostel that I checked into about a half an hour ago. It’s pretty damn sweet here. It’s called Gilligan’s. Didn’t have a chance to update while in Brisbane due to running from gate to gate. I’m off to the first couple of orientation meetings in a few minutes here. I have a feeling my feet won’t hit the ground for a few weeks here, between being busy and just being overwhelmed by how incredible this is. I’ve seen so little of it all but every second has been unreal. I’ll do my best to update when I can this week, but I really don’t know how much free time I’ll have while here.

Looks like the Walkabout is off on the right foot.

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Free toothbrush

Departure in 7 min. I got a free toothbrush pillow and blanket. What service. Met some cool kids. Stokes for this. See you on the other side. I’ll update when I can.

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Single Digits

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve hit single digits and my excitement levels have hit triple digits. I’m leaving from LAX next Friday, February 15, 2013 just before midnight. Safe to say, that’ll be a mix of emotions between finally heading off into who knows what, and saying goodbye to my much beloved family, friends and southern California. Since the last post I’ve finished interterm and been kicking it around my home for the last two weeks. It’s been wonderful to spend time with my family and this time to prepare and finalize preparations has been quite useful.

I’ve made quite good use of the last two weeks. Have taken care of many things that needed to be addressed pre-departure, including sleeping in, eating mom’s cookies and other less important things like paying deposits, gearing up, updating computers and phones, setting up banking and communications etc. Mostly sleeping and eating noms. I’ve also been able to do some things I’ve been wanting to do including hiking Saddleback Mountain, which I’ve lived at the foot of my whole life, with my dad.

16 miles, 4000 ft climb

16 miles, 4000 ft climb

On the London front , I’ve been accepted to the program officially, which is great news, and I was able to get all my courses approved thanks to Prof. Murphy and Dr. Fahy who have both been ever so helpful during this whole process of planning what courses to take. All looks well regarding that and I’m sure preparations regarding that will kick into gear as soon as I return to California in July for summer.

Most importantly, Melbourne is about to happen. Nearly everything is set, I’ve found out where I will be living and have gotten an idea of some of the other travelling I’d like to do while there. I’ll be living at RMIT Village, a very nice looking apartment building literally across the street from U of Melbourne campus. See http://www.rmitvillage.com.au/the-village/gallery.html for some pictures and whatnot. Yes, it’s got a pool. Stoked. I’ll also only be a few blocks from Queen Victoria Market, the largest outdoor market in the southern hemisphere. So I think I know where I’ll be shopping. I’m also looking into picking up an internship or part time job while there as that could be both invaluable experience and some funds for my adventures. So if any of you 5 people who will actually read this have a connection for me, please let me know.

You’ll likely hear from me within the next week or so for a final pre-departure post and then it’s on with the walkabout.

Bonus

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