My procrastination skills have once again amazed me. Here I am 15 until lift-off and I can honestly say all I have packed is seven pairs of shoes. What can I say, pack the most important items first right? In my defense, today I've made a last minute trip to Wally World and bought some great books for the flights, went to the bank TWICE, downloaded about 20 hours of music on my iPod, booked a bus pass from Brisbane to Rockhampton, and stress ate my way through a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints.
I'm so very excited for this new adventure. I've always dreamed of seeing neat places with diverse cultures and rich histories. I believe that Australia is the perfect destination to fill that quota as well as a nice place to ease myself into international traveling. Getting to this point has been bumpy with numerous hurdles. (I never thought that receiving my passport through the US Postal Service would be one of the EASIEST tasks I needed to complete!) Surprisingly, the hardest parts of planning this excursion involved contact with my overseas university, Central Queensland University- CQU for short. But mostly I blame that on the different time zones and miscommunication.
**Advice for future international students- don't feel bad about pestering your overseas contacts with questions and emails, it's sometimes necessary and get's the job done! One day I sent 23 emails to an advisor. Let's just say, he was very patient and we eventually figured things out together! Also a shout out to Liz Hannum for journeying with me on this and learning along side with me. We both got frustrated at times but in the end, I'm where I need to be! She also was super patient with me and all of my questions.
Okay so plan for tomorrow, my sister Jessica and I will be leaving Mitchell around 6:30 AM to drive to Sioux Falls to board at around 11 AM.
-Side note- Jessica welcomed me into her awesome townhouse for the past two months and didn't even expect me to pay a dime in rent. That just is one example of how fantastic she is. I'm surprised, in two months the only thing we fought about was leaving lights on upstairs. (It was an accident Jess!) In this past year we've both grown quite a bit and I now feel closer to her than ever. I think that we needed to be separated for some time in order to fully appreciate our time together. Thanks for everything Jess!
Sorry! Back to the schedule- I fly from Sioux Falls, to Chicago, to Dallas, and then finally to Brisbane, AUS. My estimated arrival date is February 15th at 6:15 AM. (That's Australia's Feb. 15th- it would be Feb. 14th in the US). Speaking of time zones, I believe that Rockhampton is 16 hours ahead of Central Daylight Savings time. It'll make for interesting Skype session times! Once I reach Brisbane International Airport, I'll just meander around until 10:30 AM where I'll board a Greyhound bus and then take a 13 hour trip to Rockhampton! Oh boy how I love road trips! I think this will be an amazing chance to see some of Australia's countryside and to take some great pictures!
I'm so grateful for this opportunity and also all the family and friends who have supported me with well-wishes, cards, money, and prayers. All are necessary for a successful and meaningful adventure! Thank you to each and every person that lent a helping hand. Words cannot express how much I appreciate the people in my life. They are incredible!
Well unfortunately these bags aren't going to pack themselves so I better go and actually do something about it! I'll do my best to write in here as soon as I touch base in CQU. Here's to finding adventure in Australia!