2018 Aussie: Hang loose

Only days left in this amazing country of kangaroos and koalas, but also of spiders, snakes and crocs. Luckily I have barely seen any of these scary animals. It is unimaginable the year Down Under is over. I remember the 8thof February like it was yesterday, when Chantal and I got on the plane for a journey on the other side of the world. I have always been a person who wants to get out of our little country The Netherlands and explore the rest of the planet. The first time on my own was to the United States for a high school year in Arizona and now for my university program WORLDREP in Australia. I feel blessed to have been able to experience this beautiful country and learn about their culture.

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The Aussie Life
The first days in Australia a couple of things stood out to me. There are barely any trashcans, no bathrooms in restaurants because they provide public bathrooms, a smoke free outside public environment, everyone says thank you to the bus driver leaving the bus and of course all friendly faces and greetings on the street. Besides that there is always a reason or excuse to crack open a tinnie a.k.a beers. Avocado is a main ingredient and sushi is the cheapest snack. Definitely filled up my belly with both this year. There are three main sports: Australian Football (I have never seen a game with so many random rules), Rugby and Cricket (did you know a cricket game can last four days?) Thongs are not underwear it is another word for ‘flipflops’ but Aussies rather walk barefoot. Something I decided to do as well, which ended up in a blistered heel and ball of my feet. Beautiful sunsets and night skies, every day I would sit on my balcony and look at the colour changes in the sky: blue – pink – orange – red and finishing up the day dark with stars. If you want to blend in and use Aussie slang just shorten a word and put an ‘y’ or ‘ie’ at the end of it, you’ll come a long way.

The relaxed and chill vibe is something I love about the Australian culture. During my year I have been fortunate to travel the east coast and the outback.
There is so much wild life everywhere, along the coast I kayaked with dolphins, whales and snorkelled with turtles, beautiful fish and don’t forget the kangaroos, koalas and bats anywhere you go. This country has so much beautiful sights. The coast is amazing with clean white beaches. The forests and national parks are huge and different in every area. Both my parents and sister came over to see my new home and to travel this incredible country. My shared house with 10 other international students in East Brisbane was my home during the year and I made friends from all over the world through my home in Brisie, Griffith University and travels. One of the hardest things for me is ending a chapter in my life, such as this year. Brisbane is another home away from home and not knowing when or if I will be able to come back is unbearable. Besides that I concluded that saying goodbye is the worst thing on earth. That is why my American family always says ‘See You Later’. It has been hard to say goodbye to so many amazing people but I have learned so much from them and they are definitely a reason to visit their home country in the future. 2018 Down Unda was wonderful.

2018 in a Nutshell
Around June I decided to use the app ‘Leap Second’ for a video diary. My friend Sunniva from Faeroe Island suggested it to me. I have some videos from the beginning of my year but the real start of using this app was not until June. Almost every day I made a 1sec video of beautiful sights, random and silly moments, people that were part of my daily life and fun events. Besides all the Aussie adventures the trip to America and Bali are part of this video as well. The photos in the slideshow are the ones I took with my disposable camera that I used over the entire year of special moments and people. If you love photographs this is a really fun way of creating an extra dimension to trips or special moments. Not knowing how they turned out and developing them after a while was super exciting!

So many beautiful people made my experience in this wicked country truly amazing; hopefully we’ll meet again soon. If only I could turn back time and do it all over again. Thank you to every single person in this video and some who are not in it for adventuring with me and I love all of you.

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