Friday, April 9, 2010

Flashback Friday: Australia

For the last few weeks, Amber has been flashing back over her last four years of college. I have so many fond memories of college. Unfortunately, that was before the dawn of the digital camera - so all of my photos are housed in boxes and scrapbooks. So it's kind of difficult for me to share photos of those years!

I just bought a printer/scanner so I can finally share some photos that I only have hard copies of. I thought I would start by sharing some photos from my time in Australia when I studied abroad.

I studied at the University of Sunshine Coast during the spring semester of my Junior (3rd) year of college. It kind of sounds like a made up school! It's located on the east coast of Australia, just north of Brisbane. I was just a short 10-15 minute drive from the beach! That might have been the #1 reason I went there. After all, I went there in February. So I traded in the frigid subzero winter temps of North Dakota for the beautiful summer temps of Australia!

I studied abroad by myself. It's surprising to some that I wasn't afraid to go to the other side of the world by myself. I can honestly say that studying abroad on my own was one of the best decisions I made. It forced to come out of my shell and become more independent. I would not be who I am today had I not gone to Australia!

The story of my study abroad experience is best told with pictures. Here are a few pictures from my 4 month stay in that fantastic country!!

This is a beach just north of where I lived. As you can see, it was absolutely gorgeous!

Before I left for Australia, many people kept telling me how Australia had some of the world's deadliest snakes and spiders. Luckily, this was one of my few encounters with snakes!

There were literally kangaroos everywhere. They would hop across campus while we were in class (so distracting). They loved to congregate on the Rugby fields in the evenings. Kangaroos are actually extremely dangerous so you can NOT approach them in the wild. Luckily I got to get up close and personal with a tame one at a zoo!

Standing with the Blue Mountains (located just outside of Sydney) in the background. The blueish tint is from the Eucalyptus that covers the mountains.

Sitting in front of the Sydney Opera House. Such a cool building. The guy who designed it found his inspiration when peeling an orange one day!!

It's rare to find me at a sporting event ANYWHERE in the world. I took in a Game of Australia Rules Football at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, which is a very popular stadium! I had no freaking clue what was going on, but still enjoyed myself!

While visiting Melbourne, my friend & I took a drive along The Great Ocean Road, which was one of my favorite parts of Australia. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive. The Twelve Apostles are in the background behind us.

That's all I have for you as I am too lazy to scan in more photos!

Those 4 months in Australia (and the week I spent in New Zealand) were amazing. It was the trip of a lifetime and worth every penny I spent.

It's weird to think that I was in Australia 8 years ago. It just doesn't seem like 8 years could have passed since then. Plus, I don't really think that I look all that different - at least not when I wear my hair curly (which happens very rarely)!

I still keep in touch with the 3 girls that I did most of my traveling with. We are hoping to eventually go back some day & re-visit all the various sites and cities. Hopefully we can make that dream a reality some day!

Did you study abroad? If so, where did you go? If you didn't study abroad, where would you have gone?


Emily Jane said...

That's beyond incredible you got to study in Australia! Australia and New Zealand are on my life list for places to spend quite a bit of time in. I love the photos and hearing about your time there. And you don't look different at all :)

Making the move from studying (high school) in England to Canada was quite the shock - I enjoyed both but they were very different :)

Charbelle said...

Wow this was so amazing!! I love the pics!! S studied for a summer somewhere over there and he loved it too!
I didn't do the study abroad thing but I travelled all over the states with CAR (children of the american revolution) on regional tour. That's what pulled me out of my shell and helped me become more independant.

Kyla Roma said...

It's so wild to see you at these places and to have also seen them myself! I was there in 2004, and for now I'm going to pretend that we could have been there at the same time =)

Becky said...

Love this flashback!!! I'm so jealous of your time abroad! I never got my act together enough to do it, but I am absolutely determined to take an international trip with the mister before we have kids!

I'maNolaGirl said...

Look at your blonde hair!!

I didn't study abroad. I'm one of those people who can't nap because I don't want to miss out on anything. I think I was walways reluctant to miss out on what was happening at school.

But I wish I had done a summer abroad. I would have loved to have studied in London or Paris!

Ashley Gerner said...

Yes, I lived in the "Harry Potter" Castle in England for a summer and it was the BEST decision (next to marrying Wade :)) I've ever made! It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I didn't "go with" someone, I didn't know a single person from my group before we left, which gave me the opportunity to get to know all of them, yet still be on my own which I needed at that point in my life!
It was amazing and I can't wait to go back someday! :)

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing a little bit of your experience of living in Austraila. Up until a week or so ago I had no idea you'd done anything like that. It sounds like an amazing opportunity.

I didn't study abroad but I did a summer semester in Washington DC the summer before my senior year of college(which is sadly as abroad as we get here in the land of coal fields and steel mills in Appalachia.)

J said...

Thats one thing I never got to do in college was go anywhere outside the country. I did get to travel with my bball team which was fun!

Rachel @ MWF Seeking BFF said...

Those pics are great and I'm totally jealous. I had to do a magazine internship for a quarter when I was in college, so while my friends were in Florence and Madrid, I did my own domestic study 'abroad' in San Francisco (I went to school in Chicago). If I could have done the true abroad, I think it would have been Italy. I don't speak Italian, but it just seems to glamorous to be there..

Leigh said...

Great post! I have never studied abroad but I would have loved to go to Australia or London or Paris. Somewhere that it would push me out of my comfort zone.

Have a great weekend!

Jess said...

It's funny, the first thought I had when I read the University of Sunshine Coast was "That sounds like a made up name." I so want to go to a school called that!!

Thanks for sharing! It looks so beautiful. My Grandpa actually lives in Australia and I've always wanted to visit him there. One day, I hope.

Abby said...

Wow, beautiful pictures Lisa! I remember when you went and how much I missed you!

I almost didn't recognize you in the 1st picture - just because I forgot how much of a blondie you were!!

When I was going to UND - I always wnated to do the nursing-abroad prgram in Spain. It required knowning Spanish. Which I really wish I knew (especially living in AZ where I'm now a minority....)

I think you picked the perfect destination! That close to those beautiful beaches?! :) Wow!

Nora said...

JEALOUS. Love your curly hair, too =) I didn't study abroad (voted for graduating early instead, not sure that was such a great idea!?)but I would have gone to Italy or France in a heartbeat if I could have.

I would love, love, love to pet a kangaroo.

Ally said...

What an awesome thing you got to do! Australia is on my list of places I must visit.

I never studied abroad, but if my life had worked out differently I had plans to study in the south of France. Instead, I met my husband and moved to Las Vegas. I like to think the me in another dimension made it to France. :)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Not studying abroad is one of my biggest regrets actually. I wanted to, but just couldn't bear leaving for four whole months! Looking back, I should have just done it.

This was such a fun flashback! Look at your curly, blond-ish hair :) Australia is DEFINITELY on my list of places to visit one day!

Lauren/Lo/Sassy said...

I did not study abroad, but your recap is fun! I love the name of the cute. I'm going to do a recap of my Europe trip in the next month or so. It's always fun to look back on the good times.

Sarah said...

That was a great post!! It was really interesting - I didn't know that the Sydney Opera House was inspired by peeling an orange! I love it when I find out random facts like that. And I'll bet those kangaroos across campus must have been unbelievably distracting!

Seeing you with blonde hair was strange - I'd never have thought that blonde would have suited you as much as it does!! You're so lucky to have had that opportunity to study abroad.

crystal said...

I love this post, thanks so much for sharing the pictures! Weird thing though, I really think we are long lost friends but dont actually know it, we just have too many similarities! I was actually in Australia along the Sunshine coast (I have a shirt that says it!) in the summer of 2001, crazy huh? It was the summer between HS and college for me. I loved it!!! Im sure you feel the same, it was like a heaven on earth :) Thanks for sharing pictures and bringing the memories back, Im going to have to go dig mine out.

Kelly said...

As you know I studied abroad in Australia too. I also went by myself. I've always been pretty independent but it was something I really had to do just to prove to myself I could do it. It was so fun looking at all your pictures- I want to go back there someday too :)

i'm no miss said...

I would have gone to Harvard or Yale. Or Ireland. And yes, Australia!

The photos are great and inviting!

Shoshanah said...

I'm loving all these recent flashback Friday posts. It's fun to look at pictures from days long ago before digital photos were norm.

I didn't really study abroad in college. But I did do a 3 week intensive study abroad course in Avignon, France. So I guess I kind of studied abroad.

But I've always wanted to go to Australia, and looking at these pictures is really only making me want to go more!

Nicole said...

Wow, that looks like an amazing time. I didn't recognize you at first with your hair so different! I wish I had studied abroad while I was in college. I would have probably gone to Mexico to work on my Spanish skills. I was randomly looking at my schools current study abroad program the other day as was mega bummed to learn that there is now a Mexico anthropology trip. That's what I did while I was in school. I'm excited to learn that the program is expanding though. Good for you for taking advantage of your opportunities.

Anais said...

You look so cute with blonde hair! But totally different! Like I'd think this was your sister or something ;) I guess you look like you could be australian actually!

I would've been super scared of the spiders :S