Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finally Here

I wrote this part on my plane ride to LA.  It is still hard to believe that I am going to Australia.  In another 19 hours, I will finally be there.  I am going to go back through everything it took to get to this point.
                -Initial Application to HPU
                -Application to UW Plateville
                -Going through acceptance materials and filling out forms
                -Research on places to go.
                                -Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Newcastle, New Zealand, Alice Springs, Etc.
                                -I found the Iventure card which has groups of activities at discounted prices.  I hope to purchase this so that I can save money on activities when visiting the places listed above.
                -Research on packing.  I actually feel like I brought a lot.
                                Packing Tips that I Found Helpful:
1.       Pill bags for jewelry.  This saves space and prevents tangling.
2.     Put everything in Ziploc Bags in case something spilled on the way here
 3.       Vacuum/ Space bags are absolutely amazing!
4.       I found a super cool Wheeled Carry-On backpack by High Exterior that has has a removable day pack.
5.       Bring your favorite products and brands.
6.       Bring converters, adapters, and extra chargers for electronics.
7.       Weigh your luggage before you head to the airport.
8.       Don’t Panic!  I did.  It turned out that I was overreacting. 
-I tried my best to save up money for this trip by working this summer and one day a week last semester. I am still worried that I do not have enough.  I really wish I could have bought my own plane ticket and not my parents.  I am so thankful for how they have supported me on fulfilling my dream. 

I have now been in Australia for 5 days.  I have learned a few things…
1.       Plane rides are not so bad.  Virgin Australia had personal TVs and a pretty decent dinner of chicken and mushrooms and a breakfast of French toast and apples. 
2.       Australians drive on the left side of the road. 
3.       Most of their cars are just like ours.
4.       Gas is paid for in a different money system and costs more than in America.
5.       Food is super expensive or dear and in small portions.  I paid $10 for my first meal here.  I ordered two tacos and a drink.
6.       Minimum wage here is $15 an hour.
7.       Money is way cooler and stronger.  It does not wrinkle and crinkle.  Each bill is a different color and size.  They have a $1 and a $2 coin.
8.       Everyone is really friendly.
9.    Escalators in Marketown are flat so that strollers or trolleys (carts) can go on them easier.
   10.   Trains and public transportation are not so bad.
   11.   Campus is huge with lots of woods and walking trails.
    12.   They have a bird, the kookaburra, that sounds like a monkey. He wakes me up at 6 am.  
    13.   Koala bears and kangaroos are not everywhere. 
    14.      Spiders and snakes are not everywhere.  I met an Australian waiting to board in LA who had gotten bitten by a spider and hospitalized while visiting friends in California. 
   15.  The beaches are absolutely gorgeous.

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