As I’m writing this, I’m leaving Boston, Massachusetts, to spend my last five nights of my exchange in New York City – departing early January from JFK airport to arrive in Melbourne.
It’s a strange feeling to be coming home after nearly six months away. After the first few weeks, studying abroad came with ease, after meeting different people and establishing a routine. Although, if you constantly travel, like me, routine is always broken. The weekends spent moving between states and even countries increases the sense of motivation I have for travel, particularly towards the end. And now that it’s holidays, I have all the freedom and travel time needed, however I’m coming home.
It’s a feeling of indifference, I can’t wait to see Melbourne and start working during the summer, but it’s hard to resist the urge to join my European mates overseas. I think I’ve convinced most of them to come down under, and enroll for a semester at ACU Melbourne. The time has gone unbelievably fast and I don’t have any worthwhile regrets aside from the limited amount of photos taken –nonetheless other exchange students have thousands of flicks from UMass.
On the bright side, moving out of a dorm room apartment and away from three other blokes means that not only do I get a little bit of personal space again, but I can live in a clean house with Australian food again. That’s probably something that highlights any excitement I have for home, my American diet/fitness hasn’t been something to be proud of. Justly I’m considering a short-term vegetarian diet for the first few weeks. My goal is to abstain from fast food and processed meats for 3 weeks.
Something I noticed towards the end of the exchange period (last four weeks), I began to realize how much I missed my own bedroom and the limited time remaining with the international and American students. Hesitant for some of the latter mentioned aspects, but excited for the familiar changes again.
For students beginning their exchange, my advice is to take things as they come and realize not everything will be in your control, those words will be helpful in the long term.
I’m not worried about return culture shock too much, but it’ll be a weird feeling for the beginning, as the day I return other close friends and family leave within days – for their own student travels. Furthermore, the 16-hour time difference will certainly have an effect. Recollecting my awful jet lags experiences upon arriving here. I can’t wait to graduate during late 2015 moving on to another part of my life, whether I continue to study or find a full time job. Even so, I already anticipate a celebratory period overseas, hopefully it’s possible.
Typically January is the month of the year I either holiday along the east coast of Australia, or travel overseas, but being back in Melbourne is a holiday in its self this time around.