Now and then I find myself getting sucked in to my study abroad blog, intending to read a post or two and instead emerging 45 minutes later having read over half the entire thing. I love that it serves as a preserved time capsule of my five months in Australia and New Zealand, and I experience a wide range of emotions every time I read it.
Three years ago I was just beginning classes at Macquarie University, getting my feet wet (figuratively, in a new country, literally, on new beaches), and beginning what would become the most amazing adventure on which I’ve ever been. U of R has always been a huge proponent of studying abroad, and they promote it from your first tour of the university through graduation day. Studying abroad was always that amazing trip I will eventually take, and the college experience I can’t wait for. Now it’s been three years since I began that adventure, and I still can’t believe it’s behind me. It’s strange how you look forward to something for so long, and it lives in the abstract for so much of that time, that once you actually do it and it ends, it’s hardly hit you that it was real (my thoughts on college as well as studying abroad).
I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to choose my “favorite thing I did” during my time abroad, but there is a single moment, a memory I like to relive that sums up my feelings about my semester.
Our group went to Luna Park one evening, an amusement park on the Harbour, and spent our time running around, hopping on rides, basically giggling like children. Toward the end of the night, The Tango Train was pretty deserted, so the ride attendant let us stay on for much longer than usual and even let us plug in our own music to be siphoned into the overhead speakers. The ride, pictured above, was fairly simple: cars spun around and around, forwards and backwards, on a wave-like circular path. As with most rides at Luna Park, the lap bar was pretty unstable, and the train went faster than you’d expect and didn’t feel like the safest thing in the world, but I promise you none of us cared as soon as the wind was whipping through our hair, our arms flying above our heads. The last song to be played that night was “Starships” by Nicki Minaj, and it was like a scene from a movie. Grinning from ear to ear, sliding into our seat mates, bumping up and down over each wave of the track, heads thrown back, arms wide, it’s an image and a memory I will hold on to forever. The attendant turned up the track, and all we could hear was wind and song. I felt breathlessly suspended in that cool Sydney night, and I’m transported back into that car, riding that wave, every time I hear the song. It was a perfect moment.