Before I tell you about my past week, I need to give you some background on a bracelet I was wearing since the day I left to study abroad. I was at a market in Hawaii earlier this summer where there were over one hundred different shops and a billion different items being sold. I came across a jewelry store after being there for nearly 2 hours. In this store, I was looking at bracelets and one caught my eye. The bracelet was called a “wish bracelet”, made from string, beads, and one flower. The tale behind this bracelet was that before you put it on, you needed to make a wish. Then, once it broke, you knew your wish had come true. At the time, I didn’t know for sure if I was going to study abroad, but something about that bracelet spoke to me, and I knew I needed to have it. Within the next month, I made my decision to pursue studying abroad and I realized why I had bought the wish bracelet. My wish was going to be to have great time in Australia, full of new experiences, and new friends, all while using my inner strength. I wished for this because honestly, I was terrified traveling abroad was the wrong decision. I had no control over what would happen in the next few months, no information as to who I’d be living with, all I had was myself, and the hopes that the bracelet would bring me comfort one day.
This past Monday, my roommate Mali and I decided we were going to have a girls’ day. We woke up, went to Bondi Beach, ate delicious bagels with some refreshing kombucha, and went shopping. Near the end of our adventure, we sat at the beach watching the sunset go down, being mindful of our life at that moment. Then, we got a large order of fries on the balcony of the Bondi Hotel accompanied by some fun citrus drinks. I have to admit, that night was the first time I felt settled into New South Wales; just having fun, no fear, and comfortable in my surroundings. Later, as I was getting ready for bed, I realized I no longer had my bracelet on. It had broken off my wrist at some point throughout my day. I’m not sure where it is now, or the exact time I lost it. However, at that moment when I realized it was gone, it was a really good feeling. It gave me reassurance that I can do this, that I am doing this, and I’m having a great time.
Coming to Realizations
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to be away from home this long. I always thought I was never a homebody, but being here, I realized a home does not have to be a place, home can just be the presence of the people whom you love. Am I counting down the days until I see the people in my life that feel like home? Absolutely. Is this a healthy thing to do? Probably not, but it helps me keep pushing forward.
This week I experienced multiple new things. For starters, I experienced going on a spider hunt where my roommates and I killed eighteen spiders in our apartment. That was not fun, but it definitely is a core memory I will forever hold on to. Secondly, my roommate Mali and I joined a boxing class. At first, I was nervous, this is not something I would usually join. However, I absolutely loved it. Our instructor was so funny and a great teacher. We will continue going to this class and I will probably join the boxing club at Hope when I return!
Bond Uni Came to Visit!
On Friday, nine people studying at Bond University in the Gold Coast came to New South Wales. Some of them stayed with our guy friends here, but five girls stayed with us! We had to make do with sharing twin beds, couches, and the floor, but it worked out in the end! We showed them beaches, the Sydney Eye tower (which is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere), the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens, the Queen Victoria Building, and the nightlife in Sydney! Overall, I had a great time, and it was amazing to see a few familiar faces from Hope College.
On the last day they were here, we had an intense game of ultimate frisbee on our lawn to make the most out of our last hours together. The music was turned up, and many laughs were had. It was sad to see them all leave after we were just reunited, but we talked about when we were going to visit them at the Gold Coast and decided sometime in November!
This October, we have a lot of things planned. This weekend, three of my friends and I are going to a big music festival on Saturday and then there is a rugby game that we want to watch! In the following weeks, we are going to go to the Figure Eight Pools, Hamilton Island, and the Blue Mountains. I can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Talk to you next week,
Kassie Lamar 🙂