Beach Days For Days

Hello readers,

I have a question for you. What do you do when you need to clear your head? As for me, I always go to the beach. If I’m dealing with something personal, or if I just need a study break, I always end up by the beach. I do this in Michigan, and here in Sydney where I currently reside. Over the past week and a half, I have been to Jervis Bay, Hyams Beach, Coogee Beach, Bondi Beach, and Bronte Beach. I traveled to these in various ways; either by train, taxi, bus, or by walking. Keep reading to share these experiences with me!

Jervis Bay

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Jervis Bay is known to possess the whitest sand in the world. Take it from me, that statement is true. The sand was blinding to look at without sunglasses. However, it was absolutely gorgeous to visit Hyams Beach and walk the shoreline. Jervis Bay is a very small town, so much so that it reminded me of my hometown compared to Sydney. It was comforting to have the small-town vibe once again. There were two taxi drivers that all of the locals knew, I could start to understand how to get everywhere by day two, and we visited each of the popular restaurants in the little time we had there. On our last morning there, we went on a dolphin tour and saw a pod of dolphins that followed our boat almost the entire way back to the bay. Traveling to Jervis Bay and back was pleasurable as well. We had a four-hour train ride there, but it went down the coast of New South Wales so we could see the Pacific Ocean almost the entire way there and back.

Coogee to Bondi Walk

One thing on our bucket list was to conquer the walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee. This past Sunday, that is exactly what we did. To our surprise, there also was a sculpture festival going on that is comparable to Art Prize in Grand Rapids. That being said, we were accompanied by dozens of astonishingly constructed sculptures from Bondi to Bronte Beach. This three-mile hike is something I recommend to anyone studying abroad in Sydney. You get to see the most popular beaches in the span of 2 hours and you can stop to lay out and swim at each one along the way!

Blue Mountains

The day before Halloween, our program director from TEAN took all of the UNSW students, interns, and University of Sydney students to the Blue Mountains for a day trip. We had a hiking coordinator that led the way through three different hiking trails and told us environmental and historical information during each hike. The name “Blue Mountains” is a perfect fit for this scenery. There was one point where I thought we were by the ocean when instead, the oil from the Eucalyptus trees in combination with the dust and water vapor scattered short-wave length rays of light which are blue.

The Letter to Myself

On the night of October 26th, my friend Mali and I met our friend Nicole at Coogee Beach to listen to live music. This turned into us talking for hours on the beach long after the performers went home. I had a surreal experience that night. However, it wasn’t the views or the music that made the experience what it was. As we were having a deep talk about our experiences here and what we have learned, I remembered that I wrote a letter to myself several months before I left for Australia. If I am going to be honest, I wasn’t doing as well as I put off in the months prior to my departure. I was lost in what I wanted out of life, and I wasn’t on a path that was necessarily good for me. In all honesty, I wasn’t happy, and I felt stuck in a routine that wasn’t beneficial. As I sat on the beach and re-read the letter I had written to myself, it told me that if I was having second guesses on whether or not to go, I needed to think about how my path was going right now and that if I stayed, it probably wouldn’t change. In closing, it wrote, “Remember, it is so hard to leave, until you leave, and then it’s the easiest thing in the world. You will grow so much from this. You owe it to yourself”. As I read this, I remembered the girl who wrote that and how she felt. I was so proud of myself to see that I did something that made her proud. My choice to leave changed the path of her life, even though it was terrifying in the moment. My message to whoever is reading this, is that if you have a feeling that the place you are in currently isn’t helping you grow, leave. Explore how new surroundings show you how powerful you truly are, and how much there is to be learned in your independence.

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Upcoming Adventure (s)?

In a couple of days, I will depart from Sydney to go to the Gold Coast to visit my friends at Bond University. I am very excited to see what they experience there day-to-day and make more memories with them. I am excited to give you all updates on how my time here goes. When I return, I will be very busy with school for the next couple of weeks. However, as exams end a week and a half before I depart back to Michigan, I am hoping to go to Tasmania with a few of my friends. One thing I have learned is that if you are already across the world from home, might as well make the most of it. Life is short and the world is wide.

Stay tuned,

Kassie Lamar

Published by Kassie Lamar

Class of 2024 Business and Communication Double Major TEAN Sydney, Australia

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