When I came to Australia I had big expectations for my semester abroad. I wanted to study more subjects than necessary to expand my horizon if the chance was given to me already. I wanted to apply for a scholarship to enhance my resume with international experience. I wanted to get a normal job besides this to save money for my traveling afterwards and next to all of this I wanted to explore Victoria. Go on festivals, explore everything in Melbourne what you can explore as tourist, travel the ocean road, going to the Yarra valleys and national parks and so on.
Two month later I am still sitting here and I have just done a few things of my list. But not because I just found other things that inspired me so there was no need to go on big adventures. I found little things I was going to be interested in and that satisfies my adventurousness. I cancelled one subject in university so I just had the amount of three subjects I needed for this semester. This decision was made because in each subject I put so much more effort and work in it that I was fine with just doing three but therefore doing it with all my passion and motivation. I’ve learned more than I have expected to learn in just a few weeks and I am really proud of my achievements. Back in Germany the assessment is always due to the end of a semester and I think that makes the students less motivated as there is so much time for not even a big project whereas we have a clear structure at Torrens University. I was never that motivated to work on my projects before and I really appreciate having such a great support. I like the fact that you get your assessment brief and can easily follow the steps for one subject. After four weeks we had to present our works in class. This was my first presentation in another language and even though I am always a bit nervous in Germany I wasn’t at all this time because I felt completely confident. It’s just a nice atmosphere in the university and the well structured lessons giving the best support.
So why didn’t I do all of the other things on my list? Once you go abroad you realise quickly that life doesn’t goes the way you plan it. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. I am happy the way my life is right now. I found a spot next to my apartment, just a few hundreds meter of walk, where I spend most of my time reading a book or just relax in the sun. I have just realized that the purpose of my semester abroad is not adventure but simply personal development, both at university and in my life. In a few weeks I will have enough adventures when I start traveling around but here I am learning to simply appreciate life. And that does not mean that I do not experience anything here. I found friends through university, the hostel and my work. It is easy to meet people in Australia as there are so many backpackers with the same attitude to life and even the Australian people are so open minded that they just start to talk to you on the streets. Socialising can’t be any easier. I have to say most of the time we just try the international cuisine because there are so many opportunities and I am just curious about food from other countries but we also go to different events or national galleries to see the art there. Once I was on a free walking tour and the tour guide explained to us that the best bars and restaurants are hide in the little laneways so there is my adventure! Exploring all the hidden spots in Melbourne. The best you can do is to meet locals to show you around as this city is so big you need a little help to find the best places. But once you have a bit orientation it is a lot of fun just walking around and discover whatever you will find.Melbourne has just so much to offer that there was no need for me to go somewhere else. I love watching the always changing art in the streets. Spray paint art is really famous here and theartists are always creating new paintings on the wall so if you go to the same place a few weeks later you will probably finding yourself in a completely different scene.
Besides all of this I created my everyday life with routines. Meditation and yoga became essentially parts of my life and are firmly integrated in my daily routine. For me the best compensation for the big city life. I also always try to find time for myself when I go out with friends a lot just to calm down a little bit and be more focused.
Unlike my expectations I didn’t become a traveler on the other side of the world but I created a normal life that makes me feel like being home.
Read Swenja Huners' blog #1 here
Read Swenja Huners' blog #2 here