Saying Goodbye to Manchester and Wales

By Jude Wiggins, Geography, University of Queensland, Australia

Even though my flight is tomorrow morning, it still doesn’t feel like I’m going to live in Australia for a year. Despite all the goodbyes, my booked flight, and my (overweight) packed suitcase I still can’t accept that I’m really leaving! I’m due to fly from Manchester to Abu Dhabi, and then onto Brisbane from there. In total it should take me just over twenty-four hours. For the first week I’m in Brisbane I’ll be staying in a hostel, just until I get onto Australian time and can find somewhere to live!

I’ve spoken to so many people about their experiences in Australia and no one has had a bad review, so I definitely feel excited and confident in my decision to go! There are so many opportunities to travel, meet new people and altogether have an amazing time. Although there are some aspects of leaving home that I’m finding quite difficult. I didn’t expect to feel so sad about leaving Manchester for a year, but spending ParkLife and Pangea with all my friends was the best way to say goodbye to everyone. I felt quite upset when I realised that a lot of the people I’d started university with would be graduating without me and that a few of my housemates would have left Manchester by the time I got back. It sounds strange to say I’m upset in the wake of all the exciting things that are about to happen by moving to Australia, but leaving Manchester did make me feel quite nostalgic. I’m trying to keep a purely ‘glass half full’ perspective and instead focus on all the good things that will come out of my year abroad!

Saying that, I am dreading saying goodbye to my mum and step-dad at the airport! I am quite a family orientated person, so this year will have some ups and downs (especially as my sister is due to give birth to twins in December!). I will definitely be making the most of Skype and FaceTime whilst I’m out there!

Whilst I may miss my family and friends, I am still extremely grateful for this opportunity (thank you Manchester!). Reading the ‘Manchester on the Road’ blogs has got me excited about my year away and I definitely hope to do the same for people reading this now! So watch this space…

P.S. I’m so so so sorry about the lack of photos in this post! I promise to include extra photos next time to make up for this!!

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