I have reached the time of my year abroad where I am having to start to think about packing up all of my things. I still can’t quite believe that I have been in Australia for over 11 months, the time has gone so quickly!
While packing up my things I have been reminded of the stress of the first week of arriving in Brisbane. There was so much to do in terms of buying household items such as bedding, setting up bank accounts and buying a sim card for my duration in Australia. Now it seems strange to be doing the opposite- trying to sell the things that I wont be taking home with me and cancelling bank accounts and contracts.
I feel a mix of excitement and sadness to be leaving Brisbane. I have enjoyed my time out here immensely and still don’t feel ready to leave. There are still places I want to explore, cafes I want to visit and travelling I want to complete. It is true that you can’t do everything, and I have never felt that more than today where I have planned my time for the next couple of weeks so that I can squeeze in as much as possible. While I am grateful for the 4 month long summer that I had from November, the benefits of that are starting to backfire as I am faced with 3 exams over a 24 hour period next week, so all the fun things that I want to do have to be balanced with revision time. In addition to this, as seasons are reversed from the UK in Australia, I am now faced with Australian winter. When first arriving in winter it didn’t seem too bad; 20 degrees, mostly sunny but a bit chilly at night. Now, after a years worth of acclimatisation to weather that was often 38 degrees and 90% humidity over summer, I feel absolutely freezing all of the time. Brisbane is also currently experience what feels like a week-long storm of content rain which further limits what I am able to do and enjoy in my last couple of weeks.
Saying this, it is definitely not all bad news. I am finding the bad weather a good revision-motivator as I do not feel like I’m missing anything by not being outside. Balancing revision time has positives as I am able to ‘cafe-hop’ and try out a variety of different coffee shops in West End where I live which is always enjoyable. I have even managed to find a cafe that sells “rainbow lattes”! One of the main things that lessens the blow of coming to the end of my year abroad is that I am getting closer and closer to seeing friends and family. The day after I get home I have plans to see my best friends, followed by a month’s worth of weekend plans visiting other people that I have been unable to see for a year. So while I am sad that I am leaving Brisbane, I am excited by the prospect of being welcomed home in the best possible way.