New People New Places

Hello everyone!

I cannot believe I am already halfway through the semester! Sydney has been amazing so far and time is going by way too fast! Recently, I have done a lot of traveling during the weekend. There are so many different places to visit in Australia and I enjoy seeing the different beaches, culture, and lifestyles of each new city. This past weekend I visited Uluru which is in the outback. During my time here I had a camel back tour, sunset bbq dinner and stargazing tour! It was amazing because since Uluru is in a remote area I was able to see hundreds of stars and different constellations. I mainly enjoyed this trip because I saw an area of Australia that is significantly different from any of the cities along the coast, as well as learning about the history of the area. I have always wanted to travel to the outback in Australia, and I’m excited I had the opportunity to do so! 

For my spring break, I traveled outside of Australia and went to Queenstown, New Zealand! Queenstown was absolutely breathtaking and I could not believe how beautiful it was. Even my family back home couldn’t believe the pictures I sent them were real. Queenstown was only a 3 hour plane ride away from Sydney, and it was fascinating to see a different country so close to Australia that looks like nothing l have ever visited before!

Besides from my travels, my calendar is starting to get filled with different homework assignments and events, and is starting to get a little overwhelming. I feel like at this point in the year everything sneaks up on you and before you know it,  it’s time for your final exam or project. I would say I have always been good at managing my time, but in Australia it’s even harder because there is so much to see and do! Since studying abroad, I manage my time a little differently than at home. I usually get started with assignments as soon as possible and have a weekly routine of when to do other activities such as working out, going to the beach, etc. Time management is definitely a difficult skill to master when new obstacles are in your way, but sticking to a routine helps me stay on track with everything! 

Whether in Sydney or traveling to another city, I enjoy talking to all of the locals I meet along the way.  My study abroad program also has around 50 students, so I am constantly exposed to people from different areas in the states. Each person I have interacted with in Australia, whether from Australia, America, or other parts of the world, each one has a unique personality and are all super friendly and welcoming! Because of how outgoing everyone is, this helps me step out of my comfort zone by becoming more extroverted.  Ultimately, I find myself putting more effort into talking to new people and engaging in conversations  when before I would be shy and hesitant to do so. 

I have met so many new people in Sydney and have explored Australia a great amount. I cannot wait for the new interactions I’ll have with people and new places I’ll visit the next couple weeks!

Until next time,

Mariah Smith