I wanted to have a routine here so badly; I function well on a routine and I feel a sense of accomplishment this way. I craved having normalcy, and having a timetable I could have memorized.To an extent there are some ritualized events in my life at the moment: I go to class on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays at certain times. That’s the extent to my routine and it’s so liberating, and exactly what I needed (though I didn’t know that). I like that everyday holds something new; I have endless opportunities.

This past week I went down the Great Ocean Road: stopping at the 12 Apostles, Lorne, Apollo Bay, every outlook you could stop at, and hiked The Great Otway National Park. The experience was very much spiritual. I was speechless looking at the 12 Apostles, and felt connected to my environment. I felt small, in the most gratifying way; I could see and feel my place in this world, and how insignificant and significant it is. I sat on the ocean’s edge, staring at these huge pieces of the earth, with a chilling calmness that swept through my whole body. I glanced at my friends that were with me, and the same expressions rested on their faces- this is pure connection. We all let go of the pressure of time, that dictates our daily lives in those moments of mindfulness. And, embraced the understanding, knowledge and stillness that it graces us with; this was our serendipity.

There is no place like Australia. You can go from city, to the plains, to farmland, to the rainforest, to the oceans edge all within a matter of minutes. The landscape changes so drastically here, that it’s hard to keep up with it. I see my friends traveling around Europe, feeling at times envious of them because I can not go country hopping. But, no matter how old the building are in Europe, or the numerous cultural shocks you can have within a week, Australia will (in my eyes) beat that. There is an essence to Australia that makes it so inviting and welcoming; it wraps itself around you, and seduces you. Australia has my heart for not only its landscape, people, food, and culture, but also because being here has really shown me who I am, and what I’m going to be.

My perspective on myself, and how I fit into this world has changed immensely since being here. The magnitude in which I have evolved since leaving The States will not translate to those back home. They will only see the exterior of all my growth. They will not see the inner workings: a mind always on fire, a thirst to help others through my passions. I wish everyone could grow alongside me, but this is my journey. Being in Australia, and studying abroad is just that, it’s a journey to self discovery; A discovery of a self that may not have emerged if not ripped from the safety blanket we all live our lives under.

“Samay: represents the most infinitesimal part of time that cannot be divided further. The blink of an eye, or about a quarter of a second, has innumerable samay in it.”

Hi! My name is Brianne, and I am a Junior at SUNY New Paltz. I'm a Psychology major, with a minor in Evolutionary Studies and Disaster Studies. I am studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia and I'm stoked to share my experiences while there :)

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