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My Weakness is Showing

It happened.

No matter how much I pep-talked myself, how occupied my days were, or how deeply I dug down into my inner well of strength, I find myself writing to you today, more homesick and lonely than I think I have ever been.

I admit perhaps my biggest vulnerability is my fear of being alone. (And maybe now you are wondering why would anyone the sheer opposite of a loner want to take a 15 hour trip halfway across the world for a length of time; but I’d like to think there is a method to my madness.) I handle being away quite well in Orlando, I’d say, and in fact I have grown to enjoy my alone time. Nevertheless, I have always had my blackberry to keep me connected no matter where I am or what I am doing.

(And by now I know you are itching to find out what has been keeping me so occupied other than my full-time internship. Just hang in there a little–I need just a few more seconds to wallow in my own self-pity.)

I know I’ve probably complained a handful of times about blackberries–that’s the phone not the fruit–but I have not had many in quite a while I’d say, because I am pretty much satisfied. So my next complaint won’t be technical at all, it is more of a communication error.

As if the time difference is not bad enough, I’ve found that not as many people are interested in my well-being and status (not the facebook kind) as I thought. Granted, I of all people know that expectations do us no good but I just have to reiterate that there really is nothing worse than expecting one thing and getting another. So needless to say, I thought I’d feel a lot less lonely than I do in actuality. I thought getting connected would keep me connected. I thought I’d have something else to do with internet on my phone than sit on Twitter and “tweetwatch.”

I was wrong, and it is fine. I just need some time to adapt to my new surroundings (and ideally some more money to spend enjoying what I see.) I certainly am excited about how much stronger and more appreciative I will be when this is all over.

As for what I have been doing, I took some time last weekend to go to the Taronga Zoo with Sam. More than anything we really just wanted to see–and ideally, touch–the Roo’s and the Koalas. The touching part never happened, unfortunately, but we were pleasantly surprised when we happened upon the cutest little wallaby while walking through some sort of a green house. The little guy was just hanging out on a cliff above us literally within reaching distance, granted I was tall enough of course, & would not move no matter how close we got.

Despite not being able to touch the furry creatures, which we found out we could have done after all, we got some really fantastic photos. The zoo being just across the harbour from the CBD made for a really beautiful backdrop.

I also made time this weekend to visit the Blue Mountains. (Yes, Australia has one too. Sorry Jamaica, the name just was not creative enough. Although I have taken notice that there are more than a handful of similar names. I guess the Brits could not come up with as many names as places they took over.) I took the tour with five other people from the group this past Saturday and it was a beautiful, but cold, day to do so. We got on the steepest railway in the world that took us at a 54 degree angle past orphan rock, through a natural tunnel and down into the rainforest. There wasn’t much to see down there besides vegetation and birds, but it was a nice little walk and I certainly learned something new. We also took a glass-bottom cable car across the valley, overlooking the Katoomba Falls and giving us a nice view of the three sisters. After walking the boardwalk through the forest, we took the steepest aerial cable car in the southern hemisphere back up to the top.

It was certainly a fun experience.

And somewhere between all the tourist things, I’ve found myself really enjoying my internship. Though I am not swamped with work, I get to speak to all sorts of locals and I find out all the good and bad things going on in Sydney. I get included in the editor meetings, I get to tag along on interviews at the Dr. Seuss Museum of Art, I get to interview the cute little 11 year old Bondi boy who is starring in Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre, and most importantly–I get to see my work printed in a news magazine with a readership of more than 30,000.

How could I want it better than that?

#writing #jetlag #internship #journalism #experience #Australia #exchangestudent #homesick #studyabroad #Travel #cultureshock #sydney

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