After a long 5 weeks, and over 34 hours of travel time, I’m finally back in Tuscaloosa. The end of my trip was spent with going-away dinners, presentations, exam prep, and all the last minute souvenir shopping that was expected so this is my first chance to finally post about the last few weeks of my trip as well as my advice to future travelers.
On the trip, we finally got to visit Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road for a short visit. Surprisingly enough, I drove the 6.5 hours from Canberra, our host city, to Melbourne. It was quite an experience driving in a different country: I was on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, the turn signal and windshield wipers were switched, and some of the road signs made absolutely no idea to me. I didn’t know how to work the petrol pumps, and I still didn’t understand the prices. I absolutely loved it. I can now say I’ve done it, and I even completed one of the weirdest traffic maneuvers I’ve ever seen in my life without getting hit (i.e., look up hook-turns in Melbourne).
After we finally got there, we recovered and spent an entire day travelling on a tour bus down the Great Ocean Road and it was absolutely breathtaking. The Seven Apostles are the second most photographed landmark in Australia (picture included). We chose to go on a helicopter tour and it was well worth the extra cash. We didn’t get to spend a ton of time in Melbourne, but we went to Queen Victoria’s Market that Sunday and it was honestly shocking how big it was.
For future travelers: DO IT. Go abroad. Get out of your comfort zone. Forget about your US ties for a few weeks. Go drink with the locals. Get someone to take you to a local spot of interest (like a speakeasy or a field where kangaroos always hang out) that you wouldn’t hear about online. Travel. Go visit some major cities. Go to museums and tourist attractions. Go to small cafes and fancy restaurants. Absorb the customs. Pick up some slang from your host country. Buy the cheesy souvenirs. Buy some artwork you can’t find in the US. Make friends. Make memories. After all, when is the last time you’ll get this chance?
Roll Tide 🙂