It feels entirely surreal that I am in Melbourne, Australia right now. My first few days here have been a blur that has me concerned: will this entire experience go too fast and pass before my eyes? This is something that I have every time I step off the plane in a new city or country. My only answer to that being that I will do everything I can to make it count, despite what might stand in my way.
However, it’s not always easy.
Sometimes the first few days in a new country can be extra hard. To get to Melbourne, I took a two hour flight to LAX, then took a fourteen and a half hour flight to Sydney, then took a one and a half hour flight from Sydney to Melbourne. That’s roughly eighteen hours of flying. Eighteen hours of being packed like a sardine in a pressurized tube that’s hurtling through the air while being crammed in a slightly-too-small-for-comfort seat as your feet slowly swell. After that, it’s getting through the customs lines which seems to be a competition between airports trying to see who can make it the most confusing for delirious passengers whose ears haven’t fully popped yet. Then you have to get to your lodging, then you meet up with the other students from Drexel who are often in different stages of stress and culture shock, then you have to try not to get hit by a car because you keep forgetting Australians drive on the left (*wrong*) side of the road, all while trying not to fall asleep before 8PM because, if you do, you will surely not adjust to local time for the rest of your days.
But is it so strange to say that I’m loving it?
Yes my flight was long and my feet swelled and I had to cancel my bank card while on my layover at LAX because someone had hijacked it. Yes I’m still unreasonably tired at the reasonable hour of 8:30PM and I’m running low on money. And yes, this new environment can be overwhelming.
But that’s all extraneous stuff. It’s a setting, not a plot. Yes, I’m loving the Australian people, they are probably one of the nicest groups of people that I have ever met. Yes, the city is vibrant and full of life, there is always something to do. And yes, the music scene here is amazing; so even though I’m yawning through a set that’s going until 10PM, I’m having the absolute best time. Melbourne’s public transportation is top-notch, I got to try Kangaroo Jerky, and I’m going to meet a Koala this weekend. I am truly having the time of my life.
Those “bad” things that I listed out aren’t so bad at all; they can’t diminish the greatness of the good times. As long as we stay in the moment and take the time to appreciate what we have, time won’t go by too fast and we might actually enjoy it.