So, four months and some odd days later, I’m back home in Connecticut. The Qantas check-in woman in Brisbane hooked me up with window seats all the way from Brisbane to Hartford, so I had some great views, especially as we crossed the Pacific.
Yesterday I flew through two sunsets and a sunrise. Somewhere in the middle of the ocean, night became a place instead of a time as I watched the flight path and waited for the Benadryl to kick in. Then I slept for about six hours, and woke up in time to watch a few episodes of Modern Family and eat breakfast before getting off in Los Angeles. The rest of the day is pretty hazy. I dimly remember going through customs, a line of study abroad students passed out in a sunbeam at LAX (myself among them), and a series of meals, naps, and goodbyes.
Honestly, the whole affair of leaving was really sad. I think the worst part was on the drive to the airport. I got this prolonged feeling of slow, crushing heartbreak as we drove through Brisbane that was actually really horrible. After that it just hit me in waves throughout the trip and this morning, and I’m guessing that’ll keep happening for a while. Usually when I leave somewhere, it’s a kind of sad-to-leave-but-happy-to-go-home kind of situation; yesterday might have been the first time I really, legitimately didn’t want to leave a place. I guess it’s a good thing in a way - it means I had a good experience and I’m taking something positive away from this whole study abroad thing. Still, it’s generally unpleasant.
So now I’m unpacked, found my cat hiding under my bed this morning, and I get to spend some time with my family and friends in CT for at least a couple weeks, so it’s good to be home. ‘Bittersweet’ became our buzzword among the study abroad students in the last month or so to describe the thought of going back, and at least for me it still holds.
I didn’t update this blog nearly as often as I thought I would, but I think I hit the important stuff. Everything else is just details; buses and homework, grocery shopping and meals, nights out and random conversations, all the stupid little things that make up day-to-day living but are boring to read about. It’s weird, though, when I think back, I don’t really think about koalas, wallabies, and rainforests. I think about making an entire meal out of pie crust and random ingredients with friends, feeding the turtles at the lakes between classes, and yelling about the right way to pronounce ‘tomato’ late into the night. At the end of the day, it seems like being in a foreign country was incidental to the whole experience. I don’t know; I don’t consider myself a sentimental person, but I’m going to miss that stupid apartment, the ridiculous school system, the weird accents, the flamboyant currency, the random word differences… y’know, in other words, Australia.