More than just a pair of runners.

One of the hardest things I had to do before leaving Australia, was not packing my running shoes that had been with me my entire exchange. Other than myself, they are the only thing that has touched ground on ever single destination that I reached.

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By the end of my adventure, my runners had been on over 16 flights, and has reached over 20 unique destinations. They were so worn out with rips, tears, quite a stench and covered and stained with an orangey-red tint.

=)

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Tick tock tick tock here goes my Australia clock

Reality Check… one week until I return back home to Canada. I can remember back in January thinking that this day would never ever come. One week… 7 days… 168 hours… no matter how you say it… it really isn’t much time.

With the one week countdown on, I had made a list a things I wanted to accomplish and do in Melbourne before I left.

The Wallace and Gromit Exhibit @ Scienceworks

One of my stepmom’s favourite cartoon pairings are the one and only Wallace and Gromit. When I realized that there was a whole exhibit on them 2 train stations away from my place in Melbourne, I just had to go… even though I would be one of the oldest people there.

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Welcome to the Wallace and Gromit Exhibit at Scienceworks Williamstown!

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The adventure begins here! Brings me back a few years, and lets me be a child again… wait what am I saying.. i’m a kid at heart 🙂

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Wallace and Gromit themself!

http://www.wallaceandgromit.com/characters/

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Throughout the exhibit in displays were crazy “unique” impractical inventions… For instance, a dogbowl made out of dog cookies.

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A teappot made out of merely chocolate…

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A hammer made out of glass.

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For you momma… yes I brushed and flossed this morning 🙂

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The kid at heart comes out again… I’m more than positive this slide is made for 8 year old and under. WEEEEEEE

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The best invention in the entire world. A Tim Tam Transformer. Anything and everything can be placed in this machine, you press a few buttons and then VOILA! A pack of Tim Tams comes out. I think the world would be a happier place if this thing actually existed.

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Pooped after a long day at Scienceworks! I think all the knowledge was too much for my exchange brain to handle.

City date with my love Sara ❤ 

A couple days before my departure, Sara and I spent the entire day together reliving our typical date-day all over again. It obviously started with meet at the Flinder’s Station Starbucks; Sara got a White Chocolate Mocha, and I got my Long Black. We roamed around the city, did a bit of shopping and then headed to Melbourne Central for lunch.

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The typical Sam close up food picture.

The next thing on our agenda was going to see the MCG. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of the top 10 world’s largest stadium’s seating over 100,000 people.

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AFL’s biggest fan… not. Sorry, but I still stand by my original statement that it is a sad excuse for real football.

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Self proclaimed dork.

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Again. Haha

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Yes, Sara and I did get two Starbucks in one day. Last time for a while, so we made it count. I really am going to miss that Starbucks. It has been somewhere that I relate alot of my best Australian memories to. I would always meet up with people (mostly Sara) and give her the low-down on my various trips, and what was currently going on in my life.

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Tootloo Flinder’s Starbies – You will forever be missed. Can’t wait to reunite in the hopefully near future!

Melbourne, you have been a great home for the last 5ish months. Couldn’t ask for a better place to study, live and grow. I have nothing but great memories from this place, and can’t wait to look back 10 years from now with a smile on my face while I reminesce on the great times.

The beginning of a lifelong bucket list…

I have come to accept that noone will fully understand how much of a life-changing experience going on exchange and living overseas is for a person, unless they have personally experienced it. It has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and has given me the confidence and desire to want to take full advantage of the many opportunities just waiting for me. One question that I have asked myself on multiple occasions while travelling is… what is the rush? What is the rush to “grow up,” finish school, get a job, settle down, begin a monotonous life??? With the hundreds and hundreds of people I have come in contact with in the last 5 months, I have learnt more about the world and myself than I have in the last 20 years of my life. A huge reality check occurred to me, and I came to the conclusion that travel is one of my passions. I have never made an official travel/life bucket list, but I have checked off many things that I would of put on it if it was written down. On my 20 hour flight home from this amazing country/continent, it is my plan to have a solid bucket list in the works. While browsing the internet, I came across “The Ultimate Bucket List,” and saw a handful of things I personally have accomplished in my time overseas… 

Blog

What a better way to remember those little nitty gritty details of my travels than starting a blog. I am not the greatest writer, but I truely believe this blog has been one of the best things I have created, and I am so thankful I kept up with my travels and daily activities. Check!

Liveabroad
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Live Abroad. Two words. Sounds pretty easy right?… WRONG. This is the proudest check off my Bucket List yet. Picking up your life and transporting it to a far away (~16000kms) foreign, unknown land is extremely nervewracking and difficult. I am so proud to say that I did it, and am close to making it home in one piece. Check!

Titanic
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While visiting Justin in Singapore, we had the chance to go to the 100th year Titanic Exhibit. I know it isn’t the real Titanic, but I only have my PADI Introduction Dive Certification… one day i’ll work my way up to being able to scuba dive the real Titanic. Partial Check!

Surf
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What a better place in the world to take my first surf lesson than the one and only Surfer’s Paradise in the Gold Coast of Australia. Thanks to Hamish for all the support, and being awesome eye candy! You got it duddddddeeee…. Check!

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How many times in your life can one go on a 7-day rock climbing – abseiling – prussicking – trapezing – camping trip and get a credit for University. Very unlikely. Mount Franklin was the first mountain that we had various climbs set up, as well as the Grampian Mountains. Check!

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On our “spring break” trip down the East Coast of Australia, we booked a tour on Ocean Freedom which cruised along two different dive locations on the Great Barrier Reef. Insia, Clare and I all received our PADI Introduction Dive Certificate. I also had the chance to do another Introductory Dive while on the Atlantic Clipper while sailing the Whitsundays. Check!

Insect
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It may not have been a LARGE live insect… but I did eat a green-bottomed ant on the Uncle Brians Tour. I don’t know if I am just extremely gullible or what, but apparently their bottoms/bum is loaded with Vitamin C if you like them. I figured if a lick is good, eating it would be better. Check!

Volcano
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Once again another modification on this one. Climbing an active volcano is cool I guess… but i’d say that swimming in a non-active volcano is even cooler. The last stop on our Uncle Brians Tour through the Atherton Tablelands was at a volcano that has been turned into a waterhole. Check!

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I shall list them for you if you’d like… Emu, Dingo, Koala (cute but fiesty when disturbed), Shark, and a the brown snake. My wildlife exposure was absurd in Australia. Check!

Wildlife
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As mentioned above, I saw so many animals/wildlife during my experience overseas… From the top of my head I can recollect seeing; monkeys, emus, dingoes, sharks, kangaroos, wallabies, turtles, komodo dragon (I think), snakes, camels, koals, barking owls, and many more. I most definately took way to many pictures of them as well. Check

Penguins
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On the Phillip Island tour I was able to see the smallest species of Penguins in the entire world. The name is a dead giveaway… they are called Little Penguins. They would gather in groups of around a dozen and cross the beach at shortly after dusk to make their way back to their on land habitat to settle in for the evening. Check!

Camping
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I have never camped so much in my entire life, as I have in Australia. I can count four camping experiences since being overseas. Each of these camps have all been very different from each other. From base camping in my outdoor education classes, to camping in a cave, in a bush, sleeping in a swag, sleeping in a tent, and on Fraser Island… the variety was fabulous. To fulfill the requirement for checking this certain task off my bucket list, while in the Outback, we had to collect firewood as a group to provide heat for not only staying warm, but to prepare our meals. I think I am ready to be on the show survivor after this! Check!! 

Camel
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Self explanatory. Check!

Fear
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May not be my ULTIMATE biggest fear, but it comes pretty close. I think this is a fear that many people don’t realize they have until they are forced to face it straight on. The Fear of the Unknown. I believe that I have been stretched in every which way while being overseas; emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, socially and academically… and I can confidently say I conquered everything with a smile on my face. The fear of the unknown is nothing to be worried about, but something to find excitement within. As I am currently in my house in Australia, I realize I only have two more sleeps before heading back home. I can officially say this task is 100% checked off my bucket list, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. CHECK CHECK CHECK! 
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Cheers to that!

the packing has begun…

Plain and simple… I have started packing up my entire life into 3 suitcases.

Thank goodness Georgia and Hayley brought home a bunch of my stuff or I would be overweight in all of my suitcases. It is crazy to compare how much Insia is bringing home (1 bag) compared to the 3 I am bringing home. Either she didn’t buy anything when she was here… or I bought/brought WAYYY to much…

I am in complete denial with the fact I am leaving, and trying to avoid packing as much as I can. 

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WHERE DID THE TIME GO????!?!?!?! 

Toodles Taco Bills

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The day I never thought would arrive. My last shift at Taco Bills. This place has been a lifesaver when it came to cashflow. Being able to work when ever or how often I wanted to for some extra spending money was essential and super handy while I have been in Australia. 

I didn’t think I would be so sad to say goodbye to this place, as it was just a part time job… however the people who work there are all great! The cooks are complete gems, and would do anything for me. They made me the most amazing farewell dinner – Chicken Fajita Salad with endless amounts of Guacamole to top it off! Thanks Jappy & Pardeep you guys rock! I also can’t thank Harry enough for putting up with my Canadian shenanigans. He was so easy going with me taking extended periods of time off to travel and would welcome me back with a smile when I returned! 

The Canadian girls have some great memories at this place, and it will always hold a special place in my heart, stomach and my clothes.

Ole’ for the last time. 

Exams at Vic Uni.

I found the way that Exams were run at Vic Uni extremely weird. Here’s why:

  1. They are in a huge convention/showground in the middle of nowhere… not close to Uni at all.
  2. You are allotted 15 minutes of “reading time” as well as the 2 hours they provide you to write your actual exam. During reading time, you are NOT allowed to write anything down. You simply are able to look through your exam and formulate answers before the exam even begins.
  3. You are assigned a seat number in this huge room. (seats probably around 3000ish people) 
  4. You are more than likely to not be writing the same exam as the person behind, in front or beside you.
  5. You can’t ask any questions about your exams… hence why they make the exams quite a bit easier.  

Needless to say, it was such a change from writing a scantron multiple choice exam at Western. 

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🙂