As November comes to an end, so does my time here in Western Australia.
Classes and exams have officially wrapped up and I’ve spent the last week traveling to more parts of WA that I can get to with friends before we all jet off to our respective parts around the world.
“The summer vacation vibes blended with the misplaced holiday atmosphere along with the drag of farewells to the new life and friends made here. All of that unknowingly spelled for a recipe of homesickness for me — again.”
Last weekend, I walked around the city browsing through the newly put up Christmas decorations and lights. I made my way through the streets with a friend and snapped photos of the cute wreaths hanging in London Court and kangaroo-shaped lights on various yards. Frankly, it was confusing but still entertaining knowing it was the holidays, however, the weather blowing around me that evening was a warm and gentle 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 23 degrees Celsius, as the rest of the world works with).
I was donning denim shorts and a blue tank top, perfectly comfortable without even a light jacket over my shoulders. It was not the slightest bit of what I know to be the holiday atmosphere in the midst of November.
The rest of my week only continued to be proof of that sentiment.
I spent an entire day biking and swimming on different beaches belonging to Rottnest Island on Wednesday, then hopped an hour away by train to Scarborough for its beautiful beach and sunset markets on Thursday, followed by an early trip to see the smallest penguins in the world on Penguin Island on Friday.
The summer vacation vibes blended with the misplaced holiday atmosphere along with the drag of farewells to the new life and friends made here. All of that unknowingly spelled for a recipe of homesickness for me — again. Because I’m suddenly only two weeks from returning home after four months of being away.
How long it has already been, yet sometimes it doesn’t feel long enough. How impactful this semester abroad has been in such a short amount of time. How temporary this has all been. That reminder of the impermanence of it all pushed me to be more proactive in my personal agenda to “be present” in everything in life.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned while in Australia, it’s perspective and what it can reveal to us.
For me, it relates strongly to the endless possibilities that comes with post-grad as I graduate this coming May. In a previous post, I mentioned how looking at options for this term abroad excluded particularly cold climate regions. It made me realize how I’ve lived in warm climates all my life. After this experience in Australia, I feel open-minded and ready to possibly take on living in a very different area sometime in my future. All from some measly change in the weather, I have more and different options.
If I can move myself halfway across the globe and live there for 1/3 of a year and do fine, then what else can I do? And isn’t that scary and exciting all at once?
Anything can happen.
(punny titles included)
Kat Hidalgo is a fourth-year kinesiology (physical therapy emphasis) major. She is studying at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia for the fall semester.