2019 Spring Aubrey Haggerty Australia External Programs IFSA

If There Are Prickly Moses Wattles On The Currency…

count me in.

Yesterday, the woman at PNC bank near my house handed me the last- minute Australian dollars I kept forgetting to pick up before leaving. “Have a safe trip, sweetie.” I opened the envelope and laughed. The pink, orange and blue dollars, finessed with drawings of prickly moses wattles (native birds of Australia) made me worried I’d booked a flight to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. This is going to be a good trip, I thought. I hopped into my car and drove the short drive back to my comfy home, located in the same town with the same schools, the same stores and the same people I’ve known…for twenty years.

I’ve never left the land of stars and stripes. I’ve never been on a plane for more than three hours and I’m about to sit down for a twenty seven hour journey. I’ve lived and learned in the Philadelphia area since birth, and if I get lonely or bored, my home is a thirty minute train ride away. When I’m far away on the huge Pacific island that awaits, I’ll either have to hike it back on a twenty two hour flight (not an option, money is a thing) or redefine what I call home. I guess it shouldn’t be too hard to learn to call surfer’s paradise home, right? Either way I’m about to find out.

More than anything though, I am incredibly excited beyond belief. I’d be lying if I pretended my excitement hasn’t been so extreme as to affect my recent fall semester at Temple. Mitochondria and the Golgi apparatus and Archimedes’ principle and scuba diving and the Great Barrier Reef and… as the seasons morphed from summer to fall here in Philadelphia, I daydreamed in physics class about the end of winter in Australia. Believe it or not, the seasons in the Land Down Under are flipped. So when Temple is  starting its spring semester to end the year, the Aussies and the Kiwis kick off their fall semester in February. Who would have thought the world would be big enough for spring tulips to bloom while crisp autumn leaves fall?

I’m not sure I have any idea how amazing this experience will be. I know it won’t be the land of Johnny Depp’s chocolate rivers and magical Golden Tickets (although the money I picked up does make me wonder), but I do have a small suspicion the trip will be a few things.

Scary? Most likely. Challenging? Sure. An adventure I will never forget? Absafruitly.

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