First weeks on the Sunny Coast ♡

These past few weeks at the University of the Sunshine Coast have ben so amazing so far. Please take my apology for falling off the grid!! I promise I will give you a good description on how it’s been going in the next few paragraphs and posts :) 

Week 1 - Orientation Week (O-Week)

Oh wow, coming here was such an exciting moment in my life. I had always imagined myself doing this, coming here alone and being able  to experience something no one I previously knew will experience. To anyone ever considering traveling alone at any point in your life - I HIGHLY recommend doing so :) It’s such an awesome chance to find yourself, be who you really are and not have to hold anything back. Of course I was nervous about making new friends, but putting yourself out there really goes a long way! Everyone here is so friendly and absolutely down to make new friends. 

I first arrived at the Sunshine Coast airport on one of the very few rainy days I’ve seen here, and I still was in love with it all. My room is absolutely perfect. My own bathroom, lots of closet space, a desk, and the view of the lake and a palm tree right outside my window. I keep that window open 24/7 - love waking up to the natural light peaking through ahaha.

I share this awesome apartment with three other roommates, two guys and a girl, one of the guys being another American (and they’re all great!) :) outside my apartment, there is a pavilion where most of the people at my apartment complex, UniCentral, hang out. Outside the pavilion, there is also a pool which is such a fun and relaxing place to chill out. Along with the accommodation, there are so many great people here! :) I love everyone I meet, which is definitely not unusual but I am still so happy to already have some really good friends. There are a lot of international students from all over the world, but for the most part being from Sweden, France, the US and Canada. I love how I’ve made friends from all around the world here, it’s pretty unexpected but I’m loving it :)

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The pool, pavillion to the left

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Pathway from uni to the apartments (to the right), mine being the last one in the row. They overlook the lake/swampland. So pretty sitting on the balcony at night. :)

 O-Week was basically one day of orientation for international students on Monday, and the rest of the week off until classes starting on that following Monday. I got there the Friday before that orientation and didn’t even realize that.. haha absolute serendipity :) Met so many people that weekend, and it is so awesome that the bus brings us to the beach in around 10-15 minutes. It actually doesn’t even seem that long when you’re actually riding on it when you have friends with you either so it’s totally cool haha 

Oh! This school also rocks because we received a bus pass with $65 credit on it :) 

Anyways, the first week flew by.. just like all of them for that matter. Classes began that next Monday and I was so eager to get the ball rolling!

Weeks 2 & 3 

My first week of classes went perfectly smooth, I have a great schedule with Fridays being off. I like it like that so I’m able to plan other trips to travel around Australia. I have been in the Sydney area quite a bit, went to the south coast as well, and now I’ve come  up here on the Sunny Coast, but there is so much more I want to see. I have some trip ideas planned out already, so I guess you guys will have to just wait and see about how that plays out because I’m not really sure about it yet myself :) just letting life lead me 

Ahh but my classes have been going great. I’m taking a course on Climate Change, and three sustainability classes, all of which are very interesting and I love how I’m actually able to focus on things that I’m passionate about. Although it makes me feel like there is actually a little more of a challenge ahead of me if I want to make a difference in the world, I keep getting an awesome, overwhelming feeling of excitement that I’m actually going to do it. Haha… coming to Australia is just the beginning of that process. In North Dakota I felt like I was being held back so much with their lack of innovation in regards to sustainability. Don’t get me wrong, I can see they are trying to make a difference, and I did the same while I was there to help people understand and realize their impact on the planet, but it’s just not the place I need to be in order to grow and become who I see myself being. I just feel like this is where I belong - always have :) 

I also have noticed the weird weather patterns here, and I love them hahaha.. it will rain for no more than an hour, usually about 10 minutes and be completely sunny and beautiful out once again. Sun showers are my absolute favorite and those  have also been an occurrence here on the Sunny Coast. 

Oh and another thing I want to share with you, which I am a little ashamed of/proud of myself for. I had never cooked for anyone - or myself for that matter - before I came here. I’m pretty embarrassed about that and I wasn’t too worried coming up here that I would be having much of a problem. I was actually very excited to start cooking and buying my own food, like exactly what I want. I either walk to the grocery store or take the bus to the fruit and vegetable markets. I started out cooking very basic but after about my 2nd and 3rd week here I got the hang of everything and now I’ve actually gotten to the point where I really enjoy my meals hahaha :) :) good news for me hey! 

Anyways, besides all that stuff I’ve just been taking everything day by day, enjoying every second I have here living my dream. Making lots of friends, soaking up the sun (with lots of SPF 50), constant smile on my face. Life is good on the Sunny Coast :)

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My days before coming up here to USC

Okay, first off, I would like to apologize for kind of falling off the grid a little if this is the only way you’ve been able to hear about my trip so far. I have just been really overwhelmed with all the new experiences and everything that I didn’t really take time out of my day to process them enough to share on this blog. 

However, I will give you a run-down on the last days I had in Sydney as well as how life is going up here at the Sunshine Coast!!! :) 

So, as for Sydney, I was just busy enjoying the time I had with my cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents mostly. I did go to the Color Run in Sydney on February 9th, which was such a fun experience! I was a little worried the colored powder wouldn’t come out because some of my hair was stained for a week or so… and right after I felt that I had breathed in a ton of colored powder hahah.. so crazy :o but it was alright, I felt super clean and fresh after a shower. It was an awesome time all together, with everyone throwing the powder everywhere the 5k went by really fast, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked or been so messy before. 

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Besides this and hanging out at home with family, I went on a few trips to different beaches. Coogee, Bondi (of course ;-)), Wollongong… 

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Above - Coogee

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Above - Bondi image

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Above - Wollongong

I also enjoyed relaxing at my uncle’s house :) met some interesting new friends (one of them the deadly funnel web spider), and saw how terribly small Australia’s “large” pizzas are imageimage

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Anyways, I am excited to go back there at the end of March for a weekend to see my family, as my uncle and his family are flying in from California and my parents and brother are coming from Minnesota. It’ll be so great seeing them all!!! 

As of right now though, I am writing this from my comfy bed at the University of the Sunshine Coast. I’ve been here for a week and although the day I came up here it was a little rainy, the sun has followed be from Sydney and the weather is beautiful. Right now I’m listening to the rustle of the palm tree right outside my window and absolutely loving life. Not really sure how I got so lucky to be able to have started fulfilling my dream of living here in Australia. I am thinking about extending my visa already actually. :o  Keep your fingers crossed I’ll be able to figure something out for that. Ahh, I love this school! I’ll tell you more about it in my next post. 


A little surfy

So for the past two weekends I’ve been going down to the south coast of Australia, enjoying my time on the amazing beaches there, as you can see a little of from my last post of the video on here. 

During my week days I’ve just been taking it easy at the house, not doing a whole lot but just spending time with my family, talking, laughing, relaxing, the usual. :) This past weekend however has been a little different. I took a step outside of my comfort zone and did a surf camp with a bunch of people I didn’t know, and it turned out to be absolutely amazing! I had a blast and a half meeting so many new people, camping out with them and of course learning how to surf. 

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We all met up at the Australian Surf Tour’s office, hopped on a bus and drove about 3 hours south to our campsite in Bendalong. It was located on a peninsula, so there were about 6 different beaches we could surf on. We arrived Friday night, ate our hot dog dinner and got to know each other a little more (only a few people though, overall there were around 50 students.) 

Most of the students were international students from places around Europe like Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, England and Germany. I also met people from other parts of the world such as Colombia, Chile, Mexico, South Korea, China and South Africa, and had suuuuuch a great time getting to know them all. They were all students learning English, so it was so fun to hear all the different accents too! :) Out of the 50, I was the only American, besides one of the surf instructors who was from Florida. Speaking of that, I just want to say, all the staff were so amazing and really made the trip so awesome. So if anyone ever visits Sydney and would love to have a great time and learn how to surf, I would HIGHLY recommend booking with Australian Surf Tours

Anyways, Saturday morning we were split into two groups, I was in the second group so before surfing that morning, we went to this little beach and fed stingrays! Seriously such an amazing opportunity. I love love love marine life and this was such a great experience. They are such beautiful, powerful yet gentle animals and I loved being able to hand feed them and pet them, just making sure I’d watch out for their tail haha…

After that, we went to a beach where we began our surf lesson. We then split our group up into three smaller ones for the three surf instructors there were. They taught the groups the basics before getting into the water, and once we got that down, we were able to put our knowledge to work. Of course the first tries were a little sketchy, but after a little more practice I was finally able to stand up and ride the wave out. Like, it is seriously one of the best feelings, because I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it or not. 

We did that for about an hour or two, then went back to the camp to have lunch (mmm kangaroo burgers), then were back again at another absolutely gorrrgeous beach. When we were done with that for the day, we ate dinner, then had some drinks by the beach bonfire that night. I’ve never had a beach campfire before, and it was absolutely perfect. I also had never seen the stars so clearly before, like I actually saw the Milky Way.. so, so, incredibly gorgeous. After that day I really felt like I wasn’t born to live in Minnesota. 

Sunday we woke up, had our breakfast of yogurt and muesli, and went out surfing again for the day. We left in the late afternoon around 4, with smiles on all of our faces. It was such a good experience doing it all and I’m really glad I had this opportunity. 

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Overall, I had an amazing weekend and I really really hope that you all did too!!! Stay tuned with more from me, as this weekend I will be participating with my cousin Krichelle, her best friend Natalie and her brother in the Color Run in Sydney! So excited to see how that plays out!!! :) :) :) 

Love to you all!


Week one

So it’s around the one week mark for how long I’ve been away from home. With the 15 hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, there had been a lot of traveling for me. I also lost a day due to the 17 hour time difference from Sydney to back home, Minneapolis being behind, so I arrived down under on Australia’s Thursday morning (MN’s Wednesday, sometime in the afternoon). 

Please forgive me if this doesn’t really add up, I could be wrong, as I’m still a little confused on how it all worked haha…

Anyways, so far I have been thoroughlyyyy enjoying my time here, as expected. :) I’m staying with my uncle and aunt, spending a lot of time with my cousins and being able to visit my grandparents. 

We’ve just been taking it really easy, relaxing and being able to do whatever without any worry is such a blessing. I fully appreciate all this time I have now before I have to hit the books at school at the Sunshine Coast. 

Although I have had a pretty quiet and relaxed start, I have some really fun plans ahead of me in the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow, I am leaving with some of my family go to on a camping trip five hours away south of Sydney, on the south coast in the town of Eden. 
We will be spending our time there until Monday, which means we will be celebrating both my 20th birthday on the 25th and Australia Day on the 26th! :) :) :) 

When I get back, on the 31st I will be going on another camping trip, with Australian Surf Tours. For this, a group of those who sign up for the trip that weekend will meet up in their Sydney office location, take a bus about 2 hours down the south coast where they’ll teach us how to surf. I am really excited and a little nervous since I’ll be doing the trip without anyone I know but I know I’ll be in for an awesome time. I will let you guys know a little more about it later on, and try and take lots of pictures as well. 


funando92 said: woahhh! No way! Always wanted to something crazy like this myself. All the best :D

I said:

Hahah I would DEFINITELY recommend it. It is so great to feel so independent and free and do what I’ve always wanted to do. My advice to you is find what will make you happy and don’t stop chasing that dream no matter what! :) I haven’t even been here for too long and I can already tell ya that it’s sooo worth it

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thetravelersfox said: I don't usually use tumblr as means of talking to people but omg I'm going to Australia too!! I don't leave until Feb 13 because it's based on a program :/ I hope everything there is as sunny as everyone described it to be! Where in oz are you living? Do you like it so far? :)

I said:

Hey there! What program are you doing?! You’ll absolutely LOVE it here. The weather, the people, everything is great :) I’m currently in Sydney but I will be doing my study abroad program at the University of the Sunshine Coast near Brisbane at the end of Feb! All the best to you!! xx

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Time to leave

Time grabbed me by the wrist pretty hard as the time to leave grew closer. Before I knew it, I was saying goodbye to my best friends Malika and Kelsy, my boyfriend, and in the morning I would be saying my farewells to my little brother, mom and dad. 

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I left for the airport that morning at 7 AM with mama and papa bear. Thankfully, we were able to guilt this lady at the airport into giving both of my parents passes into the gates to see me off (they usually allow only one guest pass). And there I was, with a backpack carry on, basically the size of me, nervous and excited emotions jumping around in my wild mind,  and a huge smile on my face. I gave them hugs and kisses, knowing I will be able to see them in a few months when they come to visit. Then, directly after my goodbyes, I was off at 11:34 PM. I left snowy Minnesota for the beautiful and always sunny LA. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

With my 7 hour layover, and family also in LA, I was able to get the chance to visit them for a little and catch a glimpse of the beautiful west coast winter weather had to offer me. 75 degrees and sun never fails to provide some good vibes :) After my time there, my flight left around 9:30 PM and I made it into the Sydney airport without any problem. The 15 hour flight went smoothly and I feel so complete being in the place I feel like I belong most!


Overcoming obstacles

I am finally here! It seems like I have been planning this trip for aaaages now. Honestly, I have been wanting to  go to school here since seventh grade.

I had originally planned to leave December 28th, 2013. However, troubles with receiving my student visa arose, and because of the holidays, I wasn’t able to even get in touch with any offices until January 2nd. 

*** This is a great reason why getting travel insurance on your tickets/other bookings is not too bad of an idea!!! Just a tip from some experience! ;)

Because of the insurance I purchased, I was able to cancel my flight and wait until I received my student visa, at no other expense. 

Although I received it the day after the offices opened (Jan. 3), I did not book my flight to be until the date of  January 14th. I was so upset knowing I wouldn’t be able to celebrate New Years with my cousins and other family in Sydney, however, I am a strong believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason, and that was fully met. I had such an amazing time at home with my family and friends the time that had been lost in Australia over the period of time was more than worth it. 

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Not only was I able to spend more time with them before my long stay overseas, but I was able to plan out what I needed to prepare for a little more precisely and in a more organized way. 

For example, Australia has prices basically doubled of that in America, so I brought a lot of toiletries. Being the type of young woman that puts forth good use to the different kinds of products available in the U.S., I brought many of these along with me. I had some pretty successful Target runs to say the least.