Well my friends, the time has come. The time where I look for the last time upon the beautiful Australian landscape, take my last breath of the now familiar Aussie air and take my first step on the plane to take me back home. Although, now that the time has come, it almost feels like I am leaving home in a way. I have made so, so many memories here and the friends I have made here are some amazing relationships I feel are only just getting started but I know are here to last for a lifetime.
I don’t think I have ever felt so loved or a part of something so big as I did here! It touched me to the point of tears to see the way that people commented incredulously at my leaving “so soon,” the friendships I have made here showing evidence that they are here to last for years to come. I know it will not be the same, but I certainly look forward to keeping in contact with all my Aussie friends via Skype, email, Facebook and well, whatever else there is
I have learned a whole heap of things in my time living here, from finding out the right way of eating Wheatbix (Never Eat Soggy Wheatbix I am told) to learning that “hey” is an acceptable way to end pretty much any sentence, hey. I now know what real Vegemite tastes like and that it’s a taste I don’t know if I could ever get use to! Sorry... I have learned firsthand that koalas smell funny and that wombats are some dense little creatures.
I have discovered that though Australia doesn't really have anything called a skunk, flying foxes almost nearly fill that niche, with the smell aspect at any rate. I have definitely developed a taste for Milo and kangaroo and I may or may not have bought and packed a giant tin of the first to take back to the States with me! Though the later I doubt I could get anywhere but Australia...
I have been taught a whole heap of things in relation to rugby and I could probably honestly admit to you that I have learned to quite enjoy it now. It’s nothing like American football at all and it’s a sport that I might just keep up on after heading back to the States!
I have learned just how many kangaroo, wallaby and wallaroo type creatures there are and that no matter where you go, you are likely to find them in one form or another.
Australia is not all this barren wasteland of red dirt and deadly critters that some people normally think of when they think of Australia. Some of it is I guess, but not everything is out to kill you and it’s a land I could definitely envision staying in if that was my calling.
This journey has given me an even broader perspective of the world around me and has helped me fall in love with yet another part of this world in which we live. It seems to be the case every time I travel, and everywhere I go I leave a little piece of me behind. But I think it's safe to say that Australia has definitely gained a bigger piece. I will sorely miss the people and experiences I have grown accustomed to here, and yes, I will even miss getting the micky taken out of everything I say and do
You can read more about Julia Hoffman's adventures in Australia on her blog http://adventuresintheoutback.blogspot.com.au/2014_08_01_archive.html