Things are going absolutely amazing in Australia. About a week ago I was looking through every single flight website searching for a flight back home. Now, I wake up every morning and am ready the adventure that awaits me. Living with seven other people, from all over the world, comes with many different traditions, backgrounds, lifestyles, etc.
This weekend something really surprised me. My roommate Dani, who is from Italy is turning 23, and when asked what he wanted to do for his birthday he simply looked at us all with confusion. He proceeded to explain to us that growing up birthdays were never really celebrated throughout his family. That shocked me. What five-year-old doesn’t have a birthday party? Growing up birthdays were something I always looked forward too!
With that being said, the six of us planned a “birthday weekend” for Dani. Saturday night the whole house all got dressed up in our suits and black dresses with heels. We then made homemade pizzas and sang happy birthday. We all enjoyed a glass of prosecco with the birthday boy, per his request. After dinner and cake, we all took Ubers over the only casino in Sydney known as The Star. This was the first time going to a casino, as I am only 20, so it was pretty cool to be included in this. Dani clearly enjoyed himself and every minute spent at the casino!
Sunday morning, we woke him up with a huge breakfast filled with pancakes, fruit, juice, and of course his favorite; prosecco! From there, a few of the roommates took a nice bike ride around for a couple of hours. Upon returning, Dani thanked us all and we all could see the appreciation in his face.
I really saw at this moment how many cultures I was actually living with. I was so used to being surrounded by the typical American lifestyle, and now I was surrounded by three other cultures. Not only have I learned that each culture celebrates events differently. I have so far learned how to speak some Dutch, and Italian, tried several real Italian dishes, and simply now have family that lives all over the world; Italy, Korea, and the Netherlands.
Two days after Dani’s birthday celebration my mother and grandmother landed in Sydney! The anticipation waiting for them to arrive made it feel like forever. I packed a small bag and actually stayed at their hotel for a couple nights, basically being their tour guide! The first day they arrived they were extremely tired, but we did manage to grab some dinner and I brought them to my apartment to meet my roommates. From then, the next morning we woke up early and went up to the Blue Mountains and us three we amazed by these views! Even with the fog, these views were impeccable.
Of course, when coming to Australia one’s main mission is to see a kangaroo and a koala, therefore we took the ferry over to the Taronga Zoo to see just that. I will say the ferry ride over is one of my favorite rides! You see the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge, and the botanical gardens at all ends of the boat. Upon arrival at the zoo, we saw both kangaroos and koalas, and an amazing view of the city!
The rest of the week was spent exploring the city, shopping, seeing Bondi Beach and Manly beach, and then, unfortunately, they had to head home right before my birthday. I was very fortunate to have them fly across the world to visit, this made my transition much easier!