My official “half-way” point in my abroad journey has been reached.. Last week was mid-semester break at my University so no classes were held. Many of my friends flew off to Bali, Thailand, Tasmania, or drove up the East Coast; and while all their breaks sounded like fun, my break was spent in the best possible way: with my parents. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share a place I hold so close to my heart with the people I hold the closest to my heart as well.
We had too much fun. Simply being together once again would have been enough, but the fact that we got to reunite in an amazing city made the reunion much sweeter. Where to even begin…our trip started right away, before they had even settled in, by heading into the city to check out Darling Harbour. My parents had just got off of a 15 hour flight, and I know how badly they wanted to sleep, but to get them through their jet lag, it is easiest to persevere through the first day. They are lucky they had me to drag them along, forcing them to take in the sights to stay awake. It was easy—whether it was because we had so much to catch up on or because they loved the city, they had no problem staying awake that day.
My highlights from my break with my parents are as follows: doing the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk and strolling through the Waverley Cemetery; going to the Markets and watching my Dad, out of all people, want to buy everything he saw! (He ended up with a new bracelet, a unique sparkling “doll,” and an eclectic painting of a man playing a piano); taking my parents around to “my new home”; going on many new nature walks, where we found paths that made us feel as if we were in the jungle with hidden beaches on every side; I tried Oysters for the first time (and loved them); getting attacked by a hungry and fearless bird at lunch; witnessing ten different rainbows span over the ocean throughout their stay; and, most importantly, spending time watching Australian crime shows just as we do back home in the States.
This list does not even cover half of the amazing things we saw together. It was truly a full circle trip. One filled with laughter, love, rainbows, many weiner dogs, and Sydney fervor. My parents were never able to comprehend what I meant when I said Sydney was special, but the day they left they told me that they now got it. They said I could not have picked a more perfect place for me to study abroad and I couldn’t agree more.
Unfortunately, time passes, and before I knew it the break was coming to an end and my parents had to return to the real world (and a place where it was still snowing in April). Their departure was bittersweet; my feelings intertwined with pure happiness to have had the experience of sharing Sydney with them, but also sadness that they had to leave and that my halfway point had been reached.
I am unsure where the time has gone. While I have done a lot in this time frame, it is hard to believe how quickly it all has passed by. Time is precious and the next half of my semester will be spent taking all the extra seconds I have and soaking them in. I am so lucky to be in such a beautiful place, surrounded by genuine people who I am so grateful to have met. My friends here feel like I have known them for all my life—we are tied together by the unique bond that brings together people drawn to Sydney.