After two (more like four days including flight time) without wifi access, I finally get to begin my position as the global ambassador for my trip! Basically I’ll be coming at you live from New South Wales just about every day to talk about my study abroad trip here. It’s gonna be great.
For a quick recap:
Friday, April 28
Departed the US
Flew from Windsor to Toronto in a sick propellor plane (flying out of Canada instead of Detroit was way cheaper- shoutout to my roommate for that info!) – 1 hour (delayed 30 minutes)
Toronto to San Francisco – 5.5 hours (also delayed 30 minutes)
San Fran to Sydney – 15 hours (also delayed, but only 20 minutes this time)
Lost my Saturday to the international dateline. Still salty about it.
Sunday, April 30
Arrive in Wollongong
And the real fun begins!
Just for a hot second I’m going to throw out some travel tips from a seasoned pro (read: newbie- this was my first solo and international flight).
- Ask actual experienced travelers in your life for flight/general travel advice! I never would have looked into flying out of Canada if my roommate that studied abroad in Paris in Summer 2016 hadn’t mentioned that it was a cheaper option!
- Charge your electronics BEFORE you get to the airport/inside the plane, because finding a functional, open outlet can be a challenge.
- Bring things to do that don’t involve electronics (books, magazines, crosswords, etc.) just in case you forget to charge anything or if you just don’t want to stare at screens for hours on end.
- SNACKS! V important, and as long as it isn’t fresh fruit/veggies/meat, customs probably won’t take them away. (I had trail mix, fruit snacks, nutter butters, and sour punch straws in case you need ideas)
- Wear compression socks. Please, just trust me. The ankle swelling was so real.
- Try to get up every few hours on longer flights to keep the swelling down, keep you entertained, and because sedentary life is no good!
- If you get lost in the airport, don’t cry. Just breathe, look for airport staff, and if you’re like me, call someone you love and have them calm you down. Panicking makes finding your way around exceptionally harder than it has to be.
- Talk to the people next to you even if you don’t know them! While this world is massive, it can also be pretty small sometimes. You never know what you might have in common with this person/these people, and what you all could learn from each other!
Traveling is a blast once you’ve reached your intended location, but the getting there can be pretty rough. I think I slept for about 4 hours total, I had middle seats so getting up was a process, literally every electronic I had was dead, and it was too dark for crosswords and magazines. Luckily, my last flight had really great free movies to pick from, I was sitting next to a very friendly Canadian-turned-Aussie, and the plane food was actually pretty good! Needless to say, after nearly 25 hours in planes and airports, I was never so happy to walk on land. Seriously, it was a magical experience. And (probably) not just because I was FINALLY IN AUSTRALIA. But maybe. Overall, my first international and solo flights were draining and a bit stressful, but it was cool to catch a glimpse of functional, semi-adult Rebecca in action after an insane, kind of really dysfunctional semester. Thanks, Australia, for helping me remember that there’s more to life and that I am in fact a real person still.