OzNzOdyssey: The End of a Journey

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Upon hitting the ground at LAX, I couldn’t help but get that sinking feeling that it’s finally done. My trip to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia is finally over. I couldn’t help but get really emotional, which was the complete polar opposite of the young couple sitting next to me, who were Australian natives ecstatic to be visiting the United States for the first time. I was thinking to myself “What I would give to trade places with you and go back.” Because I would. In a heartbeat.

This summer was absolutely fantastic! Some favorite memories include: abseiling a couple hundred meters underground in a cave, bungee jumping, surfing with sharks, breathing in beautiful islands, learning other cultures and languages, and, finally, making life long friends from all over the world. This summer was jam packed, with day-to-day activities ranging from calm walks, to thrilling jumps and scares. If there is one thing Australia and New Zealand taught me, it’s to further push your boundaries, test yourself and realize everything is going to be okay. It’s already a huge step to go abroad alone, so why not go the extra mile and test your body and mind to the next level?


bungee jumping in NZ

In New Zealand, over the course of two weeks, I saw wild dolphins jumping about, experienced my first bar/club abroad, met with natives and learned about their culture and customs aside from the ones I have only ever read about, visited a Lord of the Rings movie set and drank the same cider Frodo Baggins of the Shire did, swam through freezing cold caves and climbed waterfalls, saw a kiwi bird, ate a hard boiled egg cooked from a geyser, bungee jumped off an edge of a mountain, saw construction efforts from an earthquake that shook a town to the ground, and hiked to breathtaking sights. All in two weeks. Who else can say they have done that? You can. It’s all only a click away…

In 27 days in Australia, I walked around a major city and saw the Opera House and Harbor Bridge, visited the Blue Mountains and trails, went up the steepest cable car alongside a mountain, went surfing, soaked up heaps of Australia sun, jumped into a volcano crater filled with rain water, took a picture with a koala, saw a wild Dingo, saw sharks and stingrays only meters away from the beach, touched the finest sand at The Whitsunday Islands, and snorkeled through one the seven natural wonders of the world, wrapped a snake around my body, stargazed and found Jupiter and Venus close enough to the Earth, which will never happen for many, many years. Again, who can say they completed all of that in one summer? 

whitsunday islands

To those who are skeptical about working or interning abroad, I say do it, and do it now while you are young. In Europe, it is heavily encouraged to begin traveling immediately after grade school. Many begin their university years at around 20 years old, and when I answered those who asked when I began and how old I was, they were perplexed and asked me why I had not traveled sooner. I am glad I had this opportunity, and forever thankful. But do not wait for opportunities to come knocking on your door. Part of the adventure is seeking it, so why not tap in to the Bilbo Baggins within you and begin your adventure today? Get a passport, save up, and embark on an adventure, your friends will only salivate over. It always helps to have international experience on your resume when applying for jobs. Although I only went to New Zealand and Australia, BUNAC has many programs offered including those in Ireland, Interning in England, and now the new Canada program! A Belgian friend told me, “Although my funds are directly towards this trip, I could not be more happy, because traveling is the one thing you can spend all your money on that makes you richer.” You cannot put a price on a trip of a lifetime. And what’s more, you can work while you travel as well! It’s a double whammy waiting to be grasped. So go ahead, click on some more BUNAC links, make a couple phone calls, and start your adventure today!

Begin your Australia or New Zealand adventure with BUNAC today!