The final blog post, HELLO!
I am currently writing this last blog post with a cup of coffee, wrapped up in my duvet in the cold cold COLD snow in Calgary. Although I was very sad to leave the Australia heat, I was very excited to get back home to hug my loved ones, smother my dog, and get back into a proper routine.
During our last couple weeks in Brisbane, we tried to get as much travelling in as possible. This meant 4 flights, probably 18 RideShares, hours on trains, trams, and busses, a water taxi, a couple more hostel bunks, a very weird Air BNB, and a sailboat called “PowerPlay”.
After getting back into the new school placements, we left for a weekend trip to Stradbroke Island, or as the locals call it, Straddie. We had booked this “glamping” (glam-camping) trip at the beginning of our time in Brisbane as Straddie was a must-see recommendation from the Brisbane locals. I’d urge you to google “Adder Rock Camping” on Stradbroke Island and you will see why I call it glamping. The “tent” has real beds, fridge, barbeque, etc. and lucky for us, you are fully sheltered from all-weather conditions (it rained the WHOLE time). Regardless of the unlucky weather conditions, Stradbroke Island was absolutely stunning. We tried our best to stay dry but still got to see mumma kangaroos and koalas with their babies, whales, dolphins, lizards, frogs, and the most beautiful sunrise.
Back to schools for the week then jet set off on a flight to Melbourne! We spent the weekend immersing ourselves the bustling city’s art and food scene. As it was actually VERY cold in Melbourne (not joking, a crisp 13 degrees Celsius), I spent a lot of my time in art exhibits, markets, and libraries all while drinking some of the best coffee in the world. We walked the Melbourne street art walk which took us down laneways filled with graffiti and street art. Some of the more popular laneways such as Hozier Lane and AC/DC Lane were filled with people looking to get the most Insta-worthy selfie. Nathan, Nancy, and I also did a day trip to the Brighton Bathing Boxes, which is a group of 82 wooden beach huts that were built in the early 1900s. The colours contrasted with Melbourne CBD in the background was such a sight and I couldn’t help but imagine what it would have looked like when they were regularly in use and not a highly photographed tourist attraction. Melbourne is overflowing with culture and it was very hard to squeeze everything into the couple days we had.
Our last weekend getaway was to the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays are 74 islands that lie between the northeastern coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef with massive stretches of coral and white sand beaches. We took a boat tour that departed from Airlie Beach and sailed through a very small stretch of these islands. I would recommend this trip to anyone, it was spectacular. There is something so special about sleeping in a boat on the ocean with 18 strangers (trust me) and getting to explore the islands over a longer period of time. During this tour we had the chance to snorkel around the coral and see all the amazing little critters that get to call it their home, dig our toes into the 99% silica sand (purest in the world) on Whitehaven Beach, paddleboard at sunset, and make some amazing new friends from all over the world.
Coming back from Australia has been the biggest reality check. I think the toughest part will be accepting the fact I can no longer do school work from the beach in a bathing suit. In all honesty, I am happy to be home and so grateful for everything this experience has given me. The last 8 weeks in Australia have taught me lessons both inside and outside of the classroom. I’ve been very grateful to be given the experience this semester of learning and teaching while travelling around a different country. I have found myself reflecting on this time with such appreciation for the teaching experience I’ve gained, new friends and places, and the countless number of adventures I’ve been on. I feel as though I have become a much more confident traveller, as well as a much more confident teacher. Brisbane had truly become a second home and I will cherish these experiences throughout my everyday life and in my career.
To any future TAB students, I can’t put into words what I feel this experience has given me. My time in Australia feels like it may have been a dream so please force yourself into uncomfortably and put yourself out there. Make it happen, travel is such a gift and an amazing learning experience. Pour yourself into everything you possibly can. As cheesy as it is, I have caught myself being a big puddle of tears thinking how I will never be in these moments again.
Thank you, TAB for providing me with this opportunity.
Thank you, Nancy, Nathan and Tina.
Thank you, to everyone who has supported me along this journey. I cannot express enough gratitude.
My heart is full.