10 Aug

This is it, the last post.  It’s been exactly one month since I arrived home and I’m finally ready to end this blog.  I’m not entirely sure why it’s taken me this long but I think maybe I wasn’t quite ready to admit that it was all over until now.  I got an email today about a photo contest for my study abroad program and was thinking about what I could submit when I realized that I haven’t looked at any of my photos from Australia since I got back.  I haven’t even thought about Australia all that much until today, which is very strange.  Even when I’ve talked about it I haven’t really thought too hard about the experience and what it meant to me.  I’ve gotten used to people asking “So how was Australia?” and responding “Oh, it was great.  By the end I was ready to come home but it was an incredible experience.”  Same answer, every time.  Not a lot of substance but I figure it’s what most people want to hear.

I’ve been thinking lately about how so many people warned me and my fellow studiers-abroad that when we returned home we would have to deal with reverse culture shock.  They said that it would be hard at first to jump back into our everyday lives, that we had to remember that while we may have had a life-changing experience abroad, our friends and family hadn’t.  For the most part, everyone and everything would be the same but we would be different and that could be hard to get used to.  I didn’t really feel that way at first.  I felt totally comfortable and happy to be home.  It was like I’d been gone for a couple weeks… I just fell right back into my old routines and I liked that.  But I think that gradually I’ve started to notice the effects that Australia has had on me.  I don’t like being inside for long periods of time.  I keep forgetting to wear shoes out of the house.  I’m more friendly with complete strangers.  I can’t get in to heavy drinking anymore.  I feel weird eating dinner without drinking wine.  I find myself craving “tasty cheese”.  These are all just little things, but taken altogether they mean that Australia changed me.  I don’t want to get too Lifetime movie here, but I do think it’s important to say that I don’t think I’m the same person I was six months ago.

This was me in Sydney six months and two days ago, the day after I arrived in Australia.  A lot has happened over the past six months; if you’ve been keeping up with this blog that whole time (and if you have, I love you) you can probably attest to that.  I’ve seen the oldest rainforest in the world, spooned a kangaroo, gotten SCUBA certified, been to the outback, seen the sunrise over the Coral Sea, swam with sharks, seen saltwater crocs in the wild, learned to cook, been to Thailand and New Zealand, climbed an ancient volcano, dived the Great Barrier Reef, and made a few amazing new friends.  It really has been an incredible experience.  If anyone reading this is thinking of studying abroad, I urge you to go for it.  Go somewhere new and meet people who are completely different than you are.  If you’re lucky like me, you might end up meeting a bunch of people who are much more similar to you than the ones you know back home.  Either way, I think it’s a great thing to do and everyone, if given the opportunity, should do it.  So do it!

Of course, I can’t end this blog without thanking you all for reading it.  It’s been a lot of fun to write and I’ve loved having people tell me that they read it.  Who knows, maybe someday I’ll get some sweet job that lets me travel around and blog about it and I can reference this blog as the beginning of my career and you will have been there to see it!  Anyway, thanks to everyone who has followed along with my adventures, especially to those who read the whole thing and especially ESPECIALLY to those who have been reading my blogs since my first summer in Cali (so Mom, Dad, Mimi, and possibly my grandparents…. you all are the greatest.)  That’s all I’ve got for you guys, so thanks again, have a great rest of the summer, and here’s a photo taken in Sydney the day before I left Australia to bring it full circle.


4 Responses to “THE END”

  1. Mimi August 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    i will read all your blogs foeva 🙂

    but especially ones where you talk about spooning kangaroos

    • Kat Montgomery August 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm #

      I’m going to petition WordPress for a like button.

  2. Dad August 11, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    For the record, I would check your blog every day, hoping for a new update. I was always happy to read a new one, and a little disappointed when there was nothing new. I suspect there’s a lot more people like me out there. I’m glad you finally finished it, but I’ll miss it all the same.

    I’m also happy that you’re home, and of course you’ve changed. You’ve just had some great experiences that will help shape your life – and you will have many more to come. But you’ll still always be my little girl!

    Love, Dad

  3. Grandma August 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Our Dear special Katie. Your blogs have been wonderful and we have read everyone and envoyed all your experiences. We are so happy you took advantage of all the opertunities you had in each place traveled.
    Good luck with school. See you soon.

    Love you,

    I wrote something earlier and lost it so maybe it will apear. This computer business is a bit much for a young at heart Grandma.

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