Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Break Plans!

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t been consistent with my posts the past 2 weeks but there really hasn’t been anything going except preparing for out ten day break. If I can sum up my past few weeks it would be a lot of stress and paper writing.

I just want to let my family and friends who are not aware yet that I will be traveling for the next ten days starting Thursday until Sunday night my time. My friend Dorthea and I have made plans to stay in Melbourne from Thursday night to Sunday night and then fly out of the country to the wonderful Northern Island of New Zealand. We will be staying with my cousin Lindsey in Melbourne and then we will be staying with Dorthea’s cousin who is studying abroad in Auckland. As of now our activity schedule is a but up in the air but what we do plan on doing at least in New Zealand is doing a few days nerding out about Lord of the Rings by visiting the sight of Mount Doom and the little town of Hobbiton as well as making plans with David Duke who was sweet enough to offer us a bit of an inside look at his job working on the set of Lord of the Rings.

New Zealand will be more of a hiking trip, and Melbourne will be a bit of an exploring trip, which will be a great way to end my last big traveling plans here on this side of the world. After I will be buckling down for finals. I will plan to write a post the night I get back from New Zealand about Dorthea and I’s adventures during the 10 day break. Be on the look out for some pictures and maybe a GOPRO video.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Living on a Prayer, Because I am Half way there!

I was told that you don’t always have to have an exciting week. Sometimes the best weeks are the ones that are slower. I don’t completely agree with them but they have a point. This week was the half way mark of my semester at University of the Sunshine Coast and it really has flown by quickly.

Monday was my first big test since I started here. I sat in a room for 2 hours taking my biomechanics test then walked out with a huge headache. It was not a terrible test but I don’t not want to jinx that.

Tuesday was just classes. One of them being a lab for physiology where we played with blood again but this time measuring the hemoglobin levels as well as identifying white blood cells. I discovered in that class that I easily get nauseous looking in a microscope but other than that, blood looks beautiful under a microscope.

Wednesday was psychology day (all my psychology classes where that day). For abnormal psychology, we talked about addictive disorders which involved gambling and alcohol. As part of our topic for the day, we watched a funny clip of monkeys getting drunk which was hilarious. I always seem to love abnormal psychology. My professor is hilarious as well as clever when it comes to her field of expertise. After class I got to video chat with my buddy Caroline D! All I can say I,  we are a pair that do not shut up :D Literally right afterwards, I spoke with my friend and future roommate Fran and again we always have so much to talk about! Talking to my Elon friends always makes me miss my home in Burlington NC but my time here will end soon.

Thursday was a free day for me because my tut was online so Louise and I went over to Wollies and the post office. I delivered another birthday package as well as got a few ingredients for our BBQ on Friday. Afterwards I headed over to the gym to talk with one of the trainers about how I can tone. Working out to me is more of a way to let out stress but because I like to see a healthy change in my body, I have been wanting to tone. Since I don’t have a lot of fat to lose, it is time to tone and build muscle. As of now I have been given a bunch of exercises in order to work on upper body, legs and core. This does not mean I am quitting the workout classes. I enjoy those too much.

Friday I had one tut before going to Wollies with Dorthea, Cara and Liam to pick up shrimp and a cob loaf for the BBQ. Before heading to Maloolaba, I marinated the shrimp and made the cob loaf dip for the second time since I came here. The reason I wanted to make the shrimp is because I wanted to do the whole Australian “shrimp on the Barbie” thing. Funny enough, that is not a real thing they do here in Australia. Some stereotypes are just complete lies!!! After arriving at the BBQ that was facing Maloolaba beach, a group of us ended up at another section of Maloolaba so the few people I was with just decided to stay and cook our food where we were instead of walking. We did have someone who was injured so that was the biggest reason we did not try to walk over. Either way, we had a nice BBQ with burgers, sausages and prawns (that’s what they call shrimp here). I ate most of the prawns, but I was still happy I stuck with the idea. Eventually the other group found us and we all hung out at the tables before catching the bus back to USC. Before bed, Cara, Louise and I hung out with some other friends (two who live upstairs) at their little BBQ at the UniCentral grills.

Saturday morning, I met up with Dorthea to finalize our itinerary for our trip to Melbourne and New Zealand for the mid semester break! It did take a little longer than expected with buying tickets due to some terrible customer service from Tiger Airline but we eventually got our tickets. During the booking process, Fil skyped me and was eventually joined by Stu. Seeing them converse with each other definitely made me miss their craziness. They even got a little information of our plans to go to Hobbitan in New Zealand. Again, talking to Elon friends always reminds me why I need to eventually come home. Once Dorthea and I finished, I walked back to my room, did some studying and stayed in the rest of the day.

Sunday was a relaxing day but I did have the opportunity to talk to Tray who I haven’t talked to in a while. I guess you can say that part of my highlights this week was talking to my friends back in the USA! They really are the only reason I am okay with coming home (besides the fact I need to graduate). Since I have arrived here, I have also spoken to two of my long time Elon friends Nicole and Alex through text and once through FaceTime as well as many others through iMessage and Facebook both from Elon, and friends from high school. Seeing snapchats of what I am missing back home makes me feel a bit homesick and I am surprisingly developing FOMO (fear of missing out). Though I did not have any crazy things happen to me this week such as skydiving, It was a productive week of school work and catching up with my friends and family back home. In a way, my friend is right about slow weeks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Assignments due and Adventures in Byron Bay!

Week 5 at Uni was a busy week when it came to assignments. I handed in two papers, as well as study for a biomechanics test that was coming up the next week. With all that stress, I basically forgot to go an exercise, which I found to be a bad idea because it just made me even more stressed. With no food in the fridge as well, I went back to eating the dried noodles which made me feel like a freshman again. Moral of that week, try to start everything as early as possible and don’t take your daily workout routine out of the equation.  

On a fun note before my weekend in Byron Bay, on Thursday, the crew and I went to the sunshine plaza to celebrate Louise's birthday! August seems to be the month of birthdays for everyone. We went to a popular chain called Grill'd to get some gourmet burgers then went to Coles to pick up some extra things. Afterwards, a few of us went to Louise's place to hang out and eat watermelon. yes this is how we all hang out. We even had a little fight over the watermelon. Eventually everyone ha to go back and get assignments done. 

Friday I jumped onto a bus with a few friends and headed to Byron Bay, a town about five hours away from USC. This trip I went through WOW Card, which helps Uni students receive discounts at local areas and discounts on trips. Before arriving, we had to pick people we wanted to room with at our accommodation location. I ended up rooming with seven people two of which I already knew. My roommates were Alyssa and Cara plus five guys who we basically just met on the bus ride over. Around 6:30, the bus arrived at the Holiday Village Backpackers hostel, which was located a few blocks from the main beach. Since we arrived early and dinner was not for a while,my roommates and I settled in then we made a quick trip to the bottle shop then Wolly’s. For dinner, we got a free meal and drink at a bar called Cheeky Moneys which was located right across from our hostel. This bar/club is very famous location in Byron Bay to party. It is known for changing from a bar into a club within a few hours. There was a fun theme going on called paint party. The waitresses/ bartenders would cover the guests in neon paint and everyone by the end of the night was glowing. One free drink, a free meal, happy hour prices and glowing paint. What more can a Uni student ask for??!! Needless to say, it was an eventful night for all of us.

The next morning I woke up with one of my roommates to try and find this guy who was known for drawing pictures in the sand at the main beach in Byron. Sadly when we made it to the beach, there was no sign of the man but there was a beautiful sunrise to greet us. After walking back to the hostel and going back to bed, we all woke up and got ready for our hike to the light house from our hostel. We hiked to one of the beaches, and even to the most east point of Australia. Eventually we made it to the light house where were got snacks and rested. Sadly because of my terrible hangover, it was a hard hike for me and after puking over the side of the rails, I drove back to the hostel with some of the students doing the extra activities because walking back down would have been a bad idea. While everyone went to the beach and had lunch, I laid in bed all day as well as trying to hydrate from the night before. Dinner time, there was a BBQ at the hostel as well as a trip to another bar for free drinks which I decided to stay in because I wanted to be better for my extra activity the next day.

Sunday morning, Cara, Alyssa, Flo and I woke up early to be driven to Skydiving Byron Bay. This location is the highest skydiving location in Australia and one of the best places to skydive. Now before you call me
crazy, the reason I chose this activity over kayaking with dolphins and snorkeling is because it was something different and I have always wanted to cross skydiving off my bucket list. Since this trip had that window of opportunity, I thought “why not?”  I also had an awesome group of friends who wanted to give it a shot as well, which made it even more fun! After signing our lives away, and got a brief introduction about how to position ourselves for diving out of the plane and landing on the ground, Alyssa, Cara, Flo, Jillian and I jumped on a small plane with the people taking us and flew 14,000ft into the air. We were over the clouds when they opened the plane door. I watched everyone jump out one at a time until it was my turn with the guy I was strapped to. I put my feet under the plane, held my head on my partner’s shoulder and we fell out. The free fall lasted about a minute but felt like 10 seconds. During that time I was freaking out but also thinking to myself “I’m falling out of the sky!” Once we made it through the clouds, my partner let out the parashoot and I saw the beautiful view of the coast line and ground. We were flying around for a while until we landed safely on the ground where I felt a rush of adrenaline as I ran around cheering. I was able to get video and pictures of my experience and I can honestly say that after all that, I am going to be bored for the rest of my life. Roller coasters will be so boring now! When we all returned to the room, we grabbed lunch, got dressed for surfing, rented surfboards and headed to the beach! The waves were dumping very quickly so it was hard not to nose dive. Eventually Jillian, Josefine and I decided to go back to the hostel and grab food before going shopping in the hippy town of Byron Bay. Once we returned to the hostel, we jumped on the bus to drive back to Uni.

Needless to say, I had an amazing weekend in Byron Bay! It drained all the energy out of me but it will be another weekend here in Australia I will never forget. I met more awesome international students and more people who love doing the crazy things I like to do. Thank you to the Adventure Dudes Australia guides for making this weekend more memorable. If anyone wants to find some fun tours to do in Australia, check out their facebook page! I promise you will have an amazing time with them! Two fun weekends in a row and now back to a long week of papers and studying.