While I waited to depart LAX over a week ago I started to have a small anxiety attack. What in the world was I doing, moving across the world, away from my family and everything I knew to be normal. Had I lost my mind? A few tears later and a phone call home, I boarded the plane with more worry than wonder racing through my head. The hectic experience of flying 15 hours, going through customs and transferring to a domestic connection only escalated my thoughts of I am so alone and so far from home. Once landed in Adelaide, I gathered my bags and rolled out to the curb in search of a cab. Easy to locate, yet so different from home I watched the driver climb into the right side of a vehicle and departed on opposite side of the road. But then it happen, the radio came on and low and behold I hear “Nice to meet you, where you been? I could show you incredible things”. It was the song I wake up to every morning that Lilly blares from her room. Maybe I am not that far from home, Taylor Swift is singing to me.
After ten days of living in another country, I have come appreciate a few things. The more I embrace my local environment, the more I discover, as much as things are the same, they are different. This week we started class and I have challenged the senior project class to discovery their selves and the world of agriculture. Each of them will plan a class and select a theme of our learning adventure. I decided we should visit the local grocery store and reflect back to their AGB 101 projects. We examined agriculture commodities, as well as, the marketing efforts compared to California. The Australian love of farming and food is apparent with a simple stroll down the shopping aisle.
Food is just one element that has been adjustment in my everyday life. Here are just a few daily activities that I have found similarities with a twist.
1 – Grocery Shopping – There is vast array of lovely fresh produce and fruit. A huge advantage of experiencing summertime is the bounty of harvest goods. However, deciding if the price point is comparable is a lesson in mathematics and a strong knowledge of the metric system. Selection and sizes of various products are limited. Yet, you need to make sure you bring your own bag, just like home. Which brings me to the next topic transportation.
2 – Transportation – I live in a city. I basically walk everywhere, including the grocery store. So shopping is limited to what I can carry home (bag or no bag). And let me tell you, liters of water are heavy! So to adapt to my new city life I purchased a backpack. It is beyond handy and quickly making my daily trips so much more enjoyable.
3 – Weather – It is summer time. I am a north county girl. Bring on the 100 plus degree-days, but can the nights please cool down like at home? Did I happen to mention the weather is in Celsius? Once again bring on the math and conversion table. Today we are dealing with rain and 14C, and the occasional thunder storm.
4 – The Perfect Bite – In my daily quest for the perfect bite I did struggle during my early days abroad to find that café, restaurant, wine bar that fit my tastes and preferences. In Adelaide you can find any type of food you desire from India, China, South America, Turkey, Italy you name it, there is a dinning opportunity. I am happy to report I have tried new dishes and old favorites with great success. And the wine is a selection of Australia and European classics.
So as I stroll down Rundle Mall, backpack in tow and I start to think how different my life is here in Australia, I will pass a shop and hear “Grab your passport and my hand, I can make the bad guys good for a weekend”. The Taylor Swift Discovery brings a whole new perspective to having some blank space to fill with new experiences.
Miss you Lilly Ann
Here are the student blogs if you would like to take a peak: