My Favorite Responses to Being an American Abroad

Apparently Americans are not frequent travelers to Australia, so when people find out I'm from the USA the first question is always, "Oh what part?"  Because I've had this conversation a million times in the last few months I started answering I was from California from the start to shorten the obligatory interaction, which only leads to the question of which city.  It's rare to find someone who actually has heard of Sacramento or even knows where it's located.  About 95% of the time they only know about it because of basketball.  Go Kings (except not really because I'm the rare Sacramentan who really doesn't care).

My favorite part of these interactions with new people I meet are their reaction to my being an American or hearing my accent.  Everyone has a different response, and my opinion on politics and Trump usually comes up fairly quickly.  And with the recent news of Ted Cruz dropping out of the race it's only going to get worse and my response is moving towards finding a way to stay in Australia!

Here is a list of my favorite responses to being an American in the land down under, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

What's Taco Bell like?

Where is your accent from?

What's uni life like?  It must be so great!

What are frat parties like?

Do you really have those little desk things like in the movies?

Did you ride a yellow school bus when you were a kid?

Is high school really like the movies?

We don't get many Americans around here!

Is our accent [Australian] hard to understand?

You're not Canadian?

Are there guns everywhere?

Do you own a gun?

So do you think Trump is actually going to win?

What are you going to do when Trump wins?

Have you had any interesting responses to your nationality while traveling?  I'd love to hear other great reactions!

Where has time gone?

Where has time gone?

I blinked and my time in Australia is over halfway over!

Between classes, side trips, exploring Perth, enjoying the first semester of university I haven't been working more hours than I spend in class, and searching for a job for when I get home, time has flown by.  I have a million ideas and notes for posts to write about on my phone and a half dozen posts partially written, but the "I'll do it tomorrows" added up and here it's almost MAY!

I'm working on playing catch up, going through photos and more snorkeling footage, this time from Indonesia.

So many of my friends at home graduate in just a few weeks, then I'll be finished with exams only a few weeks after that and headed (slowly) back to the states!  Then I'll be back to the real world with a real job.  It's certainly been interesting going from working full time while in school, to just being a uni student, but I'm excited to be heading back into the workforce! 

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Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

When you picture Australia one of the fist things that comes to mind is the Great Barrier Reef.  And Finding Nemo.  I knew I had to find a way to see the famous reef while I was in Australia or I would regret it the rest of my trip. 

Is it a cliché to put the Great Barrier Reef above all the other reefs surrounding the continent? Probably.  But how can you visit the land down under and not visit at UNESCO World Heritage reef?

Cairns (pronounced “cans”) was the first place I visited in Australia and is considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.  To make my life a little bit easier when first arriving and taking some of the headache out of deciding what company I should use for my reef visit, I decided to book a Contiki Tour that took me from Cairns down to the Whitsunday Islands and included tours of the two places I was desperate to visit (review of Contiki and a recap of my time at the Whitsundays coming soon!).  

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Lessons Learned: Living in Australia After One Month!

Lessons Learned: Living in Australia After One Month!

As of today I’ve officially been living in Australia for a whole month!  Time has flown by and I can’t believe it’s already been so long! 

Half the time has been spent traveling the country and hostel-hopping, cramming as much into a little time as possible.  The rest of the time has been spent settling into my on-campus apartment in Perth, going through orientation and prepping for my last semester of my undergrad degree.

So here is a list of things I’ve learned (some lessons easier than others) about life in Australia!

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What Can I Do To Help Refugees?

Hey remember this story from a few weeks ago?

The refugee crisis is still happening.  It didn't disappear just because the news stopped obsessing about it and we forgot about the photo of a dead child on a beach.

But I can't let this go, and it's something I'm really passionate about.

Because I have been to a refugee camp.

In 2014 I walked through the narrow walkways between crumbling buildings guided by a resident of Dheisheh Refugee Camp in  Bethlehem, West Bank.

The worst part is this camp was founded in 1949 and our middle-aged guide had lived there his whole life. 

Yes you read that right, the “temporary” refugee camp has been standing for 66 years.

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