No, unfortunately I am not blogging from Australia. However, this is an appropriate opening because one of my best friends is returning from a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia today. As one of my roommates, she is an integral piece of the puzzle that is my life at William and Mary, and she’s been missing for far too long. Don’t get me wrong – she hasn’t been completely out of the picture. I’ve been following her around the Land Down Under via Facebook pictures and long emails and the genius invention that is Skype. Whenever she would upload new pictures, it would be a highlight of my day. I got to see (vicariously) all parts of Sydney, the Outback, Uluru, kangaroos, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, beaches, mountains, and Aboriginal paintings, among other things. While we were shivering in the snow in Williamsburg this March, she was laying out and getting a sunburn in Sydney; now that its started to get sweltering hot, she’s been enjoying a nice, cool winter. It was so much fun to hear her talk about everything she’d done and seen. I’ve been to Australia (one side of my family lives there), but I’ve never lived there on my own the way that she has been for nearly five months. Nor have I ever driven there – she took a road trip, and they drive on the other side of the road in Australia. I’m not sure how she managed that one, but thank goodness she made it around the country in one piece.
As a matter of fact, thank goodness all of my friends who have been abroad for the spring have made it back in one piece. Again, don’t get me wrong – I love travel and talking about travel – but it’s nice to have everyone back in the USA (meaning that they no longer have long-distance phone rates) for the summer. Between Manchester, England, Aix-en-Provence, France, Semester at Sea, Antarctica, Florence, Italy, and Sevilla, Spain, among many other places in the world, my friends have been sprinkled across the globe. Now, all I want is to hear everyone’s thousands of stories in person, or as close to in person as I can get. Of course, I have my own stories from the semester in lovely Williamsburg – those stories don’t involve riding elephants or going on beautiful winery tours in the countryside or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, but they’ve still got their own William and Mary charm. I sort of feel like this past semester was one crazy extended vacation, and soon enough we’ll all be returning home. When we’re all together, William and Mary is home.