“Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brains work harder.– Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist
This time ten years ago I was preparing to leave for a semester of study abroad in Melbourne, Australia. As a kid, I had always wanted to visit Australia. I’m not sure exactly why, but I remember it was always at the top of places I would like to visit. Other than a road trip to Canada as a child, I had never been out of the country. It was hard to imagine I would soon be spending the next few months in the Land Down Under.
I was in my junior year studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, and the School of Meteorology had (and still has) an exchange program with Monash University in Melbourne, Reading University in England, and Hamburg University in Germany. I’m pretty sure I was aware of this leading up to my junior year, but hadn’t given it much thought until the first semester of my junior year. In one of my classes early that semester there were some students who came in and talked about their experiences with study abroad. I decided after that to at least look into doing the exchange program the following semester. And there I was a few months later about to actually take part.
I still consider those few months to be some of the best months of my life, and I’m now a big advocate of taking part in a study abroad program if you can. Over the last few months, I have spent quite a bit of time typing up all the journal entries I wrote while I was there, and over the next few months, I will be sharing some of these along with some short commentary. It was fun going back through my journal entries and typing them up. It took a lot longer than I realized it would. Haha. There were some things I remember vividly, and other things I don’t remember at all. There were days when I wished it wouldn’t end, and days when I wondered why I had even done it. I look forward to sharing some of these with all of you, and I hope you all enjoy reading about the experience. Hopefully, by sharing this, I can help others decide it is something they want to experience. Be on the lookout for the first journal entry in the next week.
In addition to sharing the journal entries, I will have a couple pictures from Australia on display and available for purchase at all my art shows that occur February through June (the picture at the top of this post being one of them).