Not long to go now. And that’s had me thinking. A lot.
It’s all becoming real now. I flew to Sydney a few weeks ago to catch up with some of my close friends and say goodbyes. It didn’t really become real until I got back that this was really happening. That I had just spent my last weekend in Sydney for quite a long time.
And now I’m getting organized – sourcing presents for my new host kids and host parents, writing packing lists, buying bulk amounts of vegemite, Tim Tams and aerosol deodorant, contemplating what luggage to take, sorting through clothes on a daily basis and moving things back and forth between the “to take” and “to leave behind” piles. Going back and forth between excited and nervous, thrilled and sad.
Last night while I was in my thinking place (read: the shower) standing under the hottest water possible, I was thinking about what I’m going to do with my time in the states. Sure, I want to travel, I want to see new places, I want to live in the USA for a year, but what do I want to achieve?
I want to get fit and stay fit. Winter here has been nasty. It’s too cold for me to run outside with my asthma, and with not a treadmill in sight, my physical activity has been limited. Last time I went to the US I gained 6-8kg, and I don’t want to do that again. So my goal is to run 3 times a week, and when it gets too cold, to join a gym. To watch what I’m eating, and try and eat healthily, but not obsessively so that I miss out on any experiences. I don’t want to gain any weight. I want to come home under 80kg.
I want to try new things. Meet new people. Try new foods. Participate in new activities. I want to try everything offered to me at least once – even if I don’t like it, I can say that I’ve tried it. I want to be able to come back from my year overseas able to say that I tried new things, that I went places I never expected, that I became friends with someone I never thought I would become friends with. I did it last time, and I can do it again.
I want to enjoy my time in the US. It’s only going to happen once. I’m too old to be a repeat au pair. I’m not likely to ever have another point in my life where I get to go and spend a year living in a different country. And I want to enjoy it. I don’t want to complain about things that are “better” in Australia, because there isn’t better, just different. I don’t want to miss my family too much. I don’t want to miss my closest friends and my favourite people too much. I will miss those closest to me, a lot, but I have to remind myself why I am there, what I have to gain, and that they will still be there, just as they always were, when I get back. I don’t want to waste time being homesick.
I want to keep a record of my time in the US. I want to blog. I love this blog, and was saddened when I returned to Australia and didn’t have anything I thought worthy of writing about. I’m so excited to get back into it, to write about my adventures, describe the new things my senses are experiencing, keep those at home in the known of what I am up to, and most importantly, keep a record of this year of my life.
I want to come home a better person. I mean, I’m a pretty good person now (haha). But I want to learn something. I want to gain something. I want to become more compassionate, or more loving, or more SOMETHING. I just want to take something out of this experience that says “this experience made me a better person.”