So after spending six months in Australia, the feeling I had on the plane home was one I can’t quite put into words; I remember wriggling in my seat and smiling for the 23 and a half hour flight, imagining all the things I would do and eat (first being a proper cup of tea), and all the things I truly appreciate.
1.My family and friends.
Although some of the people I met in Australia are and will continue to be some of my best friends, I adore my family and friends, and skype sessions aren’t quite the same.
2. Manners cost nothing.
It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from, or what you do for a living, it is just polite to use your manners, it’s funny because it seems not many people have quite grasped the concept of queuing, and yet I found myself silently cursing the people who jumped in front of me in the queue (and still giving a polite smile if they turned to look at me, in true British fashion).
3. The cost of tea in England
Not even just the cose… The taste, the smell, the variety, the quality… I could go on.
4. Tea really does solve everything.
Once you have found the right tea when you are abroad, never let it go. It will help you in any situation: hungover, homesick, tired, sad, happy, everything!
5. Be nice because it’s nice, not because you want something in return.
I think this is pretty self explanatory. I am a firm believer in good karma, good things happen to good people.
6. Sometimes it’s better to just close your eyes and jump in. Take the risk.
There are certain times in life when you have to be brave, so take a deep breath and go for it! On you deathbed look back at all the great things you did, not the things you regret not doing.
7. Chocolate is only nice at home.
I’m sure it’s probably a case of ‘you get used to what you normally have’ but I spent six months trying to find a chocolate bar I liked, unsuccessfully. If anybody goes to Australia, have Tim Tams!
8. Appreciate what you have. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s in front of you.
I spent a few days missing home so much i didn’t enjoy what I was doing, and there will always be a tiny part of me that regrets it. I made sure I did absolutely everything I wanted to, and saw my friends as much as possible, home is exactly the same as how I left it.
9. Always carry a notebook and a camera.
There are so many things to document, I loved taking notes and doing little sketches and will always look back on them with a big smile.
10. You NEVER get used to mosquitoes, ants, cockroaches or spiders.
Nope. Never. Checking your bath towels for spiders will become second nature.
11. Read. As many books, magazines, blogs, journals, newspapers as you can fit in.
Learn all about where you are, and this nicely ties onto the next point.
12. Take in the different cultures.
Whilst in Australia, I lived with an Aussie/English/New Zealand family, and one of my best friends I spent most of my time with is American.
13. A lie in once in a while is great. But force yourself to get up early sometimes.
Some of the greatest days are the ones where you wake up nice and early.
14. There is no limit to what you can learn, about the world and about yourself.
It’s surprising what you can find out about your own capabilities.
15. Happiness is only real when shared.