"Cool! Bring me back a kangaroo, okay?"
Hands down, that is the most common response to the news that I'm leaving the country. Thus, the name of my blog which will (hopefully) chronicle my time in Oz (no kidding, they call it that! Squee!) and (hopefully) help me keep in touch with all you wonderful people while I'm there.
The facts: I'll be (knock on wood) studying at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia from February until next November. I very much hope to be able to see stromatolites in Shark Bay, hopefully get to Uluru rock, and I definitely want hang out in Melbourne during my break between semesters to see a certain fabulous girl during her internship there. Maybe Thailand? Maybe New Zealand! I hear they are going to start filming The Hobbit there in October! I think I would make an excellent extra hobbit. :P
I am still kicking around lovely Albuquerque and my parents home in the mountains (hence the above fantastic picture), attempting to soak up every minute of it. Also attempting to squash down this rising anxiety and panic.
Intellectually, I know I'll be fine and that this is going to be one of the best things I've ever done for myself. Emotionally, my moods are swinging like two caffeine-crazed kids on a see-saw. Which perched on top of a rollercoaster. And that rollercoaster is actually on a boat. During a hurricane. So far, I have battled this by being as busy and distracted as possible, but everytime I let my mind wander, this little voice in my head says "Oh my GAWD what have I DONE" and I have to go write lists or read webcomics until I stop hyperventilating.
Writing lists helps a lot, actually. I have this yellow piece of legal pad paper that is my bestest friend ever right now. Knowing what I need to do to be prepared - and then crossing those things off my list!- helps me feel like I will actually have everything under control and that there is no need to have a heart attack just because of all the still-unknowable factors.
Ugh. Like housing. Apparently, it's impossible to find your permanent housing from across the world (unless you want to spend an absurd amount of money to live in a dorm), so I will be living in a hostel for at least two weeks while I search for a reasonable place to live for 10 months. Bleh. My poor control-freak brain is not happy about that part.
But! I am mostly doing alright getting ready to leave. Cranking through my To-Do List while making time to just be with the people I'll miss the most.
Hearts to everyone! Wish me luck....