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Life Lessons From Australia

by Milan Norling

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A lifetime of perspective can often be switched with a moments decision. Mine began with a year’s worth of set away money and a flight to Australia. A few months before I clicked “book”, I had met an enchanting couple who lived in the jungle of Queensland. They captivated me with their tales of adventure from their homeland and we became quick friends. When they invited me to their wedding the following December, I knew this was my chance to explore a country I had never visited and experience what it had to teach me.

After a long 20 hours of traveling that left me weary, I was greeted by the humid heat of summer in Brisbane. In that moment I began a journey that I would not soon forget. 

We drove from the bustling downtown of Brisbane into the dense, green jungles of Queensland. The winding roads revealed scenery the likes of which I had never seen and I began to settle after the long flight. When we pulled into the driveway of the ranch which I would be living on for the month, my breath physically left my lungs. A row of trees lined up to a beautiful bungalow that sat on acres of vibrant green fields 

backing up to dramatic rock faced cliffs. I knew then that I was in for the experience of a lifetime.

In the time that I spent in Australia, I travelled all through Queensland and New South Wales. I explored each small town and stayed in some of the most enchanting places I’ve seen. I swam in the blue oceans, experienced the healing properties of a natural tea tree pond, attended a local music festival, hiked one of Queensland’s highest peaks, and so much more. Being immersed in a culture which differs from your own has a way of shifting the way you view the world. The more time I spent listening to their beautiful accents and hearing their stories, the more I began to slip into the way of life that makes Australia unique. I met people from around the world, each of whom shared unique bits of wisdom which I’ve not yet forgotten.

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Though the simple action of visiting a new country has a way of shifting the way you view life, what I learned from this trip is that it’s not just about the place but the people you meet. This may not seem like a profound or original realization, but I think that is what made it so special. Australia was one of the most beautiful and dramatic  places I’ve seen. But I was most moved by the incredible people I shared my trip with; Physicists from Sweden, college students from Canada, lawyers from America, and everything in between. We shared deep talks under the stars, danced all night, hiked through jungles, rescued injured Koalas, and simply shared stories of where we came from. These were the moments that brought me to the realization that made this trip stand out so vividly in my memory. The joining of cultures to experience a new place is deeply magical and makes traveling one of the greatest forms of education.  

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About The Writer

Milan is a college student from Santa Barbara with a passion for travel and adventure. Though she calls Utah home, you can most often find her on her way to a new destination. There is nothing she enjoys more than adventure, new places, good food, and capturing it all through a camera! 

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