“To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life.” James Joyce
My name is Alberto, and for this semester I will be one of your inbound storytellers! I come from Italy, and precisely from Bassano del Grappa, a little town just one hour by car from Venice. I’m enrolled International Politics and Security at the University of Bologna, and I’m at ANU for this semester as an exchange student. I’ll try to keep you updated about what’s happening here, writing about my experiences and activities in Australia and at ANU! So… let’s start from the beginning!
1. The Departure.
AAAARGH! TOMORROW I HAVE THE FLIGHT!
This probably was the most recurrent sentence the day before the departure, and the capital letters are a good example of how important, terrific but also scary that day was for me. I was really looking forward this experience, as I am strongly convinced that it is the experience of a lifetime. But as you may imagine, the day before the flight goes at 4x speed: I had to do too many things, and I had no time!
Anyway, as I am a very lucky man, troubles were on my way: at 11.50pm, of the 5th of July, my glasses (which I bought just two weeks before) decided that they did not fancy a trip to Australia. I was literally desperate, I had the plane at 1pm on the 6th, and I need my glasses otherwise I can’t even see my feet. It was the most hilarious and difficult challenge ever to get them fixed before departure. The day after, I went to the optician’s shop 15 minutes before they opened, just praying that they could fix my glasses…guess what? They were impossible to repair, and they didn’t have the same model anymore! We had to find another pair of glasses, as similar as possible to those ones, and try to put my lenses on…luckily, it worked! The only thing is that have always hated brown glasses…now I have a beautiful pair of brown glasses. That said, I was (not completely) ready for the big journey. I had a book with me, one of those very boring ones, with the hope to fall asleep and wake up in Australia, but, I said I am a bit unlucky, right? Two seats in front of me, a very cute baby was sleeping as I entered the plane: possibly, over the first 15 hours of flight, that was the only moment in which he was quiet. Lovely.
2. The Arrival
After a 35 hour flight, with an overnight stay in Dubai, I finally arrived to Sydney, with few hours slept, too many movies seen, very tired but quite happy! It took me two or three days to get rid of the big jet lag and to understand that I was on the other side of planet Earth, probably in one of the most distant places I could go to (not bad, considering that I had never left Europe before in my whole life xD ).
I spent 5 days there, traveling around and having a very good time, as you may see from the photos attached!
3. Arrival in Canberra
Finally, I arrived in Canberra on July 13th.
First consideration: COLDNESS. I left Italy where the temperature was 35 degrees Celsius, arrived in Sydney where it was 10 degrees, and finally arrived to the capital city: -8!!!!
Second consideration: the campus is simply amazing. Even if there is quite a lot of construction work going on, the campus is great. For me, in particular, it’s my first experience on a proper campus, and it is very different compared to Italy!
Third consideration: Australia is big, huge, massive, if compared with Italy and with Europe, and distances in Canberra are not the distances I was used to in Italy.
4. Future Plans
I would love to see as much as I can of Australia. I would love to do a road trip from Sydney up to Cairns, renting a van. But I also would like to go to Uluru, during the semester break (anyone want to join me?).
My primary goal is to learn also as much as I can about Australian culture, history and traditions, as well as experience this beautiful country.
So, this is all for now! Keep following this blog for more updates!
P.S. If you have any suggestions for things to do or must-do while I’m here, do not hesitate to contact me, I will really appreciate any suggestions!