The End

I don’t know if there has ever been a scenario in which I’ve been more tempted to miss my flight on purpose, to just leave the airport and run. I’d live at friends’ houses’ and patiently wait for summer so I could swim and surf again. I won’t do that of course. My life waits for me at home in Texas. Although I’m excited for it I’m also intimidated by how much pressure and expectation await me. Especially in comparison to this past year which has demanded of me more abstract things like the finding the meaning of things, learning about myself, and discovering new ideas. This new part of my life will demands of me more concrete things like working hard to make good grades, getting a job, making money, and career choices. 

It’s been a couple of days shy of a year since I left the U.S. for the first time, unbelievably excited and hungry for inspiration for existential thought. A lot has happened since then. I’ve been to a lot of places and I’ve met a lot of people– to simplify it. 

I’m so thankful to the people I’ve met in Australia, because they are what made this experience hauntingly unforgettable. Their names will always been on the tip of my tongue, strewn throughout my stories, my friends and family will come to memorize their names.
And I’m thankful for my entire experience, as small a gesture that is for such a huge thing. I’m thankful to my parents for encourage me and providing me with these opportunities in the first place. 

As for my last couple of weeks in Australia, the truth is, I haven’t been up to much and I’m content in it. This is a weird feeling for me because I have never felt content just doing nothing. Somehow knowing that I’m comfortable, that I belong, and that I am where I am meant to be made it easy for me to relax.

No one told me how many experiences my friends and family were going to have without me, some that I’ve heard about and some that I will never even know about, through out the course of a year. No one told me how fast you go when you actually catch a wave for the first time.

Lastly, for anyone reading this considering traveling– you simply must do it. But know that it comes with terms and conditions. You have to be flexible and open minded. You CAN’T get discouraged. Don’t take pictures of everything. Don’t stay in your comfort zone. Embarrass yourself with practically unpronounceable languages. Represent where you come from humbly– there’s nothing worse than an obnoxious American tourist. Don’t underestimate your ability to figure out public transit. Let yourself be fazed by little things. You won’t regret it. 

{Two nights before I left, someone set off the fire alarm at 5am and we had to stand outside in the cold rain until they figured out who did it. Here’s a picture from that.} 

Published by Mia Olea Garza

I am a photography, videographer, and filmmaker in Austin, Texas.

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