After making it through a delay in LAX and my first international flight, I finally arrived in Sydney! I was so excited (and a fairly exhausted) until my group met up with our tour guide when we found out that we were going to miss the day’s activities of visiting a wildlife reserve and hiking the Blue Mountains. The emotions of the group were running high and many of the members were incredibly upset and voiced their frustration.
There was a lot of negativity that was going around and a stressful taxi ride from the airport to our accommodation. During this taxi ride from the airport, many of my classmates voiced their frustrations about our situation and ruminated on not being able to go to the wildlife reserve and Blue Mountains. I understood the frustration and was equally disappointed about missing out on the day’s activities but I chose to process it in a slightly different way than the rest of my group. I chose to feel the frustration and disappointment and then channeled it into finding something else to do.
Once we arrived at the accommodation, we found out that we had a choice; we could either drop our stuff off and hurry to try to meet the rest of the class or we could choose to do something else like going to the beach or the wildlife reserve. Most of the group decided that they wanted to do the hike but my boyfriend and I chose to go to the wildlife reserve since it was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to. We dropped off our stuff in our room and headed to the train station to try to get to the wildlife reserve.
What we learned during this adventure to the wildlife reserve is 1) people in Sydney were very kind and willing to help us and 2) not having a cell phone to navigate or distract you is a liberating experience. After asking a few people for directions we found the animal reserve and spent 3 hours feeding the animals and viewing all the different type of animals found in Australia. This experience was wonderful and unforgettable and helped erase some of the negative things that happened leading up to this trip. It was the perfect start to my time in Sydney.
My next post will be the last in this series Traveling Abroad with a Mood Disorder and I will talk about what I learned about myself and my diagnosis during my time abroad. Until next time, try to take some time away from your phone and go on an adventure (even just a small one).