SYDNEY | Ep. 01

My first time in a real airplane, travelling for 31+ hours and saying goodbye to family and friends for almost 6 months. This is the start of my gap year in Sydney, Australia. In this first blog you’ll read everything about my first experiences in the country of kangaroo’s, BBQ’s and surfers. And so the adventure begins…

Everything is all packed up and we are ready to go. In the afternoon of September 15th my family and I hop into the car, headed to Schiphol, Amsterdam. After some highway issues we finally get to the airport in time and take a moment to explore. Quickly, I find other Dutchies that are headed to the same destination and we start preparing together. Then the time has come to say goodbye, I didn’t cry, but I did felt a boost of love, trust, stress, appreciation and of course sadness through my heart and head. All at the same time. I really want to take a moment to thank my parents for believing in me and giving me the freedom and chance to explore who I really am. I love you!

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So there I go, first time flying and immediately going for a 31+ hour journey. But I discovered very quickly that airports and airplanes are nothing to worry about if you prepared well. From Amsterdam to Dubai, Dubai to Singapore, Singapore to Melbourne and finally Melbourne to Sydney. On the 17th of September at around lunch time I got to the final destination and was taken to my residence. As happy as I was (and still am) with my German roommate, as sad and angry I was with my room. It looked nothing like the picture, was very small, dirty and had damage on certain areas. This, combined with a jetlag, a minimal amount of sleep and homesickness made me cry for almost the whole afternoon. Doesn’t really sound like the dream gap year, right?

This is a part I had never experienced before. I had no idea that these factors can destroy you in such a harsh way. For me, what worked best was calling my parents (bye money) and talk to them about what happened. They calmed me down and gave helpful and comforting advice. I also talked to some friends, but most importantly is to sleep it off. The first days I went to bed on time every single night. And everyday I was feeling a little better. I took action with the room and everybody from EF (at the residence and at the school) was understanding, friendly and helpful. The first schoolday was great, exploring the city and even going on a boat trip!

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The school in Sydney is amazing! It is absolutely gorgeous, everybody is very nice, the organisation is good and the lessons are very informative. As I am doing an intense Cambridge course, I do have homework. But for now, there is still enough time to enjoy Sydney. This week: A welcoming party and a nice day at the beach + BBQ. Sydney life is expensive though. Groceries, transportation and phone costs are high. Especially the first weeks/month you will spend more money on cleaning stuff, activity’s and products you haven’t found a less expensive alternative for.

Right now, I’m doing fine. The beginning was definitely hard and I really had to push through, but I’m starting to feel better! Check out my social media for more Sydney updates and follow the blog to know exactly when SYDNEY | Ep. 02 will be up! See you at the next post!

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Lysbeth Koster

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