What an adventure I have been on. I have gone not only from one side of the world to another, but from one temperature extreme to another. It is almost surreal to find myself back at C of I for my last few semesters. I am originally from Melbourne, Australia which is quite different to anywhere in Idaho. I take the opportunity to go back home whenever I can afford it, but I always love to go home for Christmas. Christmas in Australia is the opposite of the Christmas experience in America for the main reason that it is summer time in the southern hemisphere. Instead of drinking hot chocolate by the fire and hoping for a white Christmas, Australians take to the beach and relax after a long year.
This year was exceptionally hot with temperatures at an all-time high for the nation. I spent most of my time back home showing one of my friends from C of I around my hometown of Melbourne. The College has many international students and I had already spent a Christmas with my friend in Canada our freshman year. Now it was time for me to return the favour. We spent a week or so in the city or downtown area, going to pubs and rooftop bars, eating some great food, going to the movies at the open air cinemas and even taking a ride on a 100-year-old rollercoaster. We spent Christmas with my extended family and had a traditional Australian BBQ for Christmas dinner.
For New Year's we left the city in favour for the coast and spent a lot of time at the beach. We went to Phillip Island which boasts some great surf beaches and native Australian wildlife. We were able to pet kangaroos and feed emus and also see a colony of little penguins (around 600 of them) run along the beach to find their babies in their burrows. My favourite part of going home is the beaches and surfing. My Canadian friend had her first ever surfing lesson and managed to stand up quite a few times!
But I had to come back to C of I after around a month and I said goodbye to my friend as she went further north to Brisbane to continue her Australian experience with the C of I biology tour group, who spend a month researching Australian wildlife on the Great Barrier Reef. I am now trying to keep warm in Caldwell, which is proving to be quite difficult considering the freezing temperatures! But I am very happy that I was able to share my hometown with my friends from C of I and I hope I will be able to do it again soon if more people decide to venture down to Australia.
Natasha is a senior history major from Melbourne, Australia.