Last February, I commenced an amazing semester abroad studying in Melbourne, Australia. I knew I needed to get away, to go somewhere brand new with completely new landscapes and situations in order to truly find myself, to see what I was made of so many miles away from home, family, and the comfort of knowing how each day would play out. Though I had never been to Australia before, the city of Melbourne is not a far cry from my life in America. The lifestyle, culture, and pastimes of the people mimic Americans, but with that undeniable laid-back Aussie manner. For example, in Australia, you will often hear people chiming “No worries” in response to pretty much anything. I was also charmed by how genuine and fun the people are. They always ask questions about me to get to learn more, and they show true interest. I am certainly trying to take some social cues from the Aussies, who can strike up witty conversations with anybody in any situation.
Koji from Japan playing a space drum in the streets of Melbourne.
During my time abroad, Jupiter, the giant planet of gifts, opportunity, and luck, was transiting my natal 9th house which rules higher education, travel, and foreign cultures and people. When I realized this, I knew this semester would be magical and eye-opening, and I was not mistaken. I am so lucky to have met and mingled with people from a diverse range of countries and cultures during a short time. In addition to lovely Australians, I have met people from Germany, France, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, Japan, China, Indonesia, Italy, and England. All of them taught me so much just by being who they are. I learned by observing and listening to their stories. Like my friend from Israel who had to serve in the army for two years. I can hardly imagine the turmoil and stress he faced each day, nor the indescribable beauty he saw during his hike of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal. In him and others, I chose to see their light and it was a true blessing.
The colorful and creative street art in Melbourne takes on a world of its own.
My time in Australia is nearing an end. I have three weeks left, during which I will be spending some time at another yoga ashram nearby Melbourne. Looking back on my short time here, I am amazed at how much I did and all of the amazing people I met so far. I have been so inspired by the people I was fortunate to meet. Traveling and meeting foreign people are the most amazing things one can do. It is nearly impossible to travel and remain unchanged. Traveling opens your mind in many ways and challenges you to grow, evolve, and move past programmed thoughts or patterns of behavior. It is my goal to travel more and allow the beauty of the world to fill me with inspiration and love.
May you follow your gypsy heart and see the world as your magical playground. Light & love.