Abroad Traveler Caroline Danehy: FH Goes Down Under

Three weeks ago today I arrived in Sydney, Australia. It was a short 22-hour trip from New York, and while I thought my body was permanently stuck in a seated chair position, I headed right to the hostel to start my semester abroad. As we went on a walking tour around the Sydney Harbour, looking at the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it started to set in that I would be “down under” for the next five months.

Perhaps it’s the fact that whenever I travel with my family my Mom tries to “hike the Grand Canyon – and a half”, but I feel like I haven’t stopped moving; trying to see and do as much as I can while I’m here. I’m blown away by how much I’ve loved being here so far. As I came into winter, I expected it to be a little like what we experience in the Northeast, but I was way off. Each day the weather has been 65 or 70 degrees and sunny – making it the perfect weather to explore and plan adventures. The people here are incredibly friendly and outdoor oriented. I’ve frequently come across surfers on the buses or trains in wetsuits with their board in hand. It’s a culture focused on clean living and sharing experiences in a social setting; everywhere I look I’m reminded of the Fair Harbor Lifestyle.

To highlight a place in particular, the first week I arrived my friends and I booked a last minute trip to the Outback in Uluru. A short two-hour plane ride and we were in the middle of absolute nowhere. While the weather was a bit unpredictable, 80 during the day and 30/40 at night, I only brought a change of clothes because of the extra carry on charge. As the plane descended, I could barely spot a building in sight. We met our awesome tour guide at the airport, Dariah, and headed straight into the middle of the desert in our bus. We woke up for sunrises and sunsets, hiked the canyons and rocks during the day, and sat around the campfire at night. We’d barbecue some ‘roo as they call it, then head to the next destination.

As we arrived at the desert campsite for our first night I was expecting to unpack some tents from the back of our camper, but they never came out. When I asked where the tents were, Dariah replied by saying that ‘you couldn’t see the stars that way’. Yup, we slept in sleeping bags on the desert floor for three nights. While it was a bit unexpected, and we did wake up with dingo tracks around us in the morning, the stars were unbelievable. The Milky Way Galaxy filled the sky and we were able to see six different star constellations.

While I’ve never quite felt dirtier and in greater need of a clean shower and clothes, Uluru was a trip that I’ll never forget.

Sea's the Day!
Written by Caroline Danehy

caroline danehy