I have officially joined the twenty-fun club! Looking back at when I applied for this program, knowing that I wouldn’t be in the States with all of my friends and family for my 21st birthday, I was a little bit hesitant and maybe even a little bit bummed. But I am glad to tell you that I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my birthday any other way than here in Sydney, with the absolutely incredible people I’ve met over these past 6 weeks and even a couple friends from back home. I was showered with champagne, cheesecake, flowers, French Toast, birthday mail, and mimosas. I got to watch fireworks, dance the night away, brunch at the cutest café, drink a beer at the Opera House, relax in the botanical gardens, and I just don’t think it gets much better than that. Not to mention, I started out July 4th by jumping out of a plane 14,000 feet above ground over the Pacific Ocean. I learned, at about 3,000 feet above ground, that my nerves translate into laughter pretty quickly and shortly after that, the laughter turns into tears… Okay fine, I cried before I skydived. I have video proof. And good for those who are photogenic sky divers- I screamed the whole way down so most of my photos are looking straight down my throat. Cute.
I was able to celebrate at midnight on July 5th while I and the rest of Team America were out at the Hard Rock Café in Darling Harbor for their 4th of July party. Celebrating the 4th of July with a bunch of Aussies was maybe one of the oddest things I’ve done. Liiiiiike, we (in America) celebrate the 4th because the US broke away from England… and Australia is a part of the British Empire? But hey, it’s just another excuse to party and party big. It ended up being the largest 4th of July party in the southern hemisphere which sounds way cooler than it actually is considering the competition is Africa, four oceans, and Antarctica.
I was pretty disappointed to be missing all of the fireworks back at home, but watching the small show Hard Rock put on over Darling Harbor was a close second. The best part about being in a foreign country for my birthday was celebrating twice- one in the Australian time zone and one in the American time zone. Stop judging me, you would have done the same. The actual night of the 5th, my roommates and I bounced around to a few bars and clubs in Surry Hills with a 21st birthday “to-do list” in hand. I had an unbelievable 21st birthday and I can’t wait to make it home to celebrate again (stop judging) with my family and friends.
I cannot believe that I only have three days left in Sydney. I’d be lying if I said I’m not ready for days at home filled with sunshine, bon fires, and lake weekends, but I am going to have a hard time saying good bye to this place. This is about to get real so hang in there with me- Coming to Australia and stepping away from reality has been the best therapy a girl could ask for. This was the most adventurous, challenging, and rewarding experience that I have tested myself with in my 21 years on this planet. The friends that I have made here don’t even know how bad I needed them when I arrived, how much they have actually done for me, or how much I owe them for saving me from a tough time in life. Even though I do my best to live in the present and leave the future up to destiny, I can already tell that this new year is a new start and it’s going to be one of the best yet.
Sierra Kreft is a student at North Dakota State University and is blogging from her summer abroad with the Sydney Internship Program Summer in Sydney, Australia.