First of all I should tell you about the amazing trips I made during the two week mid-semester break! I left with a big group of international students of Flinders (also Jan and Federica from the Border Crossings) for Great Ocean Road. Four full cars packed with people and food left for a few amazing days with the most astonishing views along the coastline. After arriving in Melbourne I directly left to fly to Alice Springs. I went there to catch up with a Dutch friend who’s travelling around in Australia. The first day we rented a car to drive through the West MacDonnell Ranges, hiked around there, climbed rocks and swam in waterholes. What is actually pretty much what I did for the rest of my trip as well, and I simply loved it!
After that we did a guided group tour to see Kata Tjuta, Uluru and Kings Canyon. Our group of people was amazing, we slept outside under the starts around a campfire, and saw all these amazing places. The outback in central Australia, with all its emptiness around you as far as you can see, and the dryness which makes you think that nothing can live there (but if you watch closely you see a lot of animals!) was a unique experience. I guess there’s no place in the world like that. After returning to Alice Springs we left for Darwin in our own jeep-turned-into-camper! Ridiculously, we had to pick up our car at 40 Stuart Hwy, and return it 400 addresses down the street at 440 Stuart Hwy, what happened to be 1500 km up North. On our way we visited the Devil’s Marbles, Mataranka (thermal waterholes with warm water, we stayed inside for hours) and the national park Kakadu. Driving for hours, seeing the landscape changing around you slowly, enjoying the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises, camping in the middle of nowhere; again an amazing experience.
After this break, which got me really into the travel mode, it was a bit strange to go back to normal life, seeing all the people again, having lectures and starting with my internship (at the SA museum, I’ll write about it later!). Even stranger it was realizing that that’s what it is now; normal life. Experiencing the feeling of ‘coming home’ when I came back to Adelaide and a friend picked me up at the airport made me fully realize that Adelaide is home now. This also makes the idea of leaving this place and all the people I met here and became so close with a bit scary. When I left home in the Netherlands I knew I would be back in seven months, now I don’t know if I ever will be able to come back to Adelaide, or if I will ever meet these friends again. This is something I can’t change however, and should not think of too much I guess. The only thing I can do is to enjoy my time here as much as possible and get the maximum out of it, something I absolutely will do in these last two months ahead of me!