This past weekend I trekked up to Seoul to meet with an old friend from Australia.
It had been 6 years since I had last seen Teneille, hanging out of a car window in Sydney waving frantically as she slipped away on the overpass. She left me standing, feeling lost and all alone, in the big city where I would spend the final days of my gap year Down Under.
It had probably been close on 3 or 4 years since we had last had any personal communication. But fate brought us back together, and I am so glad that it did. Seeing Teneille reminded me, once again, of the amazing adventure that Australia had been for me and what a formative stage of my life that was.
I was 17 when I hopped on a plane that whisked me away to Armidale, NSW, Australia. I cried when I got there, mostly because I was young and tired and extremely uncertain (why had I chosen to do this again?!) and I was taken to a room with a bed on its side, naked of all things that would make it look comfy and welcoming. But after a firm long distance call where my mother informed me there was no way I could come home, (thank God for mothers, they always know best!) I settled in just fine.
In fact I fell in love with Australia, with travelling, with being independent, and, of course, with the wonderful people who I met, including Teneille.
Seeing an old friend from my Aussie days made me realise how far I have come since that scared, crying girl got off that plane in Australia. And it has also made me rethink how fortunate I am that I got to spend a year living in Colebrook House with 11 other girls who were like a family to me.
So THANK YOU to you all, and, Teneille, it was truly wonderful to see you again! Here’s to another reunion!