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Of Academics and Travelling

The past few weeks I have all but vanished from Bitten by the Travel Bug, Twitter, and the Internet as a whole. Has the Australian Internet been dismantled? Did I travel off the beaten track where the Internet is unheard of? No, I have recommenced University.

Unforeseeable Options
A single business sized envelope was in the letter box. The computerised logo in the right-hand corner gave away it’s address but who did I know living on busy Greenhill Road? As I sipped my orange juice I opened the letter hoping desperately it wouldn’t be a bill in disguise.

‘Dear Ms. Smith,

Offer of Undergraduate Admission – Authority to Enrol

I am pleased to inform you that you have been offered a place in the Bachelor of International Studies at The University of Adelaide commencing in Semester 1…’

A light flashed in my head as I hurried to the home phone and begun dialing.

“Hello Ro-” but before the sentence was out of her mouth I was already talking; “Mum… GUESS WHAT?!!!” “You got more (work) shifts?” I outwardly groan, trust my Mum to be thinking about work when I have such a great announcement. “No, better! Guess!” “I don’t know.” With that I begin reading the letter word-for-word outloud. “I GOT INTO THE BACHELORS DEGREE!!!” “So that means your staying in Adelaide, right?”

“A ‘traveller’ is not a valid profession”
I like to think that it was when I flew to Melbourne at eight-months old that I caught the travel bug but I do believe it may have been later in life on a visit to Hong Kong when I was 12. I just knew that I could do something really cool, like write a book or inform people of the places I recommended friends and family visit with the piles of napkins, photos, brochures and maps that I had been collecting (and still have filed away.) Everything kind of clicked in my head.I knew then that I wanted to explore the world, set foot in the countries whose languages I learned and others which I had only seen pictures of. Whilst my family refused to eat traditional Chinese food in Hong Kong, I gazed longingly at the sweet dumpling buns and the roasted poultry in the shop windows as we walked the streets. This is the life I craved – sampling new foods, meeting exciting people every day and discovering traditional cultures and ways of life, rather than living content in the tourist side of town with the westernised amenities.

When my career counsellor had told me that being a ‘traveller’ was not a valid career option I knew I had to find something I was good at which would allow me to travel. “I like to write…” was the answer and soon I had my hopes set on a double degree in Journalism and International Studies (the International Studies courses requires a mandatory semester abroad studying so it appeased my travel bug and the combined degree offered the option to be a Foreign Correspondant or a Diplomat – both hard jobs but offered the travel I so passionately sought.)

I’d rather be in Europe than in a classroom
When my year of hell (otherwise known as year 12) finished I was set loose in the world. My year has been, to say the least, shocking and uninspiring. Topping it all off I had slept in 3-out-of-4 of my final exams. Whoops!
I wasn’t surprised when I found  that I hadn’t been offered any places straight into my dream University, Monash, situated in adjacent state, Victoria. So I studied a Certificate IV – University Foundation Studies, before becoming a Single-Unit Enrollment subject student at Monash (meaning I would have to gain a certain credit average to transfer into the degree program.)
Once again, it didn’t appear luck was on my side as just before mid-semester break I was told the course was being renewed the following year. Instead of biding my time doing useless subjects I appeased the travel bug and headed off to America, UK and Europe.

The cold English winter (and depleted funds) sent me back to Australia to enjoy the sun but the idea of staying around had been toying with me since I heard my American camp friend was keen to study Journalism at the same University as me (that and I missed my Mums home cooked meals!) As a joke, I sent an offer into SATAC (the South Australian Tertiary Admissions board) not expecting a reply and to head back to Melbourne as a Single-Unit student. But of course plans change.

What to do Academically and as a Traveller?So officially, I am enrolled into the University of Adelaide as a Bachelor degree student studying a full course-load of four subjects, however as UofA doesn’t offer Journalism I am enrolled into two single-units to study Journalism at Monash University as a distance education learner.
Yes, I am a nutter for taking on an overload of subjects +1.
I’ve decided that I shall tempt fate (I’m rather bad with deadlines…) and study all 6-subjects. I’ve also decided to aim for a Distinction average (clearly, I am educationally suicidal.) Although I want to be at an airport, ticket to an unknown destination in-hand or back in the UK using up my visa, I feel like NOW is the right time for me to study.

I still have plans in the works for Bitten by the Travel Bug this year and hope to put them into fruition. I have forthcoming travel plans – Aldinga, a beach town about an hours drive from Adelaide this weekend, and the better known Sydney and Melbourne will be visited before June, Hong Kong and New York are planned for Decemeber and I’m hoping to save enough to visit Indonesia or head back to Europe at some point as well!

More posts are coming (@TravelingEditor, where’s my Ireland guidebook and notes?! haha.) and thank you to @cholly_ for constant Twitter ‘kicks in the butt’ to get motivated, so please keep checking back in to find out where my cronic case of being Bitten by the Travel Bug takes me next!

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    cholly
    March 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Good to see you back!

    Aldinga! I went there when I was about 15- dad booked us into the caravan park near the nudist beach. It has gone down as one of the great moments in family holiday history!

  • Reply
    Kenan Lucas
    March 4, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations on your admission. My semester abroad was one of the best times of my life. I cannot recommend doing it enough!!!

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