So I’ve been back in the UK for two and a half weeks, and it’s been pretty much non-stop since I got back. But things like packing won’t keep my busy forever (thank goodness) so I’ve come up with three things I want to do this summer, in the hope that they keep me busy and stop me from missing Australia and the year abroad lifestyle too much. I often find doing things like this helpful because they stop me looking back on the summer in September and realising that I didn’t get all that much out of it. There are other things I want to do this summer, but I guess these three things are directly related to the fact I’ve been away for a year, so seem most appropriate to discuss here.
See the family and friends I haven’t seen for a year – this is a pretty obvious one I guess, and is what the vast majority of returning year abroad students will be spending their summers doing. I’ve already seen most of my family, so now it’s lots of get togethers with friends (which probably also means a lot of brunches). Although the reality of getting older and each of us entering the adult world and living in different parts of the world is starting to hit – it’s getting harder and harder to find a time when we’re all in the same place, and I imagine that’s only going to get more difficult as we start looking for jobs and move around the country.
Reacquaint myself with Britain – Australia is a beautiful country, but being there also made me realise that we live in a beautiful country here in Britain as well. I’ve realised there is a lot of Britain I haven’t seen, and also a lot of it that I know well but really missed when I was away. So I’m going to go back to lots of towns and cities because I’ve really missed quaint buildings and elaborate old architecture as it’s something Australia doesn’t really have. I’m also hoping to go for walks and runs in the countryside because I’ve missed those rolling hills and English flora and fauna. And I also hope to return to the English seaside – whilst I doubt the beaches will live up to Australia’s, I have such fond memories of trips to the seaside as a kid, and there’s something so appealing about fish and chips and English seaside towns that isn’t matched in Australia, that makes me really keen to return.
Make photo albums – I took thousands of photos during my time in Australia/New Zealand/Fiji and currently they’re all stored on my computer. But, and I think we’re probably all slightly guilty of this, when they’re on my computer I don’t really look at them (or I do but just flick through them all really quickly). So I’m going to select the best ones, print them, and put them in photo albums complete with annotations of where each one was taken. Hopefully this way I might look at them more often and find it more enjoyable when I do. And I also hope that this will be the start of a good habit where I make photo albums for each trip I go on so I can look back on them for years to come.
I hope everyone is looking forward to their summer – whether it be the last one before entering the world of work, one full of work to earn the money needed to support the student lifestyle, one jam-packed with travel, or just a quiet one at home before the next year of academia. I hope it’s restful, fun, and that the sun shows itself every now and again.