The Final Stretch: Last Minute Dilemmas

Hello dear friends and family! Welcome to my blog! For those who wish to follow my adventures throughout the next 5 months as I study abroad in one of the greatest locations in the world, you’ve come to the right place. Here you will be able to vicariously live through me and my experiences. I will be posting lots of pictures, videos, thoughts, details, and everything in between. This blog will serve both as my journal and the ultimate souvenir from my trip. For those of you who don’t know, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney! I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I will enjoy writing it and sharing it with you!

Image(Sydney, Australia)

On that note: After nearly a year and a half of decision-making, anticipating, and hardcore planning… the time has (almost) FINALLY come! I will be leaving for Sydney, Australia in a mere SEVEN days!

It’s almost too hard to believe that number is so small: single digits. It’s so surreal.
Those who know me well, know that visiting Australia has been at the top of my “Bucket List” since I was a child. Lord only knows why this is the case. Maybe it was the excessive hours spent watching Steve Irwin’s “The Crocodile Hunter”, the thought of exploring the mysterious Outback, the sound of those amazing accents (I sincerely hope I come back with a little bit of an accent), seeing the wonderful sights of the 2000 Sydney Olympics (huge sports/Olympics fan) when beautiful lights painted the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge… or maybe it was some of my favorite movies: a father fish exploring the ocean in search of his son, Nemo; chasing after a kangaroo with a red Brooklyn hoodie in Kangaroo Jack, or an adventurous love story set in the Outback in the movie Australia. Maybe it was because I adore the song “Down Under” by Men at Work. Maybe it was because the continent was the farthest away from home, or maybe it was a combo of all these things, but all I know is that the desire to travel the world and visit the country of Australia has always been my plan, and God has finally made this particular desire of my heart a REALITY. I knew college would be the only practical time to take advantage of this opportunity, and I couldn’t be more thankful that everything has worked out!
The last year has been filled with extensive planning, many trips to the offices of advisors, financial aid offices, study abroad counselors, required meetings, and printing documents like the world will never run out of trees. For someone with a horrible case of procrastination, this process has been overwhelming, but I kept telling myself it was going to be worth it in the end, and it has! But, of all the preparing, nothing could prepare me for the emotions I’m going through in this last stretch before I leave. The last couple weeks have been stressful due to the odds and ends I’ve had to do from changing courses to take, to endless emails between schools, picking flight seats, to last minute purchases, etc. I find myself thinking, “Why the heck didn’t I do that yet?!” On top of the stress I’m experiencing the “I’m scared, excited, nervous, stoked, anxious, worried, ready, not ready.” stage they all warned us study abroad students about. I’m SO beyond excited to get this show on the road and have the experience of a lifetime, but I also know that the inevitable homesickness will hit me soon after I arrive. Missing my friends and family will be rough, but nothing can compare to the exciting things I’m about to encounter! Everyone tells me that by the time you’ve settled in, are going to classes, and between traveling and having fun, you’ll be too busy to even think about homesickness. That’s so reassuring. 🙂
Anyways, me being the procrastinator that I am, I’ll admit I haven’t even gotten anything packed yet…. well, maybe a tiny bit, but not enough to feel the least bit productive. I don’t know what it is about the 1 week left mark, but I’ve finally gotten my butt in gear and I’m actually packing! A whole 7 pairs of shorts, a tank top, and a raincoat to be exact…. (hey at least I’m getting somewhere).


(My sorry excuse for a packing job.)

Now, I’ve traveled to Mexico a few times, and multiple places in Europe, I’ve flown in planes a countless number of times, and I’ve traveled across the United States for days on end. You’d think I’d be a pro at this whole traveling/packing thing by now. WRONG. I don’t think I’ve ever been as stumped as I am now on what to pack. Should I take more? Should I take less? Will I be happier having more stuff from home, or should I just buy new stuff there and worry about bringing it home later? Do I roll clothes or lay them flat? Should I look cute everyday or should I bum it a lot? These are the questions filling my head, and when I think about having to stuff my life for 5 months into two suitcases, it’s too daunting and I end up getting nothing accomplished except an extended dance party in my bedroom. Every girl will agree with me, that when it comes to shoes, we can never have enough, and choosing which ones you have to live off of for 5 months, is nearly an impossible task. If you’re like me, you have WAY too many pairs of shoes for your own good. I have too many clothes as well, but I can manage with this lovely thing called laundry. But shoes….. HOW ON EARTH DO I PICK WHICH ONES TO TAKE?! There’s your general flip flop, Sperry’s, boots, winter fashion boots, tennis shoes (ew), gladiators, and then heels, oh the heels……. can never have enough of those…. but what if these shoes don’t match this outfit at all?! I need grey, brown, and black shoes to match everything, but what if those shoes aren’t practical in that color for that particular weather to match your outfit. Grrr I wish I could magically teleport my shoe closet to Sydney. I decided I’m sticking with practical shoes which include lots of my Sperry’s. They’re comfy to walk in, stylish, and weatherproof. 1 pair of boots should suffice, 1 pair of tennis shoes, a couple sandals/gladiators, and one pair of heels. If I start to think of how I want to take more than that I’ll go nuts… so I’m gonna stop myself there. And don’t even get me started on beauty products, hair stuff, toiletries, etc… or as Jenna Marbles calls it: “goo hoarding”. Pretty sure that stuff will be the last to go in my suitcases since I have way too much of it like every other girl….

(Sorry for the language, but Jenna is spot on. (WARNING: EXPLICIT))

As far as fashion goes, I’ve been doing my research. The good thing about Australia is that it’s similar to the United States as far as culture and fashion. The other good thing is that I don’t have to worry about extremely cold weather while I’m there so I can get away with packing more clothes that are thinner. Sydney is right on the coast, so the people living there are into the whole “Californian surfing chill” lifestyle. Beachwear and laid back clothing is a staple. I’m totally okay with that as I’m one of the most laid back people there are. However, Sydney is a big city, so they take pride in their fashion. I’ve seen so much hipster clothing while doing my research it isn’t funny. This also makes me happy because I’m into that vintage, break the rules of fashion sort of thing. It’s pretty much like the US so I don’t think I have to worry about trying to fit in too much. (I hope my research about fashion/culture isn’t proven wrong when I get over there, how embarrassing) If I was going to an Asian country, pretty sure I’d stick out like a sore-thumb fashion wise. Yay for tanks, t-shirts, and shorts! But seriously, trying to figure out what to pack sucks.

This video >>>>>>>

Thanks for reading through my (long) post! I’m going to do my best to keep my blog as up to date as possible! Wish me luck as I embark on a new chapter in life!

In the words of Kangaroo Jack:
“That’s All Blokes!”

Much Love and God Bless,
Andi Lynn

PS: ANY packing tips whatsoever would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Down Under♫ ♥


3 thoughts on “The Final Stretch: Last Minute Dilemmas

  1. I will definitely be reading this as much as possible.It makes me excited to study abroad too! I competely forgot how great you are at writing sis!! Love you. Miss you. Muah! ❤

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