You Only Turn 21 Once! (Unless you’re in Australia)

It’s my birthday eve and I am pumped. If today foreshadows what is to come then there are amazing things ahead of me for year 21. I woke up this morning and went to a meeting with John, my internship adviser with BU. All good news about the internship with UNHCR. Jess came back from her meeting with him and is pretty set on working at Ogilvy. How incredible is that?! I didn’t expect these internships to be at all intense or legit. I just kinda figured they would be smallish internships with local companies in fields we’re somewhat interested. Instead they are completely and totally baller. My friend Ben is working with the Ritz… Bennett is doing marketing for Iconic Magazine and Bernadette is working with the Royal Easter Show. All so legit and I am so impressed with BU.

After I got back from the interview, Bennett and I sat down to finally purchase flights for all of our trips. We bought flights to Byron Bay yesterday for Easter break and this morning purchased our flight from Sydney to Cairns and from Airlie Beach back to Sydney for our spring break trip to the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. We also booked a canyoning trip in the waterfalls and cliffs of the Blue Mountains for this Friday. It’s just kind of like WHAT. I couldn’t possibly be more excited.

So…my birthday weekend will go like this. Rage Wednesday night to ring in year 21. Have friends drag me out of bed in the morning to go cliff jumping at a Sydney beach. Make it back in time for class and a quiz (slight bummer). Rage to celebrate a whole day of being 21. Wake up in the morning with enough time to catch a 6 am train to Katoomba, a city in the Blue Mountains and be at High and Wild Adventures by 8:45. Go canyoning and absailing in the Blue Mountains all day. Take a bus and hiking tour of the famous Blue Mountains sights on Saturday with a little bit of class dispersed through out the weekend. Go to Featherdale Wildlife Park on Sunday morning to finally pet Kangaroos and Koalas. Take the train back to Sydney to make it home in time for the Chinese New Year  parade (hey there year of the horse) which lasts until midnight. Wake up and find us a bar where we can watch the Superbowl Monday morning. If I survive, it will be the most epic birthday weekend ever literally just filled top to bottom with all the things I love to do. The only thing missing will be my best friends and family at home but I know they’ll be thinking about me and we can celebrate after I return!

I was also just reflecting about how my birthday last year was the first time in a few months that things had started really turning around and looking up after a little bit of a low period. My most prominent (and least hazy) of memories from that night are the sensations of happiness and gratitude for the people in my life just completely overflowing. As I apparently told Jessica when she asked me what kind of cake I wanted after I kept hugging everyone and telling everyone how much I loved them was that I want a “cake full of friendship.” … I know. But I was so grateful to be surrounded with so much love and by people who cared so much to make my night special and to finally be out of the rut I had gotten myself into. I was grateful for all that had happened so spontaneously with Billy and I just felt all this new hope and excitement for the future. Looking back on the year I’ve had, that was certainly well founded. A wonderful spring semester where I got so close to my best friends today, a pretty beautiful, even if brief, relationship that helped and taught me so much, an adventure through Europe complete with some of the best memories I have and so many new friends, the best semester I’ve ever had at Carolina, the fortification of so many friendships and now this adventure of studying abroad. I am SO GRATEFUL for my 20th year. I’ve learned a lot and chased my dreams and all I can ask for is that things keep going the way they have been.

I’m gonna go and put on my birthday dress but I’ll let ya know how the weekend goes. See ya on the other side of legal drinking!

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