If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to personally congratulate you for finding a very positive, educational and constructive way to spend your time and/or for being a good friend who I’ve asked to come read my blogging while away. With that said, in the wise words of Jay-Z, allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Mike (MI to the K-E of course) and I am a rising junior at the University of Richmond. I’m majoring in international studies and am spending this next semester in Australia. Because this is technically the spring semester for students, I am already here. If you can believe it, I’ve actually left summer to come to an Australian winter. But as you’ll hopefully come to understand by getting small insights into my life while in Australia, I’m banking on the hope that it will be completely worth it. Now, I’d like to take you to day one of my trip to Australia and am confident that you will stay for, and enjoy, the whole journey.
The entire way to the airport I’ve been secretly doing the three-part check: Wallet, keys and phone. I don’t like to panic publicly, especially in front of my family; they freak out three times more than I do and it’s always been a faux pas of mine. But this time I came up short on keys, only to remember that I won’t need house or car keys… And then I realize that I must have come up short every other time I’ve done the three part check. I soon realize that it’s not keys I should be checking for, but my passport. Finally, I come to the consensus that a mental checklist is just way too inefficient for these types of situations. I needed something visual, something concrete. Why hadn’t I thought of this before? And as I thrust my hand in my pockets in a silent fit of panic, stress and newly acquired worry-hunger, I could feel the edged corner of a folded piece of paper that was, of course, a concrete, visual checklist I had written earlier. I opened it to find housing details, contact information and even a student visa number. Responsible mike had taken care of everything for panicked, stressed and hungry mike. I liked responsible mike. I made a mental note to invite him to all of my big events in the future like finals week and job interviews. With a sigh of relief, I had avoided a recipe for a heart attack. The only problem was I consistently chose the optional “repeat if necessary” option, just to be safe and all, and went all the way back to “step 1: three-part check your pockets” every hour afterwards. Yet, after a last minute rush of panic and drawn out heart-felt see-you-laters (I like see-you-laters over goodbyes) on the security checkpoint line at the airport, I was finally on the plane, ready to relax and fall asleep to in-flight episodes of Modern Family. Australia, here I come.