Day 31: Presentations and Studying for Final
The title here pretty much explains today. We went through 11 presentations over 3.5 hours, got ramen and gelato after, then studied and got some sleep. The presentations were all really great (everyone in this program is pretty darn smart) and I love learning from my peers. Pretty uneventful day, but this really is the calm before the storm!
Day 32: Final, Lagoon, and Finished!
Thank god that after all those four hour classes and 11 presentations yesterday that our final was only an hour! We all went to the final in our bathing suits and went directly afterwards to the lagoon and to get food! We also had our final dinner with the TEAN staff at a really nice restaurant and took some great photos with everyone! It was a great end to class, a nice day in the sun, and tonight we will go out and have a great time!
Day 33: White Water Rafting
My friends that have been to Cairns before all said to go white water rafting, and man were they right! We had an amazing tour guide, a really chill group, and rafted through a truly beautiful tropical rain forest! I may have feel in the rapids twice and was pushed in another time, but every second was phenomenal! I could tell many stories from just this one ride through the rapids (actually two because we signed up for a full day), but all I can say is: if you ever go to Cairns, you better go white water rafting!
Afterwards we went out for dinner at one of the many discounted places that the TEAN program has hooked us up with, then went to sleep earlier than usual because tomorrow is the Great Barrier Reef!
Day 34: I Totally Understand Why We Need to Save This Place!
The Great Barrier Reef is no question, one of the coolest places I will ever go! I may have gotten sea sick four times throughout the around 8 hour adventure and was not allowed to scuba dive because of my childhood heart surgery (which I was fine with because it would not have been fun to scuba dive while feeling sick), but it was still amazing! I snorkeled as much as I could and must have taken over 200 pictures, but no pictures or words can describe this breathtaking place. The coral like small islands just below the water surface. The uncountable number of fish that are more colorful than you can imagine. The way you can just hover there and see hundreds of fish swimming by so close to you just doing their daily routine. I must have followed 20 different fish, found six different “Nemo’s”, seen a school of at least 100 swimming fish, and all in ten minutes. Then, the next ten minutes you see three new things you never could have imagined. Then another ten minutes, then another, and it continues until you’re back on the boat reminiscing with everyone else about what they saw. It was truly amazing and I never could have imagined it better.
Day 35: Last Day 😦
Today we decided to just chill, eat, and do other shenanigans with my best friends from the trip. It was a nice final day, and we will all miss each other’s daily presence, but we will no doubt definitely keep in touch.
I will miss everyone on this trip, but will try my best to see all the cool places they are from, while also hoping some visit me! It’s time for a lengthy nap on this long flight home (I actually land only an hour after I take off because of time changes!), and then its back to normal life. Then again, this trip has taught me so much that I don’t think it will be ‘normal’ life. Maybe it’s only a little or maybe a lot, but I have grown on this trip and I am grateful for every bit of it. My future travels with the friends I have made and traveling to see them again excites me, but also seeing the person I have become because of them is even more exciting.
To anyone thinking of doing a trip like this, do not hesitate. It was worth every minute, every hour, every dime, every dollar, every sunburn, every second without Internet, every game I missed of the World Cup…. There is no price I could put on this adventure and I will always be thankful for this experience.