Back in the U.S.A.

Been back in the states for a couple of months now. When I first returned I was in my home state of Washington. Was only there for a week when I had to move back down to Flagstaff Arizona to resume my job as a silviculturist for the United States Forest Service. During that week I squeezed in visits with as many old friends as I could. spent 4th of July at a friends lake cabin getting to go tubing. On my way down to Arizona I had been able to visit some family in Idaho and an old friend in Utah where we went flying in his plane. It was a lot of traveling in that week. So returning to the normal took a bit longer than one would think. Going from a very social and relaxed atmosphere in Australia, to a very solitary work life in Flagstaff was definitely a big change. I work in the woods by myself for about 8 hours a day four days a week. I definitely was missing the Australian livelihood, but I had also been looking forward to some real world work. The solitude in the woods is a great ti

Solo trip to the Great Barrier Reef before heading back to the U.S. June 22 - June 27th

After parents had left and school was over I decided to shoot up to northern Queensland for one last solo adventure. Before heading out my friend Mark and I hung out for the drive up to the Brisbane airport. We randomly stumbled upon this sort of carnival happening and decided to give it a visit. enjoyed carny food and watched a couple of bands play along with a gymnastic performance. the music was really good, especially this one girl named Hazel. She really hit the blues style well. Another band was actually from Washington state like myself, crazy. Finally got dropped off at the airport where I decided to stay the night before my 6 am flight. hoped on plane and shot north to the crazy tropical Cairns Australia. Cairns was absolutely beautiful. definitely the first place i'm going to when I go back to Australia, it was just the coolest area by far! So biodiverse with the rainforest and the sea full of massive crocs. Stayed at a hostel and made friends with people from Holland, Be

Last tests, last parties, and a visit from the fam bam June 11th - June 21st

Finals week is here and i'm feeling pretty good about it. Wrapped up a 15 page paper for natural resource policy, knocked an easy 4 page paper for global environmental issues, and took my last test as an undergrad in coastal marine ecosystems! What a trip that my last test in my forestry degree would be on the Australian coast. During this week we also had our last Dungeons and Dragons session which was just a pizza and game night with all the people who played. A lot of fun that group was. A lot of the other exchange students left on the 12th, so Orion had lost its party popping atmosphere and become a bit more quite and peaceful. Eeeexcept when everyone decided to cross dress in the clothes that were tossed by those who left and play drunk cricket in the parking lot! haha and that's when the family showed up. Introduced them to the crazies that were still on campus and went to go grab lunch in town. That night was the last themed party at the uni bar and I was keen on getting

Wrapping up school and other stories May 27th - June 10th

The semester is coming to an end and some people are ready for school to be over and to be getting home. Buuuut not me! I feel like I would not be upset at all if I had to spend another semester in Australia haha. In this post I just want to highlight some other adventures I went on that I did not get the chance to highlight. There was a survivor party one night at this students house. About 20+ people were there and it was all themed like the tv show survivor. I wore ripped jean shorts with a torn up shirt from bali and a bandana. to fulfill the ensemble I spoke in a very obnoxious pirate accent all night. we had tiki torches and competed in games like untie the human knot, build the human pyramid, several drinking games, and hula hooping comps. My friend Kimmy, a rad hippy chick, killed it on the hula hoops. There was a moment there where everyone kinda just stopped what they were doing and watched. besides almost breaking my neck trying to do a back flip on a trampoline, it was a so

Solo trip to Byron May 20th - 26th

This week I had my final presentation on my painting project. The piece was built and painted from scratch. Being about 6' long and 3' tall it took a long time to complete it. But after sketching, priming, more sketching, painting, carving, painting, staining, and painting it was complete, and I dug it! Most my class and teacher really didn't like it as I thought they would hahaha. Guess white dudes can't be painting massive naked ladies cause they think it'd look cool. eh it was pretty bizarre hahaha i'll attach a pic and you can decide for yourself. Anywhooo once that was done I grabbed the surf board and bused my way to Byron Bay. I really wanted a solo adventure and to be a traveler where it'd get the chance to meet other people in hostels who are also traveling and picking brains. So first night in I went and saw some kick ass live music. It was actually two separate chicks touring together. Similar style, solo act while rocking guitar. They both sang b

Last stretches of course work, what i've been learning may 13th - 19th

So the school work has been a bit intense, but nothing too out of the ordinary and in retrospect, pretty damn easy for my last year of school. I mean I have no cap stone and one of my final classes in my under grad is painting haha. been creating pretty tight relationships with my fellow classmates. One of them is Tara and I've got her in my coastal marine ecosystems class and my natural resource policy. Tara is from Massachusetts and is an absolute hoot. One of the funniest people I've ever met. She is also way rad in her knowledge of badass punk music despite her style. I don't think I've seen so many other people completely enjoy another person's company as Tara's. She has been great to have in class and was my project partner in our costal marine ecosystems presentation. We become masters of knowledge on the Giant Cuttlefish and nailed our presentation. She will definitely be one of the people I miss. Besides taxonomic presentations for that class, we also h

Southern Corss University May 6th - 12th

Southern Cross University has got to be one of the coolest campuses I've been to. And I know one of the main reasons for that is it is in Australia where exotic plants and animals are resident here. The campus has a Koala sanctuary, a mini lake with all sorts of bird life, and a botanical garden around that lake. The campus is small and has a very diverse selection of people there ranging from all ages. Unlike American universities, where most everyone is from 18-21, here it felt more like a community college. Southern Cross had a great library which was central to the campus. Outside of the library was the university plaza. it was an open courtyard area with small restaurants/ convenience stores surrounding it. the plaza had room for various events that were held during the semester. Every Wednesday there was live music and free food. Several times there were these flea market events, and then there were also arts and craft events where you got to do things like plant a plant in a