I consider myself a very lucky individual for having been fortunate enough to have traveled to so many places by the age of 20. Despite my travels, no trip has ever even come close to my study abroad experience at the Gold Coast. From sun-up until way past sun-down I made sure to see and do as much as I possibly could - and I did. Starting with sunrise runs along the beach along with surf sessions before (and after) morning classes, we'd then go to join our international peers at class for a few hours. On the way home, we'd stop in Surfer's for the best kebabs around and continue to walk back home along the beach. After some grocery shopping, we'd bus it to Coolangatta for the best spot to catch a sunset on the Coast. On Saturday nights we made sure to hit the international street market in Miami. On weeknights, we would hop on the boat cruise throughout the canals for the sunset. Events we attended included rugby games, professional surf competitions, Aboriginal performances/guided tours, hikes to Springbrook, festivals, the Neon run, markets, concerts, and more. In just a few short months, we managed to experience all along the Gold Coast, (sky diving in) Byron Bay, Brisbane, Melbourne, Cairns, Whitsunday Islands, (Scuba Diving) the Great Barrier Reef, the Great Ocean Road, and even trekked to New Zealand and Thailand - because when you are already on the other side of the world, why not? The beauty these places offer will never be done justice either by words or even pictures. So, what did I gain from this all? To start: memories for a lifetime; friends who became a second family; the ability to adapt to another society's lifestyle including academic expectations as well as social expectations; an understanding that even a culture that speaks the same language is very different from American culture; membership into a global community - Australians, Americans, Europeans, Africans, etc. alike; and a whole new perspective on not only my home country, but the world and life itself. The Australian motto "No worries" I have taken and applied to my life style back home in America and it has made a world of difference in regards to my quality of life. In addition to a less stressed, happier outlook on life, the greatest two lessons I learned from traveling to the ends of the earth (initially) alone are: 1) I occupy such a small part of the world - a wonderfully humble thing 2) Living on my own, I not only solved all issues that arose (i.e. sicknesses, flight cancellations, etc.) but also made sure to take advantage of every second abroad, which made me realize that I can do anything - any boundaries that I initially placed upon myself no longer exist. I like to illustrate a before and after of what this experience has done for me with the dialogue (Pre-Study Abroad): "What if I fall?" (Post-Study Abroad): "Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?".