Nicole – Australia

Farewell Australia:

A Heartfelt Goodbye After Two Unforgettable Weeks

As I sit down to write this final blog post, I find myself reflecting on the incredible journey I’ve had over the past two weeks in Australia. From the moment I arrived, I knew this trip would be special, but it has far exceeded my expectations. My adventure began with a week in Perth, followed by an equally amazing week in Sydney. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve explored, and the memories I’ve made have all left an indelible mark on my heart.

Perth, with its laid-back vibe and stunning landscapes, was the perfect introduction to Australia. I spent my days exploring the city’s beautiful parks, such as Kings Park and Botanic Garden, where I was constantly in awe of the diverse plant life and panoramic views of the city skyline. Visiting Rottnest Island was a highlight, with its pristine beaches and adorable Quokkas. Biking around the island and discovering secluded bays made me feel like I was in my own little paradise.

The second week in Sydney was a whirlwind of activity and excitement. The iconic sights, from the Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, were even more impressive in person. Strolling through the bustling streets of Market Street and the tranquil paths of Hyde Park offered a perfect balance of urban energy and serene nature. Visiting St. Mary’s Cathedral was a moment of quiet reflection amidst the city’s hustle and bustle, and trying unique local delicacies like rice yogurt added a delightful twist to my culinary adventures.

What truly made this trip extraordinary were the people I met along the way. My travel cohort was a fantastic group of individuals who shared my enthusiasm and curiosity. Together, we navigated new cities, tried new foods, and supported each other through every new experience. Their companionship turned this trip into a series of shared adventures, making each moment more memorable and meaningful.

Leaving Australia is bittersweet. While I’m excited to return home and share my stories, a part of me wishes I could stay longer. The friendships I’ve forged and the memories I’ve created here will stay with me forever. This trip has been more than just a vacation; it has been a journey of discovery and connection.

As I board my flight home, I carry with me a heart full of gratitude and joy. Australia has given me so much – from breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities to warm-hearted people and unforgettable experiences. These two weeks have reminded me of the beauty of travel and the importance of embracing new opportunities with an open heart.

Thank you, Australia, for an amazing adventure. I leave with lasting memories, cherished friendships, and a newfound appreciation for the wonders of this incredible country. Until we meet again, farewell.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Retail Therapy Down Under Sydney, Australia

Today was a day dedicated to exploring the vibrant heart of Sydney, Australia. Our itinerary was simple but packed with exciting experiences: shopping, sightseeing, and savoring local flavors. As we headed toward Market Street, I had no clue how important the day’s adventure would be.

Market Street is a bustling hub of activity, filled with an eclectic mix of shops, eateries, and an infectious energy that can only be found in a big city. The aroma of freshly brewed coKee and the lively chatter of shoppers created a welcoming atmosphere. As we wandered down the street, we stumbled upon a model having her photoshoot right there on the sidewalk. It was fascinating to watch the behind-the-scenes action of a professional photo session, adding an unexpected glamour to our day.

The next item on the agenda was retail therapy. The variety of stores was incredible, oKering everything from high-end fashion to unique local boutiques. Shopping in a city like Sydney is a treat because it exposes you to brands and styles that are often hard to find in smaller towns. Each store had its own character, making the experience both engaging and enjoyable.

Lunchtime gave a pleasant break, and we chose a cozy café. The best part of our lunch was sampling rice yogurt for the first time. Its creamy smoothness and gentle sweetness were a nice surprise, reminding me of how travel can expose you to new and delicious sensations. After lunch, we went to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney’s biggest cathedral by breadth. The cathedral’s sheer size and majesty were impressive. Walking inside its expansive interior, I was fascinated by the exquisite stained-glass windows and tranquil atmosphere. In the midst of our hectic day, we were able to relax and contemplate.

The cathedral is a testimony to Sydney’s rich history and architectural grandeur, providing a dramatic contrast to the current rush and activity beyond its doors. We walked from St. Mary’s to Hyde Park, which is one of Australia’s oldest public parks. The park’s lush greenery and tranquil ponds provided a refreshing escape from the city’s fast pace. We took our time, enjoying the tranquil surroundings and the immaculately maintained grounds. The park is an excellent illustration of how nature and urban life can live together. Reflecting on the day, what stood out most was the dynamic blend of experiences Sydney oKers. From the bustling Market Street to the serene St. Mary’s Cathedral and the green oasis of Hyde Park, each stop on our journey provided a unique glimpse into the city’s soul.

The big takeaway from today was the appreciation of Sydney’s diversity – how it seamlessly integrates the old with the new, the tranquil with the bustling. It’s a city that embraces contrasts and oKers something for everyone.


May 18, 2024

A Day on Rottnest Island: Exploring Australia’s Hidden Gem

Today, I embarked on an unforgettable adventure to Rottnest Island, often referred to as the “Maldives of Australia.” The journey began early at 7:30 am, with a 30-minute train ride from Perth to Fremantle. From there, I boarded a ferry for another 30-minute trip to Rottnest Island, eagerly anticipating the day ahead.

As the ferry approached the island, I was immediately struck by the stunning azure waters and pristine beaches that truly justified its nickname. Once I arrived at the dock, I headed straight to the rental area to secure a bike, the best way to explore this picturesque island.

My first stop was Little Parakeet Bay, a secluded spot perfect for relaxation. The bay’s tranquil environment provided an ideal setting for sunbathing, with its soft sands and crystal-clear waters offering a serene escape from the world. The privacy of Little Parakeet Bay made it feel like my own personal paradise, a hidden gem where I could unwind and soak up the sun.

After spending a blissful morning at Little Parakeet Bay, I biked over to Geordie Bay. This bay, while slightly more populated, retained a peaceful atmosphere that was equally enchanting. The gentle waves and the sight of sailboats in the distance added to the bay’s charm. I spent several hours here, taking in the breathtaking views and enjoying the calming sounds of the ocean.

From 9 AM to 2:30 PM, I immersed myself in the natural beauty of Rottnest Island, captivated by its scenic bays and serene environment. As I biked back towards the ferry, I encountered some of the island’s famous native Quokkas. These adorable marsupials are known for their friendly nature, and I was thrilled to have the chance to interact with them. Touching these little creatures was a delightful end to my day, adding a touch of magic to an already perfect adventure.

Rottnest Island is a true Australian gem, offering an escape into a world of pristine beauty and peaceful relaxation. Whether you seek adventure or tranquility, this island has something special for everyone. My day on Rottnest Island was a memorable journey, and I can’t wait to return and explore even more of its hidden treasures.


May 10, 2024

Buckle Up for the Ride of a Lifetime: My Aussie Adventure Begins!

G’day, folks! My name is Nicole Cerezo Santana. I am a senior at ECU majoring in Business Management with a Data Analytics Certificate. Gather ’round as I spill the beans on the whirlwind of excitement that’s about to hit – my Aussie escapade is officially kicking off! Strap in, ’cause this blog is not your average pre-departure spiel – it’s a rollercoaster ride of anticipation, nerves, and sheer Aussie awesomeness.

So, picture this: yours truly, a wide-eyed wanderer with a knack for business and a thirst for adventure, gearing up to jet off to the land Down Under. Yep, you heard that right – Australia, mate! From the golden shores of Perth to the dazzling lights of Sydney, I’m about to dive headfirst into two weeks of non-stop exploration and discovery. And let me tell you, I couldn’t be more pumped!

Now, let’s talk goals. What’s a trip without a little mission, right? Well, my mission is simple: soak up every ounce of Aussie culture and business savvy like a sponge. With my background in business management and data analytics, I’m ready to dive deep into the Aussie business scene and come out the other side with a truckload of insights and a few shrimp on the barbie tales to boot.

But enough about the serious stuff – let’s talk excitement! I’m positively buzzing at the thought of hitting up Joondalup University in Perth and rubbing shoulders with Aussie students. From business workshops to sightseeing shenanigans, it’s going be a wild ride, and I’m all in.

Of course, no adventure worth its salt is complete without a healthy dose of nerves. The thought of leaving the comforts of home behind? Yeah, it’s a bit daunting. But hey, where’s the fun in playing it safe? With a can-do attitude and a trusty Aussie “she’ll be right” mantra, I’m ready to tackle whatever curveballs Down Under throws my way.

Now, let’s talk game plan. How do you turn nerves into excitement and opportunities into adventures? Well, you roll with the punches, my friend. Armed with an open mind, a sense of humor, and a pocketful of matey charm, I’m all set to make the most of every moment. Whether it’s bonding with fellow travelers over a Vegemite taste test or getting lost in the maze of Sydney’s streets, I’m ready to dive in headfirst and let the Aussie magic work its charm.

So, as I bid farewell to the familiar and set sail for the land Down Under, I do so with a grin on my face and a twinkle in my eye. This Aussie adventure is not just a trip – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind of excitement, and I cannot wait to share every epic moment with you. So grab your surfboard and join me for the ride of a lifetime – the land Down Under awaits, and mate, it’s going to be epic!