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20 March 2015

I've already lost track on how many points I have visited. Last week I got a new addition to this never ending list and the never ending float of sunset pictures. By now, thanks to Natalie, I've learned the best way to spend your lazy evening is to grab your camera and drive to the seaside and watch the sun set while eating vanilla ice cream and eavesdropping other people's conversations.

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18 March 2015

Last weekend we celebrated my awesome and beautiful host mum Natalie. On Friday she took me to South Bank for dinner as a little pre-celebration of her birthday and a post-celebration of my new haircut. It was such a pretty and relaxed evening. We ate salt and pepper calamari and I had a non-alcoholic strawberry margarita which both are the best things on Earth. There was a really nice couple sitting at a table next to us and as we started chatting and I told I'm from Finland the lady told me her father is Finnish. I mean, the odds, right! It is a very small world but full of so much.

On Saturday we went to a fancy winery to have lunch with the family and a couple of our neighbours. It was a beautiful venue and a beautiful weather. I ate salmon which I've been longing for so long now and it was brilliant. Once we got home we had some chocolate cake and then Nat and my host dad Steve left to a party leaving us kids home with grandma Pat.

On Sunday we drove to Cleveland Point to have a ladies' lunch with Natalie's girl friends. The venue was very beautiful — again {Natalie has a great taste}. It was a very nice, classy but relaxed afternoon sipping cocktails and eating calamari and chocolate cake. I guess you aren't surprise hearing I had another yummy non-alcoholic strawberry Margarita.

I want to say happy birthday and thanks to Natalie for letting me sit in the adults' table.
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16 March 2015

I honestly cannot believe I actually cut my hair. A week ago I just decided I'd had enough and then we called to book a hairdresser appointment. Luckily Natalie's friend Lisa is a very good hairdresser and I can fully trust her with my hair. So on Friday Nat took me to Lisa's straight after school. I told her I wanted to get rid of all the dead hair and so she cut a good ten centimetres off. I gotta admit I was equally excited and terrified by the moment I walked to the mirror to see how the hair looked. And oh my Gosh it was love at first sight. I felt like a huge weight on my head had disappeared as it had. My bleached ends were seriously so damaged by the bleaching and the ever so strong sun of Australia. And the day got even better because Nat took me to South Bank for dinner and I got a non-alcoholic strawberry margarita which, by so far, is the only drink I want to drink for the rest of my life.

This whole adventure with my hair leaves me only one question: why didn't I do this before? I guess I was stuck with the idea of long hair and that that is the only way my hair could look beautiful even though I very well know it's not true at all. It was so easy to unconsciously plant this idea in my head while scrolling through Pinterest and Tumblr where 90 per cent of girls have these gorgeous long locks. I lived in a reality where I cherished my long hair while in the real reality it was so damaged and dead it was horrible to work with and look at.

Midi-length hair is so much easier in every way I can think of: washing, blow drying, brushing and styling takes half of the time it used to. I also get to do so much more with it. I always thought when you have long hair you can do everything with it but in the reality it is suitable for couple braid styles and ponytails. I think with this new hairstyle I get to play and experiment much more. So in a nutshell — cut your hair because you might get surprised {and if it's a horrible surprise, it's only hair and it'll grow back}. F
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15 March 2015

Last Monday Julia asked me to go up to Mount Coot-tha with her and and her host family. I was having a free evening, for once so I said yes right away.

It was dark already when we left but being a huge lover of city lights I didn't mind, not really. To be honest I was in heaven when we drove over the lit bridge. Little did I know the best was yet to come. Once we reached the top of the mountain we could see the whole city twinkling in the dark. I could've just stayed there forever, feel the wind on my face. Eventually, after hundreds of photos, we got hungry enough and so got a table in a little café / restaurant next door. I ate salt and pepper calamari which is quickly becoming my favourite snack.

Driving back in the dark and listening Ellie Goulding's "Love me like you do" playing on the radio seemed like the only right way that day could have ended. Thank you Julia.
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4 March 2015

On Sunday morning we woke up early and drove to one of my host mum Natalie's friend's place. Mel and Gordon's house was gorgeous one by the canal. After all the preparations we jumped on the jet skies and headed off to the sea. It was such a beautiful morning. I felt like we were flying right above the clear turquoise water. The wind hit my face and tangled my hair so bad I thought I would never get it untangled ever again {I did after half-a-bottle of conditioner}. Our first destination was the Peel island but just in front of the horse shoe beach we saw two yachts which turned out to belong to Gordon's parents so we stayed for a good while: took pictures and swam.

The horse shoe beach of the Peel island wasn't in such a good condition because of a recent cyclone so we didn't end up staying there. Since we hadn't had breakfast yet we drove to the Moreton island where we had a nice brunch in a cozy beach bar. As usual, me and Nat took plenty of pictures of the beach.

Going back we tried some cool tricks with the jet skies which was pretty awesome. I cannot thank Mel and Gordon enough for giving me this amazing opportunity. I really loved it and if I get another change I'm definitely going to use it.
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2 March 2015

Last night in my dream I was home in Finland and it felt really real. I remember starting to discuss about my return with someone when suddenly I said 'oh shit this must be just a dream — I can't remember my flights'. 

Couple times I have felt homesick during my exchange and every time I have seen dreams I'm back home and everything's over and then someone asks about my trip back and I realise I never flew back. I don't know why remembering the flights is such a dead-end situation to imagine. It is so creepy to realise you are dreaming and then wake up with an unreal feeling. Okay, it's pretty awesome: you feel like a genius by knowing what's real and what's not.

Then there have been different times when I have woken up in the morning without even remembering I'd had a dream and then during the day I start to remember the dream. Only problem is, I can't tell what was just a dream and what had actually happened in real life. My mind is really messing up with me sometimes.

You probably already realised I have been a bit homesick lately. I have been away for seven and half months and now the homesickness kicks in. In every single YFU orientation we have been given a graph which  shows the emotional range of an exchange student. The ironic pis that my graph is actually very reversed. In the beginning you are 'supposed' to feel up and down all the time: being homesick and very excited practically every second day. When you've been in the country for couple of months you are 'supposed' to start feeling good generally every day until you go back home. The ironic part is that my graph is actually very reversed.

Last week I was talking about my homesickness with my host mum and our international's coordinator in school. I stated I am homesick and it made the whole thing feeling so much worse than it was when only I knew. I still think talking about it and actually acknowledging the issue I am hopefully able to get over it easier.

Anyway, I know will survive even though sometimes I feel pretty keen just going back home. I love my family here and I'd love to stay with them much longer than I have left. We have so much fun things still to do which I wouldn't miss even if someone paid. I think you can't know you're happy without the contrast. I know being homesick is healthy. It'll make me stronger.
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