Where do you start? Something this big and I don't know where to commence my talking from.
I guess I'll be clever and use a line from a song associated with this venture, that being "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start."
That being said, that will be done.
I must have told most of you the back story to my exchange, but for those who don't know, I shall provide it now.
At dinner one night in 2008, I told my parents I wanted to go on an exchange to Italy for 12 months. Then I started crying because I didn't want to graduate after all my friends. 4 minutes after being discussed, exchange became a bad idea and wasn't talked of since.
As I have mentioned at least once at some point in my bloggagery, my father decided to take us to Elcho Island. It was here that, one activity-free night, we watched a TV show. It was Superstars of Dance, and it was Ireland's duet, with Bernadette Flynn and Damien O'Kane. You can watch the exact video HERE. You may think it's pathetic or whatever but I cried and at some point during that video, I decided that I had no choice but to go on an exchange to Ireland.
I looked into it and could only find about 2 organisations that run exchange programs to Ireland, and neither of them were particularly well known. Whatever, I mean, Scotland and Ireland are pretty much the same, yeah? Well nobody really went to Scotland either.
That's fine, I mean, I've always wanted to go to Italy. It was actually around this point where my parents made it clear to me they wanted me to go with Rotary. My home club doesn't do exchanges to Italy. After a lot of praying and confusion and stuff, I came to the decision of Turkey. My home club sends people to Turkey, and it was different enough. When I mentioned it to a Rotarian I know, I sort of realised how very unlikely it was that an exchange to Turkey would be productive for me. I needed an alternative, so I thought I'd go to France, but apparently it is THE most sought after country as an exchange destination. Something in me twitched and I sort of did the "You know what? Fine. Whatever. It doesn't even matter. I'll just go." But with the unhappy mother voice.
I went to the district interviews with my piece of paper. This piece of paper listed the 14 spaces available, and the 12 countries to which the students would go. It then provided 5 lines for us to rank the top countries we wanted to go to (out of those provided), and another line for us to list the countries we didn't want to go. I don't remember what I wrote on the 6 lines, but I know what country wasn't on either list.
On Sunday I got the call. Austria.
For reasons I don't really feel like going into, Austria it was. I researched it a bit and was pleased to find it's flag was easier to draw than Australia's, and it had apple strudel (oder Apfel Kuchen, in Deutsch. Ich denke...). This made me decide Austria was where I wanted to be. I researched it more and made me see that there isn't any country I would rather go to. Or be in, as the case is now.
Next post, I discuss my trip! XD