My first couple of days here have been amazing. I have met some amazing people (why was I ever worried about that?) and I have been to some incredible places.
After spending my first night in a hostel with only one other kid from my program, we made our way back to the airport to get picked up. Our first night as a group was also spent in a (different) hostel in Brisbane before we drove down to Byron Bay/7 Mile Beach the next morning. The two hostels I stayed at were completely different. The first was extremely social and fun while the second was full of small groups traveling together and was much more subdued. I was extremely impressed by the awesome places I stayed and the number of international travelers at each one. I met a few really cool people while staying at the first hostel, so that was nice too.
The beach/property we are staying at is unbelievably beautiful. It has pristine beaches with no one in sight in a clear bay. We go down to the beach and go swimming all the time! The rips are really strong here so you have to be careful of that, and you get a workout trying to walk against the rip back to everyone else.
I have had some awesome conversations with people and am really looking forward to hanging out with everyone for the semester and traveling after. So far there has been a lot going on and we are doing something every hour of the day. We walked up to the Byron lighthouse on our first morning to watch the sunrise and have a class on the history of Byron. It was amazing. Even though we had to wake up at 5 in the morning, we were all awake by the lighthouse and had an interesting lecture.
The nights have been the most fun. We hang out at the beach, look at all the stars, or play group games like spoons. This is usually when the deep conversations happen and we start to learn more about each other.