So for the first time, I’m heading into the unknown (minus 5 points for cliché).
As a brief explanation, for my entire life I’ve know exactly what I’d be doing the next year. My transition from high school to University was relatively straightforward, in spite of a few rocky semesters at the start of my tertiary education and a bit of chopping and changing.
But from next year, I go through my final instar into something resembling adulthood, and decisions that are by no means straightforward need to be made. And if you know me, you won’t be surprised by the fact that all this will take place in Germany.
So why start blogging? I’ve recently been inspired by two friends. One spent a year overseas in Tonga, working in women’s health, and wrote a beautiful blog filled with her thoughts on island life, which was also peppered with genuinely interesting tidbits of social commentary. The other friend is a small, exuberant girl from the Basque Country in Northern Spain, who I used to think of as a funny little party girl, but who I never knew was a smart, hard-working chica with a real passion for what she does. I can’t understand her blog (hablo un poco español, pero no entiendo una parabla de eskera!), but I recently read an article on her work and what it’s helped her to achieve, and I was duly impressed.
So in the wake of the motivation these two provided, I decided to start this blog for three reasons;
1. After a year-long exchange in Freiburg, my involvement with the Melbourne Uni German Club gave me the opportunity to help out a really cool bunch of people in getting overseas and doing exchange themselves. I hope that this blog will help do the same sort of thing, in letting people know what to expect from life in Deutschland (the good, the bad and stuff that’s still ugly after a few beers), if only from my perspective.
2. I’m hoping to start a Master’s course in some form of Ecology next year. Australia has recently elected a conservative government which seems determined to lead this country back to the dark ages. Our Science Ministry and Climate Change Council have both recently been disbanded*, and I think it’s vital that anyone even moderately educated in any environmental science starts being more vocal, so that the Australian public doesn’t get led down the garden path to believing that Climate Change isn’t a very real issue.
3. During said exchange, I made a hopeless attempt at blogging. Less commitment than a Jay-Z retirement. As a result, I wrote almost nothing substantial in English for almost 12 months, and when I sat down to complete my first paper back in Melbourne, I couldn’t articulate anything I wanted to say.
So what’s the blog going to be about? Well, settling into a new country (again) and a new life for starters, but I’m also hoping to explore some of the impressions I picked up from my first whirlwind year in Germany, and seeing how accurate they were. Part of this will be comparing German and Australian attitudes to the environment, which I can already tell you are vastly different.
But more than that, it’s an opportunity to learn. Not everything I’m going to write on here will be spot-on, not all of my impressions will be correct and I’m bound to misjudge situations (doubly so as my grasp on the German language is by no means perfect). But when this happens, the best I can hope for is that I eventually learn why I was wrong.
So allons-y! (minus 5 points for french)
*Tim Flannery has recently founded The Climate Council, they raised over a million dollars in a week, check them out if you’re Australian and want informed, unbiased information on Climate Change.