Lessons learned from two weeks in Australia

I am concluding a two-week adventure in Australia in a couple of days. I was given this opportunity through an invitation to speak at a conference and do some other activities at the University of Wollongong. The conference was the National PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and Peer Learning Conference. Wollongong is located along the coastline about two hours south of Sydney. After the conference concluded, I went at my expense for a week’s vacation in Sydney also along the coast. I come back just in time to fly down to Kansas City for a class reunion of my high school graduating class of 1974.

I anticipate that some may ask me what it was like in Australia. I am still processing this experience and have yet to come up with a simple answer other than to say it has been wonderful. I had shared with one of my new colleagues in Australia that in response to such a question that I would simply smile and strongly suggest they “visit the land down under” for at least a week and preferably longer. Australia is not just a beautiful destination, it is a way of life and a perspective on life. I realize that sounds like a bunch of hype, but the more I think about this experience, the more I think I learned much from my new friends about life and relationships. I still have not figured this all out. Understanding another culture is not a simple thing to learn in a few weeks. But, I do know that this has been both a relaxing and a learning experience. I encourage you to come down, take some time, get to know a few of the local citizens, mix in some meaningful conversations along with time at the beaches, and just listen. I think they have some things to teach us. I am thankful for the experience. And hope to visit again. Thanks for reading.