Making My Way Down South


Days before taking off for my field season, I realize how the upcoming experience is nowhere near what I am used to. First, travelling to a foreign country for the first time is always nerve wracking. Imagine that from the moment you exit the airplane you are on your way to the unknown, unsure of the climate and animals you will encounter. There is nothing like home here!

Yes, one could say that is exciting. It truly was! However, it almost required my brain to be extra prepared. First, to understand the Australian accent, and second, that I was not simply travelling. I was on my way to my first season as a student researcher, who would eventually be responsible for the capture of dozens of grown kangaroos, an animal much bigger than the average pet who greets you through your neighbor’s window.

It's a good thing I had plenty of time to address every single issue before actually landing in Melbourne, as the trip from Montreal to Australia is more than 30 hours long, including layovers! I talked myself through what I learned about field work and thought of many polite ways to express my confusion regarding one’s choice of words or expression. Most importantly, I made sure I was patient with myself throughout the process, as it is the very first thing to do when facing new challenges. For example, I had to learn how to drive a manual transmission pick-up truck on the left side of the road.