Today is Monday and this weekend I will leave Australia, my home, for 12 months. It feels surreal to be saying goodbye to my friends and family whom I see everyday. Their familiar faces will be present only in my phone. It’s hard to believe that this time next week I’ll be starting my life in Japan, going to school and eating different foods. I’ve been packing the past few weeks and it’s taken me this long to realise I am packing the clothes I’ll be wearing for 12 months. It’s hard to believe that what I put into this suitcase will be my life for the next year. This is by far one of the scariest things I’ve done, yet hopefully also one of the best. Whenever I tell someone about my exchange and how long I’ll be gone for they are always shocked and amazed. I am 17 years old, yet I’m embarking on a journey most people would never experience in their lives. I am incredibly excited to go exchange and begin a new chapter in Sapporo, Japan. However, I can’t help but think of my family and friends living here in Australia and what they’ll be doing when I’m gone. Their lives and mine will have changed drastically when I return and I’m sure it will take time to re-adjust to Australia. I am so excited to meet my school classmates (every person wrote me a self- introduction and sent me this in the mail) and I’m looking forward to making new friends in Japan. I also wish all the best to my friends here in Year 12 going through the HSC as I know it will be hard – but I’m sure you’ll all do amazingly well! This is the start of many more blog posts to come and hopefully many more exciting stories to share. Let the adventure begin!