◦ After spending some time in Sydney, the Australia group made their way north up the east coast to Cairns via a 3-hour plane ride where they tried vegetable samosas, an authentically made Australian snack.

◦ Many of the group went skydiving at Tandem Cairns as soon as they all landed. Jumping from 14,000 ft, they had one of the best, most exhilarating times of their lives. The view from above the clouds and the sun setting amongst the mountains was beautiful and truly a one-of-a-kind experience!

◦ The rest of the handful of people just had a nice and relaxing time around the hostel of Global Backpackers. Even a relaxing time seemed just as eventful as skydiving since it provided clarity and relaxation to those experiencing it.

◦ After experiencing the first night at the new location, everyone woke up bright and early to go snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Because the boat that we rode on was an eco-friendly company, it took about two hours to get to the first location.

◦ Being able to see such an important staple of Australia was an exhilarating and wondrous thing to experience. There was such a diverse ecosystem sitting just below the waves. Some of the coral structures were able to peak above the surface as the waves were rising and falling.

◦ All of the fish there were so diverse and using the environment to their advantage. If they were smaller fish then they made sure to stick closer to rocks, crevices, or the bottom of the ocean floor; if the fish were much larger they had a domineering air around them and had more confidence when navigating the waters. The one really big fish seen was a kind of parrot fish that seemed about 3 feet in length that was overflowing with confidence and going around as it pleased.

◦ This snorkeling experience was able to provide such an amazing adventure for the whole TRAVEL group and there is hope that many are able to experience such magical things in the future.

By Sara Haines, Lily Zheng