As we reach the end of our trip, I am now full of great memories and a new outlook on our lives compared to those in WWI. Looking back onto this tour I cannot pick just one memorable moment, they are all equally just as memorable. My main highlights were:
- Buckingham Palace! I’ve dreamed of seeing it since before time and seeing it in the flesh is so much more breathtaking and just altogether overwhelming.
- Mamma Mia, for obvious reasons. There are two types of people; people who love Mamma Mia and liars. Everyone loves Mamma Mia.
- Laying the wreath at Menin Gate. This is a memory I will never forget, having been able to represent our country and school in such a tradition is an honour.
- The whole time at Ypres! It was by far my favourite destination.
- My main highlight would have to be reading out my Eulogy for William George Taylor. This proved to be much harder than I anticipated, but I got through it and was able to grieve his death and acknowledge his sacrifice.
When Mr. Dennis said that we would come back changed people I just thought ‘yeah sure, he’s just being dramatic’. You were right, Mr. Dennis. I am coming back to Australia feeling different, in a good way of course. I am coming back with a sense of responsibility, responsibility to make sure that the sacrifices made on all fronts of the war will not be forgotten. I feel a sort of adventurous side of myself come out, I am curious and want to travel the world but also want to explore stories and history and overall just uncover knowledge all around the world. I also feel a sense of maturity, being trusted to go on this trip and being able to prove to both Mr. Dennis and Miss McKernan that I am capable of being respectful at cemeteries and being able to show initiative and look after myself, has made me feel older and wiser. I could go through all the emotions I’m feeling but the list would go on.
I am so grateful for this tour. Being able to have this experience, especially at this age, is so spectacular. Many people our age do not have much opportunity to travel, let alone travel with friends and go on such an in-depth history journey. Once I get back I can assure everyone that I will talk about this nonstop and always bring it up in conversations!
Thank you to everyone who has helped me get on this trip. Thank you to Mr. Dennis for going above and beyond. Thank you to Miss. McKernan for helping us girls when we were sick, which was quite often, and just being a great support along this trip. Thank you to the school for letting such a life changing trip go ahead. Thank you to our families and community for showing your support along this journey. And I can’t forget the Professor, Gregory, for giving me his bread on the plane because being lactose intolerant I don’t get good food. Greg, you’re a life saver.