There are a few things, that I have learned from being on exchange so far, which I promised myself to make a habit as soon as I am back in Austria:
1) It's now or never!
Somehow I have the feeling here that I need to go everywhere in Australia and that I need to constantly travel around the country - I feel restless. I really hope that I can come back to this beautiful country someday, but for now it feels like it's now or never. I just don't want to know how often I said to my dear friend Natalie in Vienna that I really wanna do a daytrip to Bratislava, or how many times I said to my boyfriend that I would love to do a weekentrip to Prague, but somehow we never managed to do that and up to now it never really bothered me. One thing that also comes to my mind when thinking about that is: Why are we always longing for distance? There are so many amazing places in Europe I have never been to and this is something that should bother me and not if I have made it to the Westcoast in Australia or not. I mean there are even so many places in Austria I have never managed to see, like the Green Lake and I really want to make my current curiosity and wanderlust a habit as soon as I am back, because we never know what will happen in the future and someday it might be too late.
Seriously? Why are Australians SO much more friendly than Austrians. They are so considerate and mindful in so many situations. Just a few examples: While I was in Sydney with Paul, we were just standing at the traffic lights, when I wanted to check on the map if we are on the right way to the museum and I was just about to flip the map open, when a man walked past, who was obviously in a hurry, but immediately asked "Can I give you a hand?". Or one day I was sitting at the tram station, when one of my few Australian friends got off the tram and hurried to his class, but as soon as he spotted me he slowed down, sat down next to me and wanted to know, how things were going. Also it is completely normal to wave the bus driver and say "Thank you!" when you get off the bus. Moreover, when you touch someone accidentally on the street, both say "Sorry" to each other. Just think of being on the subway in Vienna and you happen to touch someone unintentionally, then you apologise and either they would say "Passt scho!" and look grumpy, or they would responde nothing or you were lucky enough to have touched on of the 5 friendly people in Vienna that would responde a German kind of "No worries!" and smile at you. I know this example might be a bit oversubscribed, but right now that's how I feel about kindness in Austria. To me it seems that human interactions are much more valued in Australia than in Europe/Austria. I certainly won't start waving the 14A bus driver, which would be super weird, but I think you get an idea of what I am trying to say.
3) Collect moments not things!
Since, I am here on exchange my shopping habits changed so much. I only buy the things I love a 100%, because I would rather spend the money on travelling around. I think one thing that helps me spending not that much money on clothes or other materialistic things is the fact, that the amount of money I can spend is very limited, so it does not make fun to splurge and the other thing is that I only have 2 suitcases and I simply can't take that much home with me. But back home, without these two limitations, I really don't want to fall back into old patterns, especially old shopping patterns. I really don't want to know HOW much money I have spent on clothes that I never enjoyed wearing in the last two years in Vienna and my boyfriend could take all pieces of clothing, which are still in the closet in our flat and just throw them away (except for my winter coat and boots - I really need them when I get back :D ). And guess what? - I would not mind it at all. Right now I can't even remember which pieces are in there, because they have just become so unimportant to me and it's just crazy how many things we collect over the years, which we really do not need in our lives, especially not to be happy.