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DelVal Blogs from Abroad: Adventure Awaits


Posted on September 7, 2015 by Thomas Rossman '17, a conservation and wildlife management major.

Courtesy: Thomas Rossman '17 Adventures in Australia

Hi! My name is Tom Rossman and this fall I’m studying at Griffith University on the Gold Coast of Australia. I’ll be here for one semester, and during that time, I plan to learn more about myself by accepting change, interacting with people from all over the world and trying new things. Check out my blog posts to follow along on my journey.


Thomas Rossman ’17

Back home I tended to live a pretty average life, almost cyclic in its habits. Since my arrival in Australia, I have been overcome with new experiences and adventures.

To start, I visited Byron Bay, where I was taught to surf. I was able to stand for just long enough to get excited and want to try again. After that, I went kayaking for the first time ever, and to top it off the destination was a small island out at sea. Trying to get a kayak over the surf is both a workout and a thrill. Being out in the middle of the ocean in a miniscule, easily flippable raft is also a thrill within itself knowing that Australia is known for its sharks! Aside from those exhilarating details, a storm was incoming and it made for harder rowing, bigger surf, and being soaking wet and cold before we even made it in the ocean. Because of that we didn’t get to the island, but I still have time to revisit it.  After my adventures in the water, I climbed up a huge mountain, where at the top a lighthouse stood, along with the most beautiful view I’ve seen to date. 

After Byron Bay, I went to Stradbroke Island where I did some more surfing, both on land and in the ocean. On both accounts I was successful at standing and allowing the power of nature carry me, although nature isn’t gentle, and occasionally I would fall (it hurt more on land though). 

The last big experience that is probably my favorite is the whale watching. To see these large, majestic organisms was amazing. They were the size of the boat I was on, but as gentle as a puppy. They would float on the surface of the sea and puff the water out of their blowholes. They would lie belly up and playfully smack the water with their pectoral fins. It was the greatest thing in the whole world to see and I loved every second of it. 

Australia has been nothing but kind to me, showing me the bountiful beauty of its almost primeval landscape and giving me the experiences of a lifetime. I’ve been here for only a little over a month and have already seen so much, and I know there are still more secrets to discover.