Catherine Marcarelli

"I consider my life to be one big journey, and this trip has definitely been a memorable, smaller journey within the larger framework.

My life has been pretty busy lately. After a very busy year of full time college classes, research projects, and an internship/job, I graduated from college on May 16th. One portion of my life's journey was finished as my post-college life began.

Given the economy, I had no idea what life after college would hold for me so I decided that, whether I found a job or not, I wanted to travel the summer after I graduated. I had been to London on a study abroad trip the summer before and loved it. I was ready and willing to engage in a similar experience. For the previous few years, I had been very interested in going to Australia. Added on to this was my desire to go back to school for photography or culinary arts. After some research into study abroad programs, I found this EOTO program, and it seemed like a perfect fit! I applied, got accepted, and was all ready to go! I was even blessed enough to find an awesome full-time post-graduation job that would allow me to come Down Under.

Everything fell into place and was going well until the flight over...then the real journey began. Homesickness combined with motion sickness mingled around in me as we took the bumpiest 15 hour flight in history! No sooner than we landed did I get sick...and have been sick every day since.

Despite the sickness, I have had such a good time full of laughter, lots of learning, and lots of hard work. Our instructors have been wonderful and insightful; my classmates have been supportive, and I know I am leaving here with a better understanding of Australian culture, especially Indigenous culture. I was very surprised and interested to see the evidences of life and survival in the outback...a place that many people associate with desolation and minimal amounts of life. As we travelled through, I loved seeing all the signs of life all around us: wild flowers, shrubbery, animals, and ancient and modern human life.

I am very sad to see this time end, but I know I am leaving Australia with twenty-some new friends, lots of new photographic knowledge, a new appreciation for Australian culture, and a heck of a lot of awesome photos!

I think I can say that I have left my mark in Australia (metaphorically speaking, of course), and Australia has definitely made its mark on me.

Both of my portfolios reflect my experience here as a ‘journey of survival’. My four-piece black-and-white portfolio is a narrative of my journey; from my entry in Australia, to my first timid steps here, to my wandering steps of searching, and finally to my adventurous embrace of the country and the impression that Australia and I both have made upon each other. My two-piece colour portfolio reflects my own survival down here as well as other evidences of survival that I found in the outback. The two colour photos included on this site are meant to be seen together as one piece. The two black and white photos are just two of six prints in the portfolio. I hope you enjoy."