We love hearing from our alumni, but we especially love alumni engagements. Brianna (Breezy) and Tyler studied abroad in Australia in 2011, and will be getting married next summer, the same week they met five years before.
What made each of you decide to study abroad in Australia?
Breezy: Wanderlust has been an innate feeling for me since my very first plane ride to Florida when I was young. Unfortunately, Florida was the farthest I was able to travel while growing up, so I knew I wanted to take advantage of a study abroad program in college. When it actually came down to it, I was deciding between Italy, a destination many of my Babson College peers were pursuing, and Australia – a country halfway across the world that I knew would be extremely difficult to get to on my own, especially once real-life responsibilities hit.
Tyler: The reason that I chose Fiji and Australia was because they’ve each been on my bucket list since I was a little kid. When I found the AIFS program – there was no way I could pass up the opportunity. Australia is full of culture, art, and amazing people. This was my one opportunity to drop everything and travel across the world with a group of people with the same mind set as me. How could I say no to that!?
(Aside from your relationship) What was your biggest takeaway from study abroad?
Breezy: The very first piece of advice our study abroad advisor gave us upon arrival was, “It’s not weird, it’s just different!” I feel that I’ve embodied this mentality since the beginning of the program, and it is something that will always stick with me. Try looking at something you’re not accustomed to as intriguing, as new, as exciting, and an opportunity, rather than ‘weird.’ It will change the way you see the world.
Tyler: Being able to fully experience a completely different culture, by actually living in it for an extended amount of time, has had a major impact on the way I now live my life. Studying abroad has changed my life in so many positive ways, and it really was the greatest decision I have ever made. It has changed who I am for the better, and I would recommend studying abroad and AIFS to everyone!
What is your favorite memory together from study abroad?
Picking just one memory just doesn’t do it justice – every day brought new experiences, new people, and a new found love for travel and adventure. One memory of note would be our two-week spring break RV trip up the east coast, during which we fit six people into a four-person van….and we slept in it! We loved this experience in particular because we didn’t really plan out our trip – we just went, and the spontaneity of the whole thing made for some priceless memories.
Have you traveled together since study abroad?
We have made a conscious decision to travel together at least once a year, instead of buying Christmas gifts for one another. And hopefully our yearly travels will include one place we haven’t been before!
Last year we went to Disney World, come on, who isn’t in love with that place? It was our first real ‘trip’ together since Australia, and we can’t wait to get back. Disney is the perfect place for travel lovers and those who will always be true children at heart.
We hope (and it comes up often) that we will get back to Australia some day. I (Breezy) would love to be able to take Ty to the Great Barrier Reef – not only because it’s just a truly breathtaking place, but also because he wasn’t able to go on the Great Barrier Reef excursion with the rest of us while we were there.
Will you incorporate Australia, your friends from study abroad, or anything else from the experience in your wedding?
Well first and foremost – our close study abroad friends will most definitely be at our wedding. In fact, two of them are actually going to be in our wedding party.
We’ve also decided to have our wedding on July 15 – the same week we met on our way to Australia.
Would I like to incorporate live kangaroos, crocodile meat appetizers, schnitzel, and boxed wine into the reception? Of course! But we’ll see what we’re able to make work.
Can’t you picture us walking down the aisle to ‘Down Under’ by Men at Work?