Making the long trip around the world from Wagga Wagga to Europe, 16-year-old Tyson Hodge reflects on his adventure of a lifetime, representing the Indigenous Young Achievers side touring France and Italy.
Leaving Wagga Wagga to travel to Europe has been one of the biggest treks I have undertaken in my life. We were farewelled from Sydney on Sunday after roll call and introductions. The flights were very long, and we had to stop via Dubai. I slept ok which helped me with jet lag when we finally landed in Paris on Monday morning.
We didn't get too long to rest as we spent the day sightseeing and taking in popular attractions of Paris. Seeing the Eiffel tower and all the other historical sites of Paris has made me realise just how big the world really is compared to Wagga Wagga.
For me, meeting with some old friends and meeting new mates has been a highlight thus far.
On Tuesday, we were officially wlecomed at the Australian Embassy with a live cultural performance. Meeting the Consular General of France was a great experience. Nicolas Croizer was a friendly man and took time to speak to everyone and pose for photos.
Being at Villiers-Bretonneux on Armistice Day (Wednesday) and learning about the history of what the Australian serviceman and women did for the liberty and freedom for all is something we should never ever take for granted. Playing football on the day 100 years after the battle is a great eay to celebrate life and honour the real heroes in society. Playing on a 100-year-old battlefield hits home just how lucky we are today.
It's a packed schedule for us next week as we travel through Barcelona and Monte Carlo before arriving to Italy to take on the local side there. But tomorrow should be a really fun day for all of us as we're going to Euro Disneyland.
Follow NSWRL.com.au for all the latest on the once-in-a-lifetime journey.
The NSWRL's KARI Indigenous Young Achievers side is safe in France. The side is currently in Perpignan and has avoided the attacks in Paris. We appreciate the kind words.