Zealous for New Zealand

Oh, wow, where do I even begin?

My whole life, I’ve known I would study abroad. Where I was going has varied– for a while, up until pretty last minute, it was Spain. I’d planned to become fluent in Spanish and eat paella until I turned saffron-colored myself. But even when I didn’t know where I was going, I knew I was going. It was never a question.

Europe was the frontrunner place to be. From Europe, I could travel all over and see so many different countries, eat so many different foods, visit so many friends. I’d be able to reconnect with people I knew who lived there, people I hadn’t seen for years and years. But at the last minute, I decided against Europe. New Zealand seemed to be the hot place to be among people I knew from school, people who enjoyed the same types of activities that I love so much. So here I am.

But not for long. In just a few short hours, I’ll be on a plane back to Auckland, and then to LA, and then to New York. I’ll be leaving behind my flatmates (the two who are staying, at least), my friends, my mountains. It still hasn’t quite sunken in, even as I sit alone in my flat, two of my flatmates having left already.

This was my semester abroad. This was the semester I’ve been looking forward to my whole life. And I mean that. I’ve been looking forward to it my whole life. When I was younger, Mom always talked about her semester in London. What amazing memories she had. I talked about going abroad, dreamed about it, as if it were always so far away. And now I’ve done it, and it’s over.

I can’t wait to get home. I have such an incredible summer lined up for me. I’ll be back in the hospital working with the neurosurgeon, and I truly love my job there. I’ll be visiting lots of friends and many friends will be visiting me. I’ll be going back up to Colgate for a couple of days, and oh how I have missed it. I’ll be training for another half marathon, melting away in the heat. I’ll be learning how to surf (hopefully), going backpacking (and I may have to start calling it backpacking again, since people at home won’t take too kindly to “tramping.”), watching the Daily Show and the Colbert Report being filmed (several times each). I’ll be reunited with my best friends and my dog, all of whom I’m so so so excited to see. And on top of that, all the litte things, like driving on the righthand side of the road, eating pre-made yogurt, doing my dishes in the dishwasher. I’ve been here a while. I realized that today when I sent a text to a friend and spelled “realize” “realise” without even thinking about it. I can’t wait to be home.

But then it will really be over. What else will I have my whole life to look forward to? I’m excited to leave now, but why? I know that as soon as I step out of the plane in New York, and probably even in LA, I’ll miss the cold I’ve complained so much about. I’ll wish I could go back.

You’re all going to ask me about my favorite part of the experience. I’ll spend some time thinking about it while I’m on the plane because I just can’t tell you that now. I know I’ve written about a lot of my adventures, but there’s so much that I can’t put into words. Words wouldn’t give these experiences justice. That phase, when you voluntarily ask me about New Zealand, will last a few weeks, I’m sure, but then it will stop. I’ll probably talk about it more than you wish to hear about it, and for that, I apologize ahead of time. Those of you who have been abroad, I’m sure you know the feeling, when you start sensing people wish you would just shut up about it.

Over the semester, I’ve been following a bunch of my friends’ trips in Europe, looking at photos they’ve posted. It seems like they’ve all had a blast. There have been times I’ve been a little jealous, like over Spring break, when a bunch of them met up and toured the continent together. But then I remembered: I’m in New Zealand. Where else on earth would I rather be than here? I do not regret my choice to come here one bit. It was the right decision.

So here we go. I’ll probably have a couple more posts to add, especially if the journey home is anywhere near as eventful as the journey to get here (see my first few posts about the adventure starting before I got here and the wild TSA). But for the most part, I’m done. I have been zealous for New Zealand, and I will be for the rest of my life, I can assure you.

But here’s the fun news: I’m not done writing. I’ve had such a good time with these posts (as I’m sure you can tell by the sheer quantity I’ve written), that I want to continue. I don’t yet know what I’ll call it or even what the theme will be. Maybe it’ll just be a continuation of little things that pop into my mind, just about life in general. Not sure yet. If you have any ideas, let me know. I’d like to hear your suggestions.

But here comes the better news, for those of you who care: I’ve decided to turn this blog into publishable material. It’s been on my lifetime bucket list to publish something, anything. I’ve tried a couple of times, but I always get bored or lose motivation or decide it’s not good enough and stop. I know a lot of you probably won’t ever come back to this page, but I’ve had such a good time writing it, and so many people have visited and commented and made me believe it really is fun to read that I’ve decided to edit the hell out of it take it a step past blog. I’m not sure how I’ll do it yet. I’ve been reading Bill Bryson’s book about Australia and have been pretty inspired by his writing. It’s daunting to think about, but I’ll talk to some people and figure it all out.

I’m telling you this because now I can’t back out. Now you’re expecting something.

Anyway, I guess that’s a wrap for a now. Wish me luck on my extremely long journey back home. I’ll see you soon!!

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4 thoughts on “Zealous for New Zealand

  1. Hope to see you in GB. The boat is waiting for you. Great idea to continue with the blog and take it as far as you can.

  2. Will miss you! have a safe journey home, skype me when you miss NZ =P and if you do ever publish your blog in book form please send me a copy! Penzy!

  3. Oh, by the way, we’ve moved. (Just kidding!) But in honor of your return from NZ, Lucky no longer looks like a sheep…he’s been shorn. Can’t wait to see you!!!

  4. again, you equate me with your dog. but at least “best friend[s]” came before. so you got lucky there, missy!!
    happy to hear you had such a good time in NZ, but I’m going to be selfish and say i’m just really happy youre coming home. LOVE YOU BABY GIRL

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