Well here I am, back in upstate NY after a good five months on the other side of the world.
It’s sort of funny that the one thing that every and anybody wants to know right off the bat is “How was it?”… Taking that question into consideration on the spot, about half a million experiences, faces, lessons, landscapes: memories… everything that I gained while in New Zealand runs through my head, and with a deep breath the only thing that I can respond with is something along the lines of, “Great!” With a smile.
Even stepping back and taking the time to write about what I’ve taken out of New Zealand is very difficult, and I’ve got to say that I’m rather pleased that I kept a journal with me while over there! Study abroad, I imagine, opens up different opportunities for each individual who goes, and likewise each person takes out what they learn for themselves, depending on where they are at that time in their life, and can reflect on it in their own way…
However, something that I’m sure holds some similarities for most travellers is the leaving and returning… I had a very difficult goodbye to say to New Zealand: friends and home. But when considering how meaningful each goodbye and everything that seemed at the time like a loss was, the experience was, at the same time, pretty spectacular to be able to experience… My mom has always said, “It’s better to leave a place before you’re ready than stay too long” afterall, which is so true! I’d rather only have great things that are drawing me back to a place to remember than simply remember wanting to leave. I mean, who would really want that for a memory?
I returned to the US in a state of exhaustion, emotional drain and lack of sleep, but I was welcomed by a friend of mine in the LA airport whose sight cheered me up instantly! I was in my home country again! The first thing that I remember noticing was the sound of what seemed to be an all around exaggerated American accent- everywhere! And then I noticed how slowly the clouds were moving across the sky compared to the constantly fast moving sky of Wellington- the windy city!
Since I returned to the States, I’ve continued to notice a number of other differences between places, caught up on a whole lot of necessary sleep, and I’ve slowly re-acclimated to the hot weather! Though I didn’t return home right away, it’s taken the past 2 1/2 to 3 weeks of being back in the states to feel fully recovered, and I’ve got to tell you, everybody was right! Now that I’m back and settled, I’m antsy as to go on another overseas adventure!
While I can’t tell you everything about New Zealand that I have experienced, I do hope that I’ve been able to do justice to the small, beautiful country down under.
Other than a thanks for reading my blog, I lastly want to tell ANYBODY who is considering study abroad to do it. You will not have an experience and travel opportunity like it any other time!