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Monthly Archives: November 2014

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Thankful

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In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to share a few of the things I’m thankful for right now.

First, I’m thankful that I’m currently adventuring in New Zealand with a good friend. I realize that I’ve gotten to see more of the world than most people on this planet can even dream of, and I feel incredibly lucky. New Zealand is stunning, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to see it.

I’m also thankful that after I leave New Zealand, I get to return home to my amazing family. I’m thankful that no matter where I go or how long I’m gone, I can count on them to love me and support me and be excited to see me. It’s been a weird few months for me, in a way, because so few things in my life have been permanent or certain, and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that my family always has my back.

But right now, most of all, I’m thankful for the incredible semester I’ve just had in Perth, WA. I know I didn’t end up blogging very much during the actual semester, but a big reason for that is because my best Australia memories aren’t the type of memories that can really be put into words, and they certainly can’t be put into a blog post. Read more →

Happy Thanksgiving from New Zealand!

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Happy Thanksgiving! It feels weird to not be home with my family, but I had a pretty good day anyway.

It was a beautiful morning in Wanaka, and before we left, we went down to the lake to take some pictures. It was so windy! We had bought some ice to keep our food cold and were trying to put it into baggies at a picnic table in front of the lake, and our bags of ice were literally blowing away. It was kind of a struggle. But the view was great!

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Chillin’ and Drivin’ in NZ

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Not much happened today, but I’m trying to be consistent so…you get a blog post. It will probably be boring. Sorry.

I slept in till 9:30 this morning, which was fantastic. Then we got on the road again and drove from Te Anau to Queenstown, where we stopped for groceries. We also were pretty close to running out of gas (the light had been on for at least half an hour), but we made it, so that was a success!  Read more →

Milford Sound and Lake Marian

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Today was wet. Very wet.

Sarah and I had decided we wanted to do different tours of Milford Sound, so while she slept in a bit and did a cruise, I got up at 6am for my kayaking tour. We didn’t get on the water until probably close to 8:30 or 9, because there was a lot of suiting-up and demonstrations and organizing that needed to happen first. It was cloudy and chilly and a little drizzly today, which is pretty typical of Milford, but luckily all the gear they supplied kept me warm and reasonably dry. Read more →

Milford Road and Key Summit

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Queenstown

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So, this morning I jumped off the side of a mountain.

Well, it was more like running off it. This morning I ran off the side of a mountain. Sarah and I both had wanted to do something crazy and awesome in Queenstown, and neither of us were that thrilled with the idea of bungee jumping, so we decided on hang-gliding, and let me tell you: hang-gliding is awesome, and hang-gliding off of Coronet Peak in Queenstown is even more awesome. That must be what birds feel like all the time. Sometimes I wish I were a bird. Read more →

First day in New Zealand

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Well, I’m in New Zealand. I wasn’t really planning to blog while here, because our schedule is going to be so hectic, but there have been way too many emotions going on in my head today, so I decided to blog about it.

Getting here was a little rough. It sucked to leave Sydney, and even though it was far harder to leave Perth a week ago, leaving the entire continent of Australia for the foreseeable future made me sad all over again. And our flight was delayed and they changed the gate about a billion times, and it took forever to get through security and customs at both ends of the flight. So all that was a bummer.

But landing in Queenstown was so surreal. I swear the place doesn’t look real. No real place is this picturesque and quaint and peaceful. That, added to the simple fact of being in a new country, made me pretty excited, even though I was still heartbroken over Australia at the same time. Like I said: conflicting emotions. Read more →

The Red Center, and some study abroad pro-tips

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Pro-tip number one: don’t study abroad if you aren’t okay with leaving part of your heart behind when you have to leave. Because you will. And it sucks.

I left Perth and Murdoch University five days ago, and I already miss it so much it hurts. I know it will get easier with time, and part of the reason I had such an amazing experience is because we were all there for just a semester, so we made the most of it, but knowing that doesn’t really make saying goodbye less painful.

I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to do a guided tour of the outback immediately after leaving my home in Perth, but I guess it didn’t occur to me when I was booking it that all I’d want to do is be alone in a room with a few cats, a guitar, a piano, and some ice cream.

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Bali: Day 4 (plus being gluten free in Bali)

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The fourth day in Bali was when we did all our major sightseeing. Six of us rented a driver for the day (it only cost us $10 each, and we had him for almost 12 hours!), and he just drove us wherever we wanted to go! He didn’t speak too much English, and the first place he dropped us off we actually had no idea where we were or what we were supposed to do there. There was a little garden with some statues and what looked like little temples, so we just roamed around for a bit and then got back in the car to drive to the monkey forest.

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Bali: Days 2, 3, and 5

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On our second day in Bali, we did something that I thought was pretty random: we went to a water park.

It ended up being incredibly fun, and a perfect thing to do since it was so unbelievably hot and humid, but since I can go to a water park pretty much anywhere and I’ll probably only be in Bali once, it definitely seemed like an odd choice of activity.

We caught a few taxis to get there, which wasn’t difficult since you’ll probably see at least ten taxis within any given minute on a Bali street. The taxi drivers also constantly honk and shout “taxi” at you to let you know that they’re free, which got a little infuriating at times. But aside from almost melting on the drive there, we got to the water park in one piece. Read more →