Truthbutter

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.

Getting our wheels made me feel better, because our rental car will essentially be our home for the next week, and it gives us freedom to move around and sort of keep our stuff organized and in one place. And I really did miss driving, although I can’t say my left-side driving skills are impeccable yet.

We stopped to grocery shop before heading to our hostel, and that lifted my spirits significantly, oddly enough. The supermarket and the whole shopping center had a really nice vibe (way better than Coles and Kardinya in Murdoch, which is what I’d been used to), and something about performing a simple task like food shopping is extremely comforting when everything else is unfamiliar and a little overwhelming. Plus, I like food. And I bought chocolate. And kiwis.

Sarah and I both continued to be amazed by the beauty of Queenstown as we drove to our hostel, checked in, and figured out parking (never fun). Then we finally got to cook and eat, which also made me feel better, especially since the hostel kitchen is super inviting and well-equipped and massive. And now I have leftovers, which makes me happy.

After we ate, we walked around the lake and the city and sort of watched the sunset, although we couldn’t see too much because of the mountains. But it was still gorgeous (albeit a little chilly), and the city itself is just so inviting and pleasant and surrounded by so much beauty. And there are trees that look like weeping willows everywhere. Weeping willows have always been my favorite tree, so I want to find out whether that’s actually what they are. Regardless, I love them.

On our way back to the hostel, we saw a sign for free fudge tasting, so we popped into the fudge shop and tried about ten different types of fudge, all of which were fantastic. Oddly enough, I think the kiwi nougat fudge may have been my favorite, if only because it was so different. It also had an unusual texture and felt a little like eating bubble gum, and since you’re not supposed to swallow bubble gum, eating the fudge made me feel slightly rebellious. I’m such a rebel.

Between the fudge tasting, scenery, and random comforts like having groceries and a car, I’m feeling pretty okay tonight, but I still miss my Murdoch friends like crazy, and now that I’m not even in Australia anymore, I’m just missing the country itself. Especially the weather. Did I mention it’s a bit cold in Queenstown? Anyway, I’m glad I have NZ to dampen the blow of leaving Australia a little, because if I can manage to be sad while looking out our hostel at the view in the top picture, I can’t imagine how I’d be feeling if I’d had to go straight home.

By the way, I’m going hang-gliding tomorrow morning. I’m a little excited.

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