Finally! After a year of waiting I leave for the airport at 7 a.m. to go on my adventure of a lifetime. An experience that anyone I have ever spoken to always says they wish they had done. I am studying abroad in New Zealand for 7 months!
Traveling to New Zealand has always been a dream of mine, a sort of ridiculous dream that has risen out of a love for beautiful nature and my extreme love of Lord of the Rings. I grew up reading and watching this series, I even have a tattoo of a quote from them! So, at the very least, you can say it has influenced my life greatly.
This trip has been a long time coming, to say I am ready for it is an understatement. Over a year ago I realized that my school, Appalachian State University, offered study abroad programs in New Zealand and I decided to see if I would be accepted. Out of tons of applicants, I was selected along with another girl. It was astonishing and I was speechless, I immediately called my mom and started planning. Fast forward about 6 months and everything was set but I was struggling with immense physical pain which was leading to psychological pain. I didn’t know what to do but I knew if I went 8,000 miles away that I would be absolutely miserable and would come home without enjoying this gift so I decided not to go. It was heartbreaking for me and, at this time, I didn’t think I was going to get to go at all. Eventually, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and started testing ways to deal with and I got it to a manageable position. New Zealand would creep back into my mind and I reached out to see if it was possible to go the next semester. TL;DR I got everything sorted and am able to go now! I am going to get to do so many amazing things thanks to my parents giving me confidence and putting me in the position to be able to do this and I will never be able to thank them enough.
I am doing a bus tour of the entire country this coming month and will try my best to keep everyone updated with beautiful pictures and the like but wi-fi is somewhat unreliable in New Zealand due to how rural the country can be. I love everyone here and will miss them greatly but I cannot wait to be there and enjoying this wondrous planet and all it has to offer!