Well that’s it, folks! My semester abroad in New Zealand has come to an end, and as I reflect on my past few months and all of the amazing things I had the crazy opportunities to accomplish, I realized that I’ve learned quite a few things about myself and about New Zealand. Let’s discuss:
1. I can live in any space and make it home no matter how big or small.
2. It doesn’t matter how bushed I am after a long day, if I come home and find a spider in my room, I will wage full on war against it.
3. Airplanes hate me.
4. Tim Tams and L&P are some of the best culinary delights to grace the world with their presence and the United States is SEVERELY missing out!
5. I love to bake, but I hate to cook.
6. Farmers markets give me a thrill that I can’t quite describe!
7. I’m not a fish person. I can’t handle it.
This video primarily features me snorkelling at Goat Island. It wasn’t until I was out of the water that I realized I had been hyperventilating the entire time. …I really don’t like swimming with fish.
8. I cannot keep a plant alive.
Wrigley (and Al Toid) Update #5: I am sad to report that my mint plants, Wrigley and Al, have died in what appears to be a joint murder-suicide. As you all are very much aware, Wrigley had been fighting for quite some time, even at one point harnessing Al's youth and passion for life quite literally, as Wrigley went full homicidal and actively began invading Al. I never anticipated the two getting so close that they would choose to end their little plant lives in tandem. …or I could have just watered them more and put them in an area which got more sunlight. …nawwww I prefer making up elaborate lives and storylines to inanimate plants I am very clearly incapable of caring for. #RIPWrigley #RIPAlToid
9. Getting movies a day ahead or a month behind the United States sucks. If you see it early (Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse), you can’t discuss anything with friends back home, and if you see it late (Zootopia), no one cares anymore!
10. Internet spoilers are the worst. Looking at you, Oscars, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Bates Motel, and Game of Thrones!
11. Books are beautiful creations that I have largely ignored in favor of their younger cousin, Netflix.
12. I am a faux-coffee drinker, meaning I like sugary nonsense that barely qualifies as coffee.
13. I am Murray from Flight of the Conchords.
It’s true. I’ve discovered that I am incredibly optimistic with little regard for logic. Oh, and I got to see Rhys Darby perform live standup, and I laughed so hard that I stopped breathing for a little bit!
14. I will jump from any height without issue…
15. …unless my legs are bound together.
That plastered on smile? The sunken shoulders? The awkward squat? Prime “I Don’t Like What’s Happening to Me” behavior!
16. Grace the Horse has an attitude problem and must be stopped.
This is Grace. I rode atop her on a majestic beach. She hated me and was unafraid to show it.
17. Desert dwellers cannot expect to immediately be good surfers. …like I did.
18. Hot air balloons are pretty much my favorite things, and I wil always find a way to locate them!
19. Rugby is SO much better than American football.
I went to my first rugby game today and I must say, I LOVE it! I got to see the All Blacks not only win against Wales, but also perform their famous Haka! I tell you what, if I saw those gentlemen coming my way with that chant, I could tell you immediately where I would NOT be! 🇳🇿🇳🇿🇳🇿 #AllBlacks #Rugby #Haka #ABRugby
20. I belong in a lake town!
21. KIWI BIRDS ARE MAGICAL CREATURES.
22. If I was being chased by a tiger in the wilderness…I’d just stop running and accept my fate.
23. I am claustrophobic in caves…
24. …unless they happen to contain magical glow worms!
And on a more serious note…
25. New Zealand has some of the most beautiful places I have ever witnessed.
26. I have met some of the most amazing people on my travels that I am genuinely honored to have encountered.
27. The Maori people have a beautiful culture that deserves respect and protection.
28. This planet is full of wonders that need to be conserved.
29. Film and theatre has the ability to be a shared, international experience and should always be treated as such.
30. My life has been genuinely enriched by having lived for half a year in a foreign country!
All photos by author. Gifs from giphy.com