Welcome mostly family, token friends, and those people I went to high school with whose vague memories of me prompted them to follow the link.  This (hopefully) will be the most boring post on my blog because it’s only here to tell you all I am studying abroad. (!)

I created this blog two years ago and in the end wrote one post, attributable to lack of motivation and subject.  Now, cue the Spongebob sign, two years later I have them. Living in and exploring a foreign country for five months seems like a fine subject to me, and letting my mom know I’m still alive is always a great motivation.

So if you’re reading this, it means I’ve made it successfully to New Zealand! I survived the 12.5 hour flight and didn’t get fined $400 at customs (apparently this legitimately  happens if you forget about the fruit in your bag. They really don’t want your apples and bananas).  They do take away your tent (among other outdoor equipment) into a top secret room to inspect it. It’s nice to see that some countries still care about protecting their natural environments.

Before I head down to the mountains of the South Island and to my temporary home of Christchurch, I currently find myself in Auckland.  No one else from my orientation group has arrived yet, so my flight buddy-friend and I spent the day roaming Auckland. The best part was, we didn’t have anywhere in mind.  We were a little intimidated by the sheer varieties of buses and the price of Uber so we stuck to walking today; tomorrow is the day for buses.  We found neat parks filled with trees draping over the paths, tucked into the University of Auckland campus. We found an amazing ice cream shop that elaborately topped your ice cream according to your flavors. We eventually found the coast and a port for ferries that reminded me a lot of San Francisco, with big slabs of cement modernized for people to gather.

Though Auckland slightly reminds me of San Francisco, it’s definitely its own city.  When I think of cities, I immediately imagine SF’s skyscrapers (sorry New York), but Auckland seems to have fewer of those. Instead it favors more uniquely designed buildings, like ones with overlapping window frames or zig-zags of metal down the sides.  It also has a European touch, with older stone buildings tucked between the frames of metal and glass.  The buildings don’t really “match” but that would be one hell of a boring city.

It still hasn’t quite hit me that I’m nearly 7,000 miles from home. Perhaps its all of the nice people or just reality setting in, but I’m not nearly as nervous as I was to jump feet-first into a foreign country. I suppose I’m more curious, now that I’m here and can physically see this beautiful place I’m going to be living in.  It’s a similar environment, as in they still have McDonald’s and Lush, but it’s different enough to make me feel slightly off balance. I don’t want to be that American abroad. I’d rather try to do what the locals do and find my balance here, in new routines, new habits, new brands of peanut butter. We’ll see how far it takes me. Me, the quiet kid and definite introvert, who is ready for an adventure. But don’t be intimidated by that word, as we still know how to have a good time, but on our own terms.

Now some people might throw in an inspiring quote here and I am one of those people. But since I am in the land of Lord of the Rings, I find it necessary to end all of my posts with a quote from Lord of the Rings or Tolkien.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R Tolkien.

Since I’m now in the dangerous business of stepping out my door, I can’t wait to see where my feet take me or even where the roads sweeps me too.  All in the name of a good adventure. And ice cream. Here’s what they served us:








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