After the most whirlwind month of my life, I’ve finally made it home. It’s honestly somewhat difficult to absorb everything that’s happened, including that I’m back in Alabama. When I got off the flight and saw my parents, it was a wonderful feeling; however, after traveling for almost 24 hours, everything was a little bit fuzzy and I was mostly just ready to go to bed. Now that I’ve gotten turned back around, I’ve really started to miss New Zealand. It might be strange to miss a place I visited for such a short period of time, but nonetheless I think that I will always carry a part of New Zealand with me.
This trip has changed me. Not completely, of course, but something is definitely different than when I first stepped off the plane in Auckland. I’ve learned a great deal about myself: how I socialize with people, what I do and don’t like in a roommate, how to balance social and alone time. These things you can’t help but learn when staying in close quarters with the same people for a month. On the other hand, I also grew personally, out of choice. I talked to more people than I ever have before, I’ve become more sure of myself, and I’m less afraid to relax and be myself around others.
There have been a few things that I’ve had to re-adjust to now that I’m back home. Mostly just the small things, but they do still throw me off sometimes; things like how you have to order water at restaurants instead of having it sitting out in a pitcher, driving again (on the correct side of the road), not being able to get an L&P soda whenever I want, etc. I’ve also had to get used to Americans again, in a general sense. People tend to be much louder and more outspoken here, as well as having slightly different expectations, but I’m sure that in time I’ll re-adjust.
I can’t describe how incredible this experience has been. Getting to explore a country on the other side of the world with twenty complete strangers isn’t something I think I’ll ever get to do again, but if I were given the chance, I would take it in a heartbeat.
Take risks, get uncomfortable, and go find your adventure.