Time seems to greatly speed up when you find yourself in another country. I have been in New Zealand for 12 days now, but I feel like I landed just yesterday. No one in my group ever knows what day of the week it is or how long we’ve been here. We start our days early and pass out each night and then do it all over again. It’s like we’re in a never-ending loop of chaos and spontaneity.

This routine of no routine has been exhilarating and exhausting. In these two weeks, I’ve been all over New Zealand. I’ve been to Sheep World, Hobbiton, and countless islands. I’ve learned about the Maori culture, the New Zealand government, and what really good Thai food tastes like. Every town is different than the next, but all are home to laid-back, kind people. In the beginning, I felt this pressure to constantly be on the move to take in all I could of this breathtaking nation. I’ve finally learned to rest.

I’m in Christchurch now where half of us have been knocked down by a nasty cold. We forgot to rest among all the busyness. I had to tell myself to not feel guilty for taking for time for myself. I needed to miss out on some city exploration so I could refuel. And it was worth it. I started the next day ready to go.

In two weeks, I now know to expect the unexpected and go along with the ride. There is adventure everywhere you look. On the other hand, I see now that you must balance this lifestyle with self-care. Don’t feel bad for saying no so you can regain energy. So, rest up and then run after all the fun a new country holds when you’re ready.