I am a child again. I first got this feeling flying off the back of the boat in Paihia and dangling in the air next to Terri and Michael looking at the huge ocean below us. The feeling you get when you get lost in the moment and all since of stress and worry no longer exist. I got lost in that moment and I think for the first time was able to truly just live for in it. This feeling solidified during my day trip to the hot springs in Christchurch. Willingly hiking up the side of a mountain alone but following a group of my peers and getting lost in my own thoughts. The memories of playing in the woods next to the big tall pine trees and standing on top of huge rocks flooded back to me.
At a young age, I had a lot of hardship as well as a lot of weight and responsibility being placed on my shoulders making me the way I am today. Someone who tries to plan their entire life out to avoid unwanted surprises and doesn’t open up to people very quickly. I didn’t like to “go with the flow,” or “follow another’s lead unless I had complete confidence in them until this trip. This trip has brought back “a child’s mindset,” in regards to freely following and not always anticipating the future. A child who only wanted to explore the world around her, whether it was by herself or alongside friends. The sense of dependency on others and not wanting to be alone in fear of missing out on being part of something interesting or memorable has disappeared. This is a feeling that before now, I don’t know if I could describe to someone else. I never expected anything more than to have an adventure in a foreign country, but I have found so much more. I’ve discovered a whole new side of myself I didn’t even know I was missing and I can’t wait to see what else I discover about myself and all my new friends in the weeks to come.