Pre-Trip Jitters

Kia ora family and friends! That’s the Kiwi greeting of welcome and good health. See, I haven’t even left yet and we have already learned something new. Well, I’ve done it. I’ve made a blog. And while this isn’t my first venture into glorified virtual journaling, it is the first time it hasn’t been mandatory. I’m actually looking forward to communicating this way *gasp!* as it seems blogging has found its place in the world for me in the form of travel writing. So for the sake of sanity I have taken the plunge. And why not, right? It certainly is convenient when I am continually finding myself in the time-zone conversation where both parties are trying to figure what time it will be when I’m in country X and you will be in state Y and who will be ahead of whom and when do you have to work and when do I have class etc. It can be mind boggling because, yes, the world is just that big after all. This way I can post when I can and if you were to feel so inclined you could respond with a comment or email or Facebook poke in turn.

Today I’m headed to New York to spend a few days with my parents in the city before it is time to get on a plane at JFK, fly to LAX, and then onward to Auckland, New Zealand for my semester abroad! As most of you know, I love Loyola. I’ve found a great niche there and (I know it’s clichéd to say it but…) I can’t believe how fast it’s going by! That being said, I have to admit that as first semester junior year rolled by I became increasingly more ready and anxious for a new adventure. After an incredibly long and relaxing break since mid-December it is finally time for me to go. It has taken a LONG time for it to actually sink in that I’m leaving, but it’s hit me. I took a trip to Loyola to catch up with my friends, especially the ones who were abroad last semester. Seeing them was fantastic and saying goodbye made the closeness of my departure inescapable.

I’m mixed with feelings of excitement and a little bit of nervousness (if any of you know what I’m like the night before the first day of school you will understand this perfectly). I know I’ll be able to handle anything my 4 classes can dish out. And with a jam-packed to-do list of things like sky diving, bungee jumping, ice climbing, and zorbing (more on that in a latter post) and time to email, Skype, and blog, homesickness should really be an issue. So what am I worried about? I couldn’t tell ya. But I’ll have a nice long plane ride to get over it. Once I do finally arrive, crossing the International Date Line and thus completely skipping the 15th (weird!) and landing bright and early on the 16th, I’ll have an awesome weekend trip to the Bay of Islands waiting for me followed by a week of on-campus orientation to get me settled in. I feel better just typing about
it. I don’t have class on Wednesdays so since I’ll be doing most of my adventuring on the weekends I’m aiming to make that my “keeping in touch” day. I’m kind of notorious for being bad at that so here’s hoping this fancy-smancy blog keeps me going! So if you’re around on a Wednesday and want to catch up, check out the usual social media outlets and you may just find me there.

I’ll see you on the other side of the world!

I figured it may be fun to end each blog with a little something fun, like a new Kiwi word or custom that I find particularly intriguing along with photos (if I can figure out how to post them up there). But, since I haven’t left yet I can’t really do that! So I’ll leave you with this: I accidentally discovered this song during my vacation time. I caught a bit of it on TV and driven by curiosity, and perhaps slight boredom, I looked it up and what-do-ya-know, it’s a song about NZ by a new Kiwi group. It’s a little different (kinda reminds me of the House theme song…) but I really like it. Enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPvbbH0eIXw
Fun fact: Aotearoa is what the Maori call NZ. It means “land of the long white cloud”.

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