Guess what…

I’m moving to New Zealand!

These may be the five most exciting and terrifying words I’ve ever said to anyone.

I am. I really am moving to New Zealand. I have a ticket, I have a visa and I have a vague plan about what I’m going to do and where I’m going to live.

Commence with the panicking.

Okay, I’m not panicking. At least not that much. This is my first foray into “real life” after graduating from college – everything is so new. It’s exhilarating but also nerve-wracking. I am way out of my comfort zone.

I am also over-the-top excited. I keep having these moments where I want to get on a plane that instant just so I can hike a trail I found in a guidebook or try some of the ice cream I’ve read so much about.

I decided to move to move to another country sometime during the summer before my senior year of college or, as I like to call it, the summer of “What are you going to do with your life?” The panic of needing to figure out the next 10 years set in as people kept asking me what I planned to do. It was like applying to college as a freshman again, except instead of listing off the schools I’d applied to, I had to tell people what mature, adult decision I was making.

IMG_3699

Here I am looking out of a castle door in Ireland.

I was having trouble making that mature, adult decision. I was so burnt out from school that even thinking about applying to graduate school made me want to cry hysterically. And getting a job and working my way up the food chain also did not sound appealing at that moment. I needed something different than the last eight years of slogging through AP classes and standardized tests.

One of my happiest times during my college career was studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I was directly enrolled in Trinity College, which meant I not only got to know the Americans I was studying abroad with but also the Irish.

During my six month stint in Europe I traveled to seven other countries, sometimes by myself, sometimes with a group. I loved exploring new cities and getting to know the people. And, of course, eating my way through plates of pasta and bars of chocolate.

As I tried to figure out what to do once I graduated, I kept coming back to Ireland and the amazing time I’d had traveling.

And so I decided to travel.

So far my plan is this — I’m starting in New Zealand for eight months or so (although I’ve heard once you’re there it’s hard to leave) and then moving on to Australia for the same period of time. While in New Zealand and Australia I’ll be (hopefully) working and getting to know these countries. After that I want to backpack through Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Japan, and then maybe I’ll find my way home. Maybe.

We shall see what happens. First I have to pack all of my clothing into one suitcase and take a 13-hour plane to Auckland. Wish me luck!

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