So I’ve been home from New Zealand for 3 weeks now and everything feels “back to normal.” I miss the friends I made and I think about them all the time. I have stayed in contact with many of them and plan to keep that up! I helped keep the sadness of leaving away by surrounding myself constantly with friends from home. I’ve been able to see a lot of my friends from home and catch up and hear all about what I missed while I was away. Nobody particularly cares to hear much about New Zealand and that’s fine with me – I didn’t expect them to want to hear much about it. Of course everyone asks, “How was New Zealand?” and I give the short answer of, “It was amazing/awesome!” but there isn’t much to say beyond that because explaining everything would take hours. The best way I have been able to make people understand is to talk about how I made a whole new life there with real best friends and then it was suddenly taken from me in a flash. Suddenly it’s gone. It was not a vacation – I hate when people refer to it that way. It was 5 months of real life with real school and real people who are now my life-long friends. It wasn’t just some free vacation. I worked really hard to get myself there and pay for my time abroad. I earned it and I made the most of it and I couldn’t be happier about the time I had there.
This past weekend I met up with a study abroad friend in Cleveland and we drove to Maryland together to see 2 of our friends from New Zealand. I stayed at the home of one of my flatmates from New Zealand and it was amazing to see her again. I am glad we were able to make it work so soon after being home!
Traveling in the future will be that much better now that I have friends all around the country and all over the world. I can’t wait to keep traveling. I can’t wait to go to Spain and visit some of the friends I made there. I can’t wait until my friends visit me. Despite having to leave my friends in New Zealand, seeing them again has given me something awesome to look forward to!