South Island: Screams, Sightseeing, and Breathtaking Scenery
Exam period is still lulling on, but since I had the first week free, I’ve just returned from the beautiful Queenstown. It was only a short flight down to one of the most southern-most points in NZ, but the snow-covered mountains, crisp air, and clear-blue lakes felt like a world away from Auckland. The first day I conquered my fear of heights by bungy jumping…something I never foresaw myself doing. Taking the plunge wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought on a ledge surrounded by the beautiful Queenstown. It was truly exhilarating, and I am so glad I had the experience. If there is one thing I can take from my semester abroad into the professional world is a new found ability to “jump” at opportunities as they come my way, not to mention the incredible experience of independence I’ve gained being 9,000 miles across the globe from anyone I’ve known for longer than 4 months. You can never go wrong by seizing opportunities as they come your way, as well as making opportunities for yourself.
The next day, we ventured down to Milford Sound. Despite a long bus ride and cloudy skies, the sound was truly breathtaking. The fiord (misnamed by Capt. Cook) is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations, and I feel blessed to have experienced it. With windy roads and a scary tunnel through a mountain, the remote location truly makes you feel small and insignificant in the world.
It’s hard to believe the semester is nearly over, but I will be coming home with an arsenal of skills for tackling the “real world” after graduation. My independence and self-sufficiency surprises me everyday. I can plan a trip to Fiji, budget a weekly food bill, and still do well in my courses. I feel organized, and I feel excited about trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing all that the world has to offer me.