Belated Pre-Departure Thoughts
I’ve been in New Zealand for 2 weeks now, but this is the first chance I’ve had to post. Before I left I wrote down some things I was thinking amidst all the chaos of leaving, and I figured it’d be good to share these thoughts with anyone who might go through this in the future! So it’s a bit late, but here’s what was in my head before I flew to NZ:
Being on the verge of going abroad has had some interesting side effects that I was never really aware would happen until quite recently.
- My decision to go to New Zealand as opposed to, say, London or Germany or any of my other top choices was fueled mostly by the unlikelihood that I will ever be able to spend an extended period of time in such a place again. I’m sure that if I find myself with a large income and a large amount of free time at some point in the future (e.g. my round trip flight cost $2018, and it will entail over 24 hours of travel/waiting-in-airports time), I could manage a trip out to New Zealand, but when will I ever be able to actually live there again? I know I’ll certainly never again be a student there – this was my one chance to become as immersed in New Zealand culture as possible.
- Another reason I chose to go to New Zealand was because I know practically nothing about it – I have seen pictures of the astoundingly beautiful scenery within its borders, but apart from its famous appearance, I know little about the country. I have already been to Europe (see pictures below) and I know I will inevitably return one day, for far cheaper travel costs than going to NZ entails. I’d like to experience the newness that NZ holds for me.
Anyway, here’s what’s so weird about getting ready to leave the country for a semester:
– Since I’m only in the US for about half of my regular summer vacation, I didn’t bother finding a new job or taking classes or anything. So really, all I’ve been doing is attempting to hang out with as many people as I can, and otherwise a lot of nothing. Unfortunately, a common side effect of doing nothing productive is having a lot of free time to think about, or rather, stew in, all the worries I have about leaving for a relatively long time. Worries such as:
- Getting lost in the airport(s) [this will be my first time flying alone]
- Dying on one of the many flights I will be taking
- Not making friends
- Getting lost in Wellington (really, just getting lost anywhere. I’m not very good with directions)
- Failing school (probably won’t happen, but it’s an irrational fear)
- Losing touch with friends at home
Meanwhile, I’ve been having all these fears and such at the same time as I’ve been in this weird transitional month in which I don’t really know where I should be, or what I should be doing. To clarify: usually, summer is a time in which most of my friends either find some epic internship, job, volunteer work, class, etc… and normally, I would, too. Instead, I’ve got no responsibilities apart from planning for my trip, while everyone I normally hang out with is loaded with them. It’s disconcerting.
So in order to combat this, I’ve been keeping busy, making list after list of things I should/just want to get done before I go. But too much list-making has an eerie quality to it. Not a fan.
I kind of just want these next few weeks before I go to be done already, and I can’t wait to be on my way to Wellington.