Arriving in New Zealand

Hello,

This is going to be a loooooong post! I suddenly decided 3 weeks into my travels that I will be blogging, so I have a lot to share! But where to start…?

Last month was a very stressful time. I had so many things to complete before leaving: papers, online portfolios, subleasing my apartment, applying for jobs, preparing for my travels abroad, and the list goes on and on and on. Not to mention all the quick goodbyes (more like see you laters! Also, I totally apologize for those I didn’t get to see before leaving 😦 so so so sorry). I was so overwhelmed and busy that I didn’t even have time to understand that I was really leaving abroad. Like, REALLY leaving for months…!

11077576_10205329559776774_2094134156_nIt wasn’t until I was at the airportΒ when I realized it. My family was waving goodbye to me and I couldn’t help but feel my heart squeeze a little. I definitely went to the bathroom and cried for a few minutes like a big baby. That was when I actually realized today was the first day I was going abroad ALONE. I mentioned in the first blog post that I have been to other countries. This was different. Before, I had either lived in another country with family or visited family with family. My travels abroad were always with my family. Maybe it isn’t that big of a deal, but it was a hard and fast realization for me.

Some mountains flying over Colorado!
I flew from Minneapolis, MN to Los Angeles, CA for my first flight. Here is a view of some Colorado mountains!

The plane ride to New Zealand was fine. I loved the outfits the flight attendants wore with the purple and black patterns–it was wild. I wish I could have snapped a photo. Only downfalls to my flight were not being able to lie down (hardcore neck cramps) to actually sleep and the guy next to me. Now, I paid for a seat in the very back because it’s closest to the bathrooms, has more room, and most likely wouldn’t get picked. In a row of five seats, there was the guy on the second seat in from the left and myself to the very right outer seat. During the entire trip, he laid down on fourΒ of the seats. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, but it would have been nice to alternate or something… Anyway, the food was good and I was able to watch The Judge, some Big Bang Theory, and Big Hero 6.

The international program that I’m going through is set up to where I will stay with a host family. I met some of my host family upon arrival (around 7:00 am) and then the rest of them after school (the children). I forced myself to stay up the entire day so that I could push my body to get used to the time zones (New Zealand is 18 hours ahead of the U.S.). It was a good day to experience some sights and DRIVING! In the U.S., we drive on the right side of the road and the left side of the car. Well, in New Zealand, it is the complete opposite! Even to this day I am still getting used to this change. Very different I have to say!

I also visited the school and got to meet a lot of people. The way people speak here is so fascinating to me (I will be posting a page with all of the new terms and phrases I hear)! I started to grow fond of the principal, teachers, and practicum students as I spend my time at my placement (location will be kept confidential for several reasons). In a few weeks, I will be posting more about my experiences in the New Zealand schools. I am now leaving for spring break (or holidays as they say in New Zealand) to tour the South Island and some of the North Island–VERY excited for my upcoming travels! Time to pack…

Cheers,

Jess

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