I can’t believe I am writing about my last day on my New Zealand Holiday Tour! Not only did it take me a while to finish blogging about my holiday tour…but it’s crazy to reflect through writing on all of the memories, adventures, friends, and experiences I’ve gained. But before I get into the whole reflection part, there is still some things to say about Day 17!
First of all, we left Rotorua on our last Kiwi Experience bus ride to end in Auckland. Secondly, we stopped along the way to see a live kiwi bird, which was on my list of things to do! While being in New Zealand for about a month, I still hadn’t seen a kiwi bird! Well Day 17 was my chance and so I paid the NZ $10 and learned a lot about kiwis. I learned that these birds have human-hair-like bodies and cannot fly. They smell through the very end of their noses / beak and have very sturdy, strong legs. Kiwi birds are also quite large to my surprise. I thought they were little fist-sized birds but they can get up to the size of raccoon or possums! They are also quite frightened by noise and can move pretty quickly. These night creatures are definitely not cuddly animals so we weren’t able to touch any. Either way, I got to see a live kiwi (sorry for the lack of photos–photos weren’t allowed)!
After leaving the observatory, our last stretch to Auckland consisted of listening to music as Diana chatted it up with a cute European boy 😉 😉 😉 Unfortunately, he was leaving the next day for the Northern tip of New Zealand, but would be back in about a week. That’s another story Diana will have to share 😉 but anyways, once we arrived in Auckland, it was weird. It was pretty weird to be back where we started–back to where Diana and I met. Back to where we were such strangers and now travel companions, friends, yin and yang, and sisters. It would be totally weird not seeing each other everyday and teaching at our separate schools.
To make our sad ‘ending’ a cheery one, we decided to end as we started–enjoying some Giapo gelato! Right in the center of Auckland is this delicious, eye-catching gelato so delicious and enjoyable with others! We slowly ate, knowing that we would have to go separate ways. We finished our gelato, walked around a little bit, and then hugged each other as we went our separate bus stops. 😥 Goodbyes are just the worst.
I stepped onto the bus, reflecting about my trip. I left this tour with more appreciation, understanding, openness, confidence, courage, and love. I met so many wonderful people and experienced so many things. I endured the rugged hostel life, the meaning of privileged, gratitude, and convenience. I tried things that made me uncomfortable like opening up to strangers and sleeping in hostels, but I gained so much by trying skydiving, being open-minded, and not sweating the small stuff. I learned the value of a dollar through budgeting and eating an inhumane amount of tuna and crackers. I saw how beautiful nature can be and how small I am. New Zealand is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. I can’t even begin to describe the sights I saw, feelings I felt, and beauty I discovered while traveling the North and South Island of New Zealand. Nothing will replace the relationships I gained and the experiences I had these past 17 days. To this day, I am so grateful.
I walked off the bus, knowing that even though my trip traveling the South Island was over, I still had six more weeks in New Zealand! I was still abroad and there was much to be learned and discovered! I looked forward knowing there was more to come. I will always hold onto my experiences and create even more. Is this what wanderlust feels like? The never-ending anticipation of the future? I guess I will find out. 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my posts! This here ends my New Zealand Holiday Series and I truly hope it was somewhat informative, entertaining, and inspiring. I’m still quite new at blogging and I’m not the best writer, but I find so much joy in doing so! Thank you again and I hope you’ll check out my other blog posts! ❤ The adventures will never end! 😉