As I look back on my time in New Zealand, I realize just how much I have taken away from this trip. I started this journey looking to experience a new culture and to see all the wildlife that New Zealand had to offer but I gained so much more. Not only have I learned about the culture of New Zealanders, I feel that I have embraced the lifestyle. I have returned to the States with more of a "live in the moment" attitude and a better understanding of how Americans are portrayed abroad. I walk away from this experience with a new approach to beaches and the species that live in the surrounding habitats. It will be hard for me to see a beach and not classify the sediment size and breaker type and no longer will I see a shell and not think of what used to live in it.
If I could have given advice to myself before going on this incredible journey, I would have told myself to take advantage of every opportunity given to me, no matter what the obstacle or adventure awaits me. I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime and these adventures such as zorbing and cliff hanging may never be available to me again. This trip has opened my eyes to all the amazing things that this world has to offer and it has encouraged me to take advantage of opportunities to travel the world.