Monday, February 8, 2010

Final Blog- Royce Jones

My adventures in New Zealand have meant more to me
than I ever imagined they would. For the rest of my life I
will reflect back on my experiences there and the friendships
I've made. Traveling from place to place made it difficult to
settle in and get use to the changes, but I feel that I
adapted well. With help from each other we all made these
transitions much easier. Looking back on my goals I had
coming into the trip, I feel that I met many of them. To sky
dive was one of the most important, and I don't think I will
ever experience something like that in my life again. The
house we rented for the weekend right on the beach was
incredible, I have never stayed at a place right on the beach
and who would have known it would be in New Zealand right on
the water, with Mt. Maunganui down the coast. As the trip
went on I started to realize any new experience was an
experience worth having. I was willing to try anything and
I'm glad I did so many wonderful things.
I feel that some of the biggest challenges on my trip
were convincing mentally to sky dive, and jump out of a
perfectly good plane. I would have regretted it forever if I
hadn't tried though. Going without internet and phone for so
long seemed like it would have been tough, but it was not
nearly as bad as I would have imagined. Having such a great
group of friends, great books, and cards were all I needed to
be content on down time. It had crossed my mind a few times
that I may get home sick, but not until we got on the plane in
Christchuch did I realize I wasn't home sick at all, but that
I was getting sad to leave the beautiful country I called home
for a month. I could have stayed many more months and enjoyed
every minute of it.
Since I have never been outside America, let alone
outside the Eastern Time zone, I was ready to see what a
different country would be like. There were some clear
differences but I came to find that people are still just
living to the best of their ability and enjoying themselves
when they can. People in New Zealand seem much more laid
back, which I very much so enjoyed. All the people I met from
Stu, to a man in NZ army named Steve, the Maouri people, and
all the other different people, I learned so much from.
Although I learned a great deal about geology and biology from
Art and Doug it was the things they taught us about traveling
and finding the really interesting things about a place that
most tourists wouldn't take notice to that I am most happy
with. Our professors really helped us learn from ourselves,
from what we like to eat and the activities we like to take
part in, all helped us find within us what we are really like.
I could not have imagined going on any other study
abroad program. This was the one for me and the people for
me. I will share my stories for many many years to come of
the winter of 2010 when I ventured off to New Zealand.
Thanks Art, Adam, and Doug

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