For the last two weeks I’ve been traveling throughout New Zealand. The whole experience has been incredible so far and I’m unbelievably thankful for the opportunity. While I’ve been in this beautiful country a lot of my friends and family back home have been commenting on my pictures and craving to know about every new experience I encounter. Because of this, over the past few days I’ve done a lot of reflecting about my travel experiences over the summer and right now. I think it’s too easy to believe a person has a perfect life or is constantly having the best time. With all of the social media constantly presented to us everyday, it is easy to make your life appear to be something it is not. This is concerning to me for many reasons. However, this is not to take away from the gratitude I feel from traveling; it’s simply to point out that just because a person’s life appears to be amazing, a picture does not reflect everything. Therefore, I want to introduce a new category to my blog called: Travel Talk. This will focus on reflections about my travel experiences that people may not see by looking at one of my edited photos.
So to begin…I’m currently traveling through New Zealand in a large group with fellow peers from my home university. Traveling in a large group is never easy. There are days when I want to separate from the group completely because I’m so irritated. And there are days I am thankful to have company. There are days when we have a long bus ride and have to stop for lunch at a McDonald’s or a grocery store because we are in a rush. And there are days where we have the chance to find a nice authentic restaurant with great wine and food. There are days where there isn’t any wifi or service which prevents me from talking with my loved one back home. And there are days where my hostel has the best wifi imaginable. There are days where I feel annoyed, angry, and homesick. And there are days where I am overwhelmed with gratitude, happiness, and peace.
All of these feelings and experiences are normal for any traveler. Yet, the negative experiences are something that is never discussed or presented. It’s important to remember that nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone experiences a range of emotions even while traveling in a beautiful place. There is nothing to be ashamed of for feeling low sometimes. It’s also perfectly fine to admit that even though this trip has been incredible so far, it hasn’t always been fun. I believe it’s important to look at the bigger picture when I find myself feeling down. Yes I may feel homesick some days but I’m in New Zealand right now!! Which is a place I never imagined myself traveling to.
This is a picture of me in Queenstown with a beautiful view from the Skyline restaurant. What you didn’t know: the food was terrible!
This is a picture of me hiking on the Hooker Valley trail which was one of my favorite hikes. What you didn’t know: At this point in the trip I hadn’t been able to do laundry so the clothes I’m wearing were already dirty.