Christchurch, New Zealand

ImageImageImageChristchurch, New Zealand

This was my first encounter with a country that wasn’t the United States. I landed and stayed in Christchurch my first night in New Zealand before meeting up with my Contiki group. I am happy this is one of the first things I experienced. For those of you that don’t know, Christchurch experienced a horrific earthquake in February 2011. The earthquake caused widespread damage to one of the New Zealand’s biggest cities. The city itself was still feeling the effects of this earthquake two years later and I was able to witness it first hand. There is still tons of damage around the city. Right across the from the hotel I was staying at was the “ReStart” mall. This was built to help bring back the local businesses. It was amazing to see all of these people come together and work on rebuilding their city. I walked the streets of this mall and ate at a local bratwurst stand. It was delicious and I felt I was helping even if it was only a little. I hope for nothing but the best in Christchurch. I have faith they can rebuild the beautiful city.

 

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The Decision

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We go to college, get a degree, find a job, immediately start paying back all the debt we got ourselves into because of college, get married, have a kid, and hope somewhere in between we scrape together a few dollars to go on a vacation or two.  That’s what we are supposed to do right?  Wrong. To me at least.  Sure i went to college, i got my degree, and I got a job, but none of it felt right.  

For a year and a half I sat behind a desk inputting information into  a computer, filing papers, sitting in a chair for 7 hours a day.  It didn’t take me long to realize that wasn’t what I was meant to do.  I couldn’t just quit now and do something different could I?  I was lucky enough to have job out of school, why would I jeopardize that?  I’ll tell you why::

Australia was my dream.  Traveling was my dream.  I feel like people always say these things but no one ever does them.  I have been lucky enough in my life to be surrounded by people that actually have done these things.  I have met a good handful of people over the years that I have travelled and been to amazing places.  They fell in love with these places and the joy of traveling.  I knew that this was something I needed to do.  I needed to go to Australia.  

Originally, I had applied for Graduate school in Australia.  I was going to go get my business masters in Australia and spend two years living there. I was accepted into the program and was extremely excited.  Until one day I realized that my passion wasn’t to go to Grad School in Australia it was just to travel there.  To experience the country.  That is when I decided to book a trip.

I made the decision.

I had looked into many tour groups and was planning on doing a group tour for my first trip over seas.  (Oh I forgot to mention that I had never traveled out of the country before?)  Go big or go home right?  I decided on Contiki Tours for my trip.  I discussed with a travel agent through e-mail my plans.  Together we decided on a trip to both New Zealand and Australia.  This would be two different tours throughout the month of May.  I will never forget that day in January when I called to put my deposit down.  It was officially happening.  I was going to Australia and New Zealand. 

Next came decision number 2… 

Do I want to come back to this job after I travelled, knowing that where I was didn’t feel right?  I knew that leaving my job was the better option for me.  I was fortunate to work with some of the greatest people who did nothing but support me when I discussed the news.  I decided that going back to school was somewhere in my future, so that would be my main focus once I returned from my trip.

Five months after my trip and I have never felt more confident that this was the right decision.  My trip was one of the best decisions I had ever made.  It did however, cause me to never want to stop traveling.  I decided that Thailand was going to be my next adventure.  One month from today that is where I will be!

I hope to share with you some of the amazing experiences I had in Australia and New Zealand and definitely what is to come!  

I hope to never ever stop traveling.  My advice to all is to do what makes you happy.  There are no excuses when it comes to what feels right.  Do it and do it for you.