A Quick Reflection on Living Abroad

It’s been nearly four months since we’ve been back home on U.S. soil, and I still have to pinch myself about what happened in the last year and a half. I mean not only did we live in New Zealand, but we traveled, A LOT while we were there. From quick weekend road trips, to week-long excursions exploring other beautiful parts of the country, to journeying back to the U.S. TWICE, we definitely started to rack up the points - both airline and credit card.

When we started talking about the big move, we figured we would give it at least one year to make sure we liked it. We basically knew we would, because there was so much to see. And honestly, you’ve got to give yourself time to adapt to new situations and experience what’s happening around you. As I continue to catch up with friends and family, I’ve been told numerous times that I am so brave for having done this and they could never move across the world and be far from family. As much as I like to think I would, I don’t know if would have made this big decision if I was going it alone. It’s a completely different ball game to travel abroad solo – not to mention LIVE abroad solo. While it took an immense amount of tears and heartache to leave California and my loving family, I knew how fast time flies and that we’d be home before we knew it. And guess what? It did fly by.

It was an experience that brought me closer with nature, new cultures, my loving boyfriend, but most importantly, myself. I never realized back when we started this journey that so much of who I was would change. And that’s not to say “I’m not the same person”, I just feel like I’m a more developed, stronger, and more loving person because of what I’ve been able to see. Movies and TV can only bring you a 2-dimentional version of what else is out there. To really understand and appreciate people, nature, and the world you have to go SEEK it out. I know I’ve only brushed the surface. I mean, being from a first-world country and living and exploring two more first-world countries is not exactly seeing the world. But it’s opened my eyes and my heart to what else is out there that I have yet to see. As Americans, we learned how extremely closed off we are to a lot of worldly events and perspectives, and the only way to see things in a different light is to go out and see for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to spin a globe and see where your finger lands. You could be the one hearing “you’re so brave, I could never do that”.