14 November 2014

A Thousand Stories to Tell

My time in Dunedin is coming to a close! It's been a bittersweet two weeks of making memories, saying goodbyes, and desperately trying to fit everything into my suitcases. I don't leave New Zealand for another month, and while I love it here and I'm not in any rush to leave......at the same time....

Four Reasons I Know I'm Starting to Miss the U.S.

1. I heard a John Denver song playing in the supermarket last week and got all nostalgic.

2. Sometimes I catch myself unconsciously walking on the right side of the sidewalk.

3. I became "that American" and bought a coffee at the Dunedin Starbucks. I forgot how awesome grande/venti sized coffees are - it's like they never end!

4. I stood dumbfounded (aka culture shocked) in the New World supermarket when I couldn't find canned pumpkin for my vegan chocolate chip muffins. Of course there isn't canned pumpkin here. I guess my body has been culturally programmed to crave pumpkin in November, so when the closest thing to pumpkin I could find was canned butternut squash soup, I was just... sad. Five months in New Zealand and apparently I still got culture shocked!

***Update*** I was just informed by a Kiwi friend that there is indeed canned pumpkin in the supermarket! Apparently it's located in the International Foods Aisle.... which, you know, makes sense... 


Here's some of what I've been up to the past couple of weeks, in addition to studying for and taking my tourism and sociology final exams (which isn't as exciting to talk about).

I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS EVER! Genna sent me "Autumn in an Envelope" because she knew I was missing fall! :D
I got to spend the day with these lovely people! My friend Tess and our tour guide Nick. I got to see Dunedin's hills one last time...in addition to seeing adorable penguins, seals, and lambs! 
Life is rough being this cute...


Tess and I were so freaking happy. I mean, look at that fuzzy baby lamb face.
The sunrise from outside my flat. (No filter).
Saying good-bye to Emily - the best flatmate ever!
My friend Matt and I did the Cadbury Chocolate Factory tour! It's right here in Dunedin...and we got chocolate samples, so...

My amazing no-sugar-vegan-chocolate-chip-banana-cinnamon-date-and-coffee muffins...with whole wheat flour, wheat bran, flax seeds, and chia seeds... Yes, you can be jealous. 

Going to see the butterflies one last time!!

So those were some highlights of the past couple of weeks. Now it's time to say goodbye to Dunedin, because tomorrow I fly to Christchurch and hop on a backpackers' bus to spend the next 23-24 days touring around New Zealand! 

As always, feeling fortunate and blessed to be on this personal and cultural journey in New Zealand. 

One of my friends once shared the following story with me, and I would like to share it with you now because it definitely inspired my decision to stay in New Zealand this extra month:
"A wise man once told me on his death bed... 'Make sure you always live life to the fullest, so that one day, when you have grandchildren, you will never have to tell the same story twice. Always have a thousand different stories to tell.'  He told me to live without regret, to grab the bull by the horns and to give it one hell of a run for its money. There is nothing in this world not worth doing at least once, because there isn't an experience we can't learn from, and every experience is a new story to tell." 
So I'm gonna go create some more stories! Look for a new blog post around December 11th.

Love to you all.

1 comment:

  1. The best part of going some where new, is meeting new people, finding kindred spirits in the funniest of places, traveling to lands far way and opening your mind and soul to life and your place in it. The hardest part is saying goodbye. I would not change one thing about the places I have been and the adventures I have had. Yes, leaving is hard. But, You will not be forgotten. We are remembered through the people we shared life with. We make a point to stay in touch with those rare kindred souls that no matter how much time passes, they are nesting in your heart.
    You look great by the way. So fit and happy. And yes, I am jealous of your muffins!!
    Also, the story of how life should be lived touched my heart. Thank you for sharing that.
    Enjoy your next adventure ! I can hardly wait to see you, curl up with hot tea and muffins, blankets and hear all about you.
    You are an amazing young lady. Keep adding stories to your life. Life is to be lived and not watched. It is about making relationships. Smelling flowers. Watching the snow flakes. It is about being aware, being present and being full of gratitude. To love with no boundaries and to forgive so your heart is filled with all that is good.
    This is what I see in you and am so happy that you have had a personal journey of a lifetime that I believe will shape who you continue to be.
    Love and blessings abundant,
    Momma Monique