February 9. Today was as boring and uneventful as the last. We drove another 8 hours, while stopping occasionally for lunch and to see blowholes and pancake rocks. The south island has a very different landscape then the north island. The south island’s mountainous regions and its rocky coasts give the perception of being insignificant. When you are shadowed by a New Zealand mountain, or look out upon the vast ocean, you feel like a trivial ant trying to safely return to its society. The rolling plains of the north island provide a connection to nature. You appreciate the landscape, cherishing that it has not yet been overrun by civilization.
During this experience, I was forced to reflect upon myself and how I have grown in the last 9 days. In a little over a week, I have learned more about myself and my limits then I ever had in high school. I noticed that the real world isn’t portrayed well through high school. Being taken care of, depending on others, and being able to blow off work, that is later forgiven, is a luxury. There has been a drastic change in routine in my life. I now have to actually do laundry. I feed myself and plan my day around the necessities. I am a bit more self-disciplined now, making sure that I write my blog every day as well as budget my money and keep track of all my possessions. People steal everywhere. We have already had people’s laundry stolen from the dryer and a few wallets have gone missing. I always know where everything is now, which is comforting. Also, in high school I developed a shell of insecurity, which has now broken. Everyone on this trip is nice, fun, and intelligent, where in high school you are thrown into an environment where people immediately point out your flaws and shoot down your ideals. People who try to make you insecure to bolster their own security are rarely found, and if they are, they aren’t significant to anyone.
I wish I have learned more about myself and the world outside during this trip, but this month is more focused on the fun aspects of life. I wish I could tell you I have learned something from it, but it’s hard to tell at the moment. I’ll keep you updated on my findings, but I’m sure they will become more pronounced as the months progress.