Saturday, 23 November 2013

Last Week and Goodbyes

Hi everyone!

As of Sunday night (technically Monday morning) I was back in the US! It was a long journey home, but it has been great to see my friends and family again. Last week, I traveled through the North Island with 5 of my friends for what was probably one of my favorite weeks in New Zealand. We spent the first day doing the Tongariro Alpine crossing, then went to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves on Monday. The caves are home to glowworms which are native to and only exist in New Zealand, and the tour takes you walking down through the caves and then on a boat ride where the entire ceiling is covered in glowworms. We then spend Monday night, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Coramandel, visiting New Chums beach as well as hot water beach and Cathedral Cove. Although I don't have many pictures of New Chums since I only brought my iphone and not my camera, it is ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and is very isolated due to the fact that you have to walk on rocks by the water and then through an unmarked path to get there. Then, we went to Auckland on Thursday before heading back to Wellington! All of the places we went were breathtakingly beautiful, and it was an amazing way to spend some of my last days in NZ. I have a bunch of photos from the week, which are below. I don't have any pictures of the caves, as you aren't allowed to bring cameras in. However, if you google Waitomo glowworm caves you can see pictures.

Hot Water Beach, where you dig a whole in the sand to form your own natural hot tub:

Red Crater at the highest point of the hike

Emerald Lakes

Cathedral Cove:
Then, Sunday afternoon came and it was time to leave. When I left for New Zealand in July, I could have never predicted how difficult it would be to return home. The past four months have been more amazing than I ever could have imagined. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to live in and travel such a beautiful country, as well as make incredible friends. To all of the people who I spent my time in Wellington with, it wouldn't have been the same without you and you all mean more to me than I can describe here! Also an enormous thank you to my family who made so many sacrifices so that I could have this experience. I will without a doubt remember my New Zealand memories as some of the best I've ever had. Although it was extremely emotional leaving, I'm so thankful for the experience, and couldn't be happier with how I was able to spend my last four months. I feel like this quote is able to express my feelings better than I can:
"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place" -Miriam Adeney

Thanks for reading all semester! I've enjoyed sharing my experiences, and hope you enjoyed reading about them :)

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