There and Back again

Trip Start Aug 05, 2012
Trip End Jan 11, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, January 13, 2013

“It’s dangerous business walking out your front door.” – J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit

Kia Ora everyone! So, as a lot of you know, I'm back at home as of Friday afternoon and it's great to be back!  That means it's time for the last post- here goes:

My last day in Germany was spent trying to packing an extra 10kg over my free baggage allowance in such a way that I wouldn't get charged for it (mission accomplished) and trying to make myself eat even though my stomach was entirely knotted.  I would describe how I felt that day as excitement laced with melancholy; in a little over a day I would be back with my family and friends but would be saying good bye to others, and my 5.5 months overseas!

After the final goodbyes were said and done I went through security (a vast difference from that in the USA and I love it for that!) to wait for my 11 hour flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong to spend 3 hours awaiting another 11 hour flight.  It was a long couple of days- I ended up being awake for 48 hours in the end with a nap on the first flight- and I was quite delirious long before I went to bed haha.

My parents and Emma were waiting at the airport for me and as much as I thought I was going to blubber everywhere, I didn't cry at all it was just lovely to see them all- lots of hugs!  My dog was more excited that dad was home from the airport than I was but at least he's giving me lots of kisses now he's processed it.  Mum and Emma helped me with the basic unpacking of all my things (that included a 40lb 7oz box I sent in the post from Arizona) while dad went and got munchies and things.  I have about 10kg of chocolate from Europe that I'll be needing some help to get through and plenty of presents for people that turned 21 while I was away and things- a good way to bribe people to come and see me while I don't have a car! (Although my brother dearest did actually just say he'll loan me his new old car, which is very kind of him.)  Emma told me she had a surprise for me, which of course drove me insane all day and I had the feeling that everyone was in on it... Her visit was followed by her brother's and then Grace came down to see me before we went to hers so I could see her mum and pets while we got me ready for the surprise.  Emma picked me up with Leana and took me to hers while she got ready and shouted me dinner at our favourite Japanese restaurant before driving me to the surprise with a towel on my head.  A short but terrifying blind walk later, I saw my parents, my brother and Julia, Sam and Hannah, Grace and Tom, Alex and Lucy and later we were joined by others- a fantastic surprise and welcome home!

I had a wonderful, once in a life-time trip away and feel I've grown up a lot in the last half year- the highlight of which is probably (as cheesy as it is) meeting my boyfriend Imari, who has recently told me he is going to come out to NZ for my 21st birthday in March- very exciting and cuts down the long distance wait from 6 months to only another 2! I feel so lucky to have met so many beautiful people during my time overseas and definitely have some life long friendships out of it!  I knew I was going to have a great time at American college from a combination of movies about college there and intuition, but I had no idea that I would love it that much!  I can't wait to go back to see everyone (and to be 21 there haha) later this year.  Hopefully I'll also get to see some people I didn't get to drop in on.  Going to Germany at the end was definitely the cherry on top, and although I'm now broke and car-less I wouldn't change anything about my trip at all. St. Augustine said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” and I think I've just read the whole thing so it must be a saga and not a single one.  Now that I've had a few days at home I can truly appreciate my time away and the people I've met- the whole thing seems so romantic now- instead of living it like it was nothing out of the norm; “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

It is great to be back at home and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all instead of writing to myself on this screen!

Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
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