Send me on my way!

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Hi friends and family! I’m updating this blog to keep everyone posted on my adventures abroad.  Some of my friends on my bike trip this summer kept incredible blogs and I regret not doing the same.  Anyhow, this one is to document all of my adventures in New Zealand over the next four and a half months.  Subscribe, and enjoy! FOR GRANDPA and all other grammar/spelling sticklers.  I’m not going to bother proof-reading any of this, so I apologize in advance mistakes of whiclh they’re will be mmany (get it?).

Tomorrow is the big day! My flight from JFK leaves tomorrow around noon-time, to LAX.  That’s right, Valentine’s day.  Maybe I’ll get seated next to my future hubbie.  Wouldn’t that make for a good rom-com?  I’d probably cast Jennifer Aniston to play me because, well, does she know how to do any other sort of genres?  Anyway, after a five hour lay-over in California, myself and a dozen or so other SLU students will be headed across the Pacific to New Zealand! We arrive in Auckland around 2:00pm (It will already by Thursday in NZ by then) and have one last flight to Dunedin.  Dunedin is often referred to as the “Switzerland” of New Zealand.  I don’t really know what to make of this other than it’s full of happy people.

After I finish up this post, I’ll be headed to rite-aid to buy some sleep aids for the 13 hour flight.  I wasn’t able to sleep for even a second during my flight to Spain in high school, and ended up being grumpy and jet-lagged for a better part of the trip.  Cheers to learning from mistakes!  To keep myself entertained on the rest of the flights, I have a couple books picked out and downloaded a season of my favorite show, Top Chef, on itunes. I’m also kind of dreading the first impression I’ll make on my flat-mates in Dunedin, having nearly 30 hours of travel on me.  Yuck.

Unlike a lot of my other friends abroad in Europe right now, New Zealand doesn’t do home-stays.  I’m pretty happy about this, because as nice as it would be to have a substitute “family” for a couple of months, I don’t think anyone could compare to mine (mom, stop tearing up). Instead of home-stays, I live in a “flat” with five other students.  There are several dozen flats surrounding the university, all filled with international students.  Each flat has a “kiwi-host” that was born and raised in New Zealand and will probably be a great help in terms of scouting out the cool restaurants, bars, hikes, etc.  My host is named Sophie, and we’ve already talked a bit on Face-book.  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to go abroad even a decade ago.  It’s just so easy to keep in touch now, I’ve skype-d with all of my friends abroad right now at least once.  They did warn us at our abroad orientation at SLU to take it easy with Facebook and email and just to enjoy the experience while it lasts. Good point, SLU.

Also, because these paragraphs are so dense, I feel compelled to add some pretty pictures.  Here they are! Future pictures will probably be my own.  Thanks, Google images!

Beautiful view from the bottom of Mount Cook. I'm planning to hike it!

I will be staying in Dunedin, on the coast of the South Island

A building on the University of Otago's campus!

Any tips or advice before I embark on this huge adventure? Shoot me an email @allison.shea.1991@gmail.com or write a comment below!

Cheers,

Alli

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