June 26, 2016 I was hopping on a plane from Auckland, NZ to Houston, USA. I was returning from a 6 month study abroad program that I can honestly say changed my life. Those six months brought out my true colors again. I had been lost for quite a few years, and really struggled with who I was, and what was important to me. I lost myself in boyfriends, and tried to validate my worth in superficial ways. I was not the woman God wanted me to be, nor was I who I wanted to be.
Before I left for New Zealand, I got into a relationship with a guy I had been on and off with for a long time. I thought this was it, he was the “one”! I felt like everything was good and we FINALLY had gotten it right. Why would my path keep leading back to him, if he wasn’t the right guy? Anyways, he broke my heart about a month into my journey on the other side of the world. I was in denial, confused, and 8,000 miles away from my friends and family. It was tough, it was a test of my strength and courage.
To say that New Zealand help me find myself again, my happy, go-lucky, joyful self is an understatement. The friends and people I met in that country have had some of the biggest impacts on me. Driving through God’s magnificent creation, conquering fears I’ve had since I was a little kid, traveling alone in an unknown places for a week, camping in my car, seeing baby seals play under a waterfall, watching the sunrise over the Pacific (the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen in my life) and pushing my body to new limits. All of these things I could not have experienced if I had been tied down to a guy, and I can guarantee that I would not have had the experience I did over there if I had been.
If you ever get a chance to study abroad, or travel to new places, go. I can truly say that traveling alone was my favorite experience. I was brought out of my comfort zone multiple times in unexpected ways. I met people and experienced them in new light. I finally felt like a happy human again. MYSELF again.
Traveling changes you from the inside out. Today, last year, as I got onto that airplane, I did not want to leave. I was so worried about going home, because I was not the same person I was when I left. I was molded, shaped, and healed. I have friends all over the world who feel like family. I can’t believe it has been a year now since I left that beautiful country and some of the most amazing people. I know when I see them again, it will be like nothing has changed. We experienced some of life’s greatest gifts together and took a journey of a lifetime full of risks and unexpected adventures.
A year makes a huge difference. I am still finding myself and learning everyday. I pray that God will help me find my niche in this world and that I can help others around me find themselves as well.
Spread love and good vibes!
Have a great week….explore and enjoy this beautiful creation God has gifted to us!