So, as you may or may not know, I am going WAYYYY out of my comfort zone in order to visit my boyfriend’s parents and friends in India. As I have only ever been in english speaking countries, this is a lot for me, and I would like to say that I’m completely excited and not in the least bit nervous….but that’s just not true. I am incredibly nervous. Because of my anxiety, I am terrified to get back on a 24 hour flight. I’m terrified to change planes in another country. I’m terrified to meet my boyfriend’s family who may not understand what I’m saying like my own family does, and I’m terrified about being a minority when I’ve always been in the majority my entire life.
All this aside, I am excited about this opportunity too. I’m excited to experience a culture so beautiful, rich, and very different from my own. I’m excited to take this next step with my boyfriend and his family, and I’m excited about getting to see parts of the world I never in a million years thought I would.
Anyway, on to more practical things….
For the first time I have to get a visa to enter another country. I’ve heard from others that having an American passport is like owning a golden ticket because, for a lot of countries, including New Zealand, you can basically just walk into the country without having to go through an application process. Unfortunately, India isn’t one of those countries you can just walk into. I spent all last night trying to make sure I completed my visa application the correct way and feeling that split second of panic about the possibility of not being let into the country due to something wrong on my application. (Honestly, I had no idea traveling was such a process!!)
For the application, you have to upload a picture of yourself similar to what you would get for a passport application. You also have to scan parts of your passport and fill out a fairly short application stating your reasons for traveling and other information they may need on you before allowing you into their country. Hopefully I’ll get it approved sometime soon.
India also has diseases that are not so common in the US, such as malaria and dengue fever which are carried by mosquitoes. Because of that, I went ahead and made an appointment with the travel clinic at my college to make sure I was safe health-wise before I jumped across the pond. I was sad to hear that I needed two shots (I HATE shots!) which I got. One of those is still hurting pretty bad while I type this. I also found out about some preventative measures I could take for the mosquitoes.
I’ll be taking a preventative for malaria before, during, and after my visit just to be safe. There’s also this bug spray that you can buy which repels mosquitoes from your clothes and belongings, but apparently you can’t get it on your bare skin and have to wait until it completely dries before you can touch it or bring it inside….so I won’t be using that. It kind of scared me lol. I’m just going to try my luck with some safer mosquito repellants.
Basically that’s about it for not regarding India. I just have to wait until my visa gets accepted and then start packing closer to the time I have to leave!
If you want to hear more about my adventure to India, don’t forget to follow my blog! Also, if you have any tips for me, I would love to hear about them in the comments!
So, I have pretty much been off the grid for the last month. I haven’t made any videos. I haven’t posted on Instagram, and I haven’t written anything on my blog. I’ve basically just been sitting in my room working on stuff to get certified to teach, which is a lot harder, longer, and more complicated than you think it would be. There’s like this 30 page document you have to write and submit along with two videos of yourself teaching, and that’s only one part of it. It really just takes so much out of you when you don’t have time to do the things you really enjoy and express yourself. Anyway, because of that, I’ve been incredibly busy and stressed which has affected pretty much everything else in my life, so I’m really happy to say that I finally got it finished and can get back to focusing on other things I enjoy doing like social media.
I have to say that all of that stress really took a lot out of me. I got to the point where I hated going to school everyday and having to interact with people. Since I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing, I had a really short fuse with just about everyone, including my family and my boyfriend. I had to force myself to get up in the morning and get ready for school, and there were days when I really just couldn’t and had to take personal days off to get myself mentally prepared for the next day. I know this sounds extreme, but a lot of stress can just turns you into a completely different person.
It was also worsened by the fact that I’m not 100% sure that teaching high school is exactly what I want to do with my life. Don’t get me wrong. I usually love interacting with the students and seeing the pride on their faces when they understand something they previously didn’t, but teaching can be a really emotionally draining job since you always have to be on call for the students whenever they need you. I’m just not sure it’s what I’m supposed to be doing for the rest of my life.
For someone who likes to have everything planned out and orderly, this is a really scary thought. I’m graduating next semester, and I’m still not sure what I want my life to look like afterward. For some people, like my boyfriend, this is exciting. For me, it’s terrifying.
Luckily, I have a lot of people to support me through this, and I started to see a counselor so that I could talk through some things. By the way, I highly recommend seeing a counselor if you’re going through a major transition in your life, and it’s starting to affect you. It just helps me so much to be able to talk to someone and have them listen and talk you through it. I know that, for some reason, there’s a stigma associated with going to see a counselor, but there really shouldn’t be, and it definitely shouldn’t stop you from going. Everyone needs help now and then, even if they don’t want to admit it.
Anyway, moving on to happier things. For a while now I’ve been planning to go to India in December in order to meet my boyfriend’s family. Recently I finally bought the tickets, so it’s starting to feel a lot more real. I’m incredibly excited but also really nervous. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never been anywhere near India (I’ve only been to New Zealand outside of America), and although I know about the culture from my boyfriend, I still feel like I’m going to be in for a major culture shock.
I’m going to try to blog about the trip, so if you want to hear more, make sure to follow my blog!
Sometimes I think that it’s the little things in life that make life so amazing. Those moments when you can just sit and enjoy life for a few moments or hours. Everyone has different things that they make them feel this way. For some people, it’s being around large crowds or being in the middle of a hyped concert. For the summer, though, these are the things that make me feel this way.
- Sitting in the Front Porch Swing. There is just something about swinging on the front porch on a warm (not burning hot, warm) summer day and listening to the sounds of birds and other animals around you that is just so comforting.
- Feeling a Light Breeze on a Warm Day. There is nothing so refreshing as a soft, light breeze when you’re just starting to get a little too hot.
- Hugging Your Family After Being Away for a While. The moment I got to hug my family after being away from them for the entire month of June was just so amazing. Seeing the happiness on their faces from me being back was so comforting and….I just don’t have words for it.
- Taking a Walk by Yourself in Nature. I live next to a family lake and walking on a warm day down by the lake with no one else but you and the occasional animal is an absolutely amazing experience.
- The First Feeling of the Ocean. Each year my family goes to the beach, and feeling the ocean on your feet and the saltiness of the air around you for the first time that year is just a magical experience.
- Getting Excited about a New Hobby. This summer I put my fears aside for a moment and started a YouTube channel and got back to writing regularly on my blog. There’s something incredibly exciting about the anticipation of starting a new channel or blog and the hope and pride you have for what it’s going to turn into.
- Having Your Dog Come Sit Beside You While You’re Working. There’s something that makes you feel important when your dog decides to stop chasing after lizards and squirrels and just lay down next to you and enjoy the day.
- Listening to a Song that Perfectly Describes What You’re Going Through. I absolutely love connecting a song to a specific place and time in my life. It’s never intentional, but whenever that song plays a few months/years later, I always go back to that specific moment in time.
- Fairy Lights All Around You. To me, fairy lights just make everything look more beautiful and magical at night.
So those are some of the little things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside this summer. Let me know in the comments what’s been making you feel the same way!!
When I finally got off the plane, extremely tired, hungry, and incredibly excited, I was probably a bit too excited about being in a new country with a different culture. I was taking pictures and trying to video everything. Of course, I was also insanely anxious and excited to see my boyfriend again for the first time in about six months! I won’t bore you with the details, but you can imagine how happy we were to see each other again after being away from each other for so long. Long distance sucks!
Anyway, we finally got out of the airport, and I got settled into my room. I basically slept the entire rest of the day as you can imagine since I hadn’t slept since I left Georgia. For dinner, I decided to be adventurous and got Pizza Hut (a little sarcasm there) delivered. I was surprised, though, that the cheese tasted slightly better than it did at home!
Eventually, though, I finally got out of the room, and we started to explore the city of Auckland a little bit. One of the first things that I noticed was just how welcoming it seemed to be. Everyone was very nice and nobody seemed to mind or stare at us since we were in a mixed relationship (which is always something I’m slightly concerned about. I mean, who really likes being stared at?). The city itself was actually really nice, and unlike in most of the big cities in America, we could walk down the street in the middle of the night without really having to think a lot about safety.
Since I had never really been out of the country before either, I was also pleasantly surprised to see some fast food favorites of mine making an appearance (even though the menu was slightly different) like Burger King, KFC, and, of course, McDonalds. Sometimes you just want something familiar, right? Anyway, we spent the night mainly exploring the city, so I’ll just cut off here and let you enjoy some pictures!
Flying for the first time can be incredibly intimidating….especially if you’re flying by yourself for about 18 hours. Nobody in my family has really travelled outside of the United States, so I also wasn’t able to get much information from them about it either. Luckily, my parents were able to drop me off at the airport and help me until I had to enter security, so that made it a bit easier.
I have to admit, even though I was initially scared going through the whirlwind of getting your boarding pass, making sure your luggage is fine, and security (especially security), when I finally found the right gate and sat down to watch the airplanes, it was incredibly amazing and exciting. I think a lot of people forget just how special it is that we can fly thousands of feet up in the air fairly smoothly around the world in just one day. Since it was my first flight, though, the thought was definitely not lost on me. I couldn’t believe that no one else was staring childlike out the window watching the ground move further and further away and watching the scenery change with ever minute.
I never realized just how beautiful and different the west of America is from the east. The landscape is just so different. I loved being able to visit each of the states from Georgia to California even if it was just for a few minutes to hours from the air. If you ever get the chance to sit in the window seat flying through America (or any country really!) I would definitely recommend taking a few moments to just enjoy the scenery below you.
After I landed in California, though, it was very late at night, and I had about a three hour layover before I could board again for Auckland. I have to say that this was the scariest part of my trip. I had never switched planes before, especially by myself, and I was so afraid that I was going to get lost and miss my flight. Luckily, though, the gate I needed to be at was only a few gates down from where we landed, so I had plenty of time to get settled at the gate, buy a cheeseburger, and read a book before I had to board again.
My flight from California to Auckland was during the night, so you would think that it would go by quickly since you would most likely be sleeping….It was not that way for me. For some reason, I just can not sleep on planes no matter how hard I try. I also got a migraine each time we got up in the air and since I forgot my migraine medicine at home (please always make sure you have your migraine medicine on flights!), I have to say that the flight was largely a miserable experience.
Finally, though, we made it over New Zealand, and the ocean and beautiful green islands below me made everything worth it! New Zealand is an absolutely beautiful country, especially from the air!
Since my mom works for the school system and they had their spring break, she decided to come pick me up from college so that we could get away for a day. Not too far away from my college, there’s a cute little German town with a lot of unique shops and beautiful scenery. We were planning on having a picnic….but then it started to rain. At this point it was around 2:00, and we hadn’t eaten all day, so we finally found a BBQ restaurant that had good reviews online. Unfortunately, one thing the reviews failed to mention was that they don’t have tables inside.
We finally had to take our food to the trunk of the car, and (since it was cold) let the back door down. Even though I tried to explain to my mother that the trunk door doesn’t open from the inside, she didn’t listen, and after we ate, we found ourselves stuck in the truck of the car. My mom ended up having to climb over the backseat and let us out (after she got stuck between the seat a couple of time….I have a video *insert evil laugh here*).
Anyway, after we escaped from the car, we had a great time browsing through all of the shops. There’s one store in particular that sells glass blown art. My parents got their wedding cake topper from there when they were getting married, and while we were there, she found a glass blown 25 for anniversaries. Since my parents celebrated their 25th anniversary this year, she bought the 25 and hung it on the cake topper from their wedding. Isn’t that just adorable??
If you ever get the chance to visit, I definitely recommend it as a weekend getaway. They have beautiful hiking trails which I’m sure would be really nice when it’s not cold and rainy….haha. They also have little picnic benches by the river, so you can have a fun, relaxing afternoon picnic. Plus, the shops sell a lot of really neat homemade things like wind chimes, quilts, honey, candy, the biggest cookies I have ever seen, etc.. If you do end up going, make sure that you bring a piece of chalk to sign the underside of the bridge going over the river. I love things like that. There’s something really special about seeing a part of all the people who have stood where you are standing right at that moment.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed seeing and hearing about my little adventure. Happy traveling!
P.S. We saw this beauty on the way home 😀 You can just make out the second rainbow in the picture.