Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wider Skies

I have been in Indiana for about two weeks now. Those two weeks seem like a blur of faces, experiences, and conversations. How do you sum up 9 months of what you saw, did, learned, and changed? How do you answer the question "How was it?"

What is "it"? my flights? my travels? my friends? my job? my car? my hikes? my books? my experience?

It was amazing, more than I could have ever asked for. It was living in a new place, with new people. It was normal, every-day experiences in foreign places. It was sharing space with strangers. It was learning different ways to cook, dress, act, speak, and think. It was comfortable, and right. It was sad and sometimes and felt heavy. It was uplifting and different than anything I'd ever known. It resembled everything I wanted, with the features of everything I was afraid to have. It was nothing I expected and everything I dreamed. It was natural, it made sense. It was independent. It was so much gain and occasionally loss. It was life.

Now that I'm back I find myself looking up a lot. The sky here is so wide. I stand outside gazing at the Indiana sky and it goes on forever. I love mountains, in fact I prefer them, but there is something to be said for a sky with no obstructions. Here we are surrounded by an unregulated competition between sky and field to continue on endlessly, and sometimes it's hard to tell who wins.

Life happens wherever you go, whether you live under wide open skies or in the land of the long white cloud. It was amazing being away, it's amazing to appreciate what was here all along, it will be amazing to discover new and strange places. Life is consistent in that every beat of your heart indicates you're still living it, but you control the variation in landscapes and which skies you chose to dwell beneath. 

Monday, September 5, 2016


As many of you are already aware I have made my exit from New Zealand. I boarded a plane at 8:55pm on September 2nd and landed in Honolulu at 7:35am on September 2nd. The opportunity to re-live a day of your life- and in a different country- comes around rarely so I took full advantage. 
My first act upon reaching American soil? Sweating. Profusely. HELLO SUMMER.*

I should try to summarise my last bit of time in New Zealand, but honestly there is just too much to say. I will however, tell you that my last week was spent looping around the north island with a couple of fantastic friends who gave me an excellent excuse to spend my final week retracing some steps and creating new ones. 

Everyone keeps asking me how it feels. People want to know if I'm sad or excited, or what the last few days were like for me. I didn't have much time to think about how I felt until I was on the plane, and it wasn't until the plane started moving down the runway that I realised I was leaving. I told myself countless times I would be leaving, but my right brain refused to believe my left brain until the evidence was undeniable. 

My first real home away from home. The place where I learned I can live whatever life I want, however I want not only because I am capable, but because the world is home to many kind and generous people who want to see others succeed. The country I entered knowing no one and then exited with family. The cities and towns with adventure on the periphery and immense kindness in the centre. I spent 8 months allowing myself to be uncomfortable, discovering my own strengths and weaknesses. I learned there is a time to stay silent and a time to speak. A time to be alone and a time to bring someone along. A time to rest and a time to explore. I realised there is never time to be offended, and always an opportunity to learn and love. I made friends from countries with completely different cultures, and discovered what different nationalities think and believe about the country I come from. I discovered a view of the world I would never have been given, I had to find it myself.

Above is an attempt at a summarising video of my 8 months in New Zealand. So much is left out, partially because I can't fit it all, but also because some experiences can't be shared. If you want the experience you must have it yourself. If it is fear that stands in your way, then I pray you will have courage. If it is people, then I pray you will have wisdom. If it is circumstance I pray you will have freedom. 

*I know, it's not technically summer in Hawaii, but it was 87ºF (Roughly 30℃) and this is my blog so I say what I want.