Wow, it’s been a while since I last wrote. My last blog post was following the U.S. election and a lot has happened since then. We went to Azerbaijan for Thanksgiving (video about it on my YouTube channel), and had an eventful holiday season. The main reason I’m writing this post is because I leave on January 10th for New Zealand! Goodness, the time has flown! I’m going to rewind back a bit to mid December, when the fact that I was leaving really hit me.

I like to think of myself as an emotional procrastinator. I don’t tend to think about things until the last possible moment. I still haven’t really gotten emotional about my senior swim season, and that was more than a year ago! Yet in December my emotions caught up to me full force. I was nervous, stressed, terrified, and I cried a lot. I felt sick to my stomach to be honest. I could not believe that I was about to leave my safe, comfortable life and wonderful family. Seriously, I did not want to leave my parents and sister, even if only for six months. I was also angry at a lot of people because no one thought to ask me how I as doing. Everyone just assumed that I was excited and confident, when really all I wanted to do was tell them how frightened I was, but I couldn’t muster the courage to bring that up. I’m over this annoyance at people now, because I probably wouldn’t ask someone in my situation if they were scared either. Christmas is my favourite time of year, and I lost  all my festive feelings I was so stressed. Tragic, I know.

I really only got out of this funk because some things happened in my family life that put my trip into perspective. I spent time focusing on those events, and not on my imminent departure, and I calmed down a little. Now I am ready and excited to leave, even if packing today was a monstrous, and frustrating task. I cannot believe that I fit 6-8 months of materials into a backpack. I’ll admit, the stress did come back a little today when I  thought there was no way I was going to fit everything, and remain in the weight allowance. My bag is 19.8Kg if you’re wondering.

I suppose I haven’t really updated you, dear readers, on my final plan for this trip anyway. I’ve got a one-way ticket on the 10th (smell ya later Donald Trump) and no return ticket. If you’re wondering why that is, I’m planning on doing some travel after my six months in New Zealand so I don’t know when, or where I’ll be flying home from. Unfortunately, I did not find an au pair host family in time for my trip. So I’m going to New Zealand through BUNAC’s working holiday program and attempting to match with a family once I’m in the country. My au pair coordinator tells me that lots of families get to January and realize that they want an au pair ASAP and the fact that I’ll already be in the country puts me at an advantage. Hopefully, I’ll find a family pretty quickly. If not, then I’m on my own for a bit to find a job and place to live. It would most likely be waitressing or something and I’ll probably live in a cheap, gross flat. But not to fear, BUNAC will be there to help me the whole time I’m there.

Now, time for some housekeeping things. My family will still be home in my house, so don’t read this and think it’ll be empty for six months and a prime burglary target. My dad has swords in the garage and he will use them.  I’ll be picking up a New Zealand SIM card and phone number so the best way to reach me will be email, imessages sent to my email, Facebook messenger, or Twitter/Instagram DMs. If  don’t respond in a day or two, I probably didn’t get your message. The time difference is 19hrs ahead on New York, so please keep that in mind if you try to call or Facetime me. As always, I will keep you updated, and will write again upon arrival.


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