Up and Down and All Around

Bella Santana
July 16, 2018

Since I left my home in Indiana and my journey to New Zealand has began, I have felt almost every emotion in the books. From anxiety, loneliness, and fear, to happiness, excitement, and most importantly, gratitude and amazement. Through the 11 days filled with travel and settling in, I have came to realize that studying overseas, as well as solo traveling is going to be filled with ups and downs. While this might sound negative, that is not what I am trying to focus on.  I am open to the idea that things are not always going to go exactly how I want them to, because that is life. I am welcoming the struggles, celebrations, and experiences that I will gain during my time here in New Zealand, and I think that if I did not realize that there will be some underwhelming times, I would be lying to myself.

So, how have I gotten to this idea and point in less than two weeks? Well, I believe in this situation it would be best to start from the beginning; as in leaving my home and driving to the airport beginning. For starters, the 30+ hour trip to the country threw many hurdles my way, weaving me in a constant up and down battle of positive and negative emotions. I felt like the entire journey here, I would clear one hurtle only to find another thrown right in my direction. And while the trip here was less than ideal, I do not feel like there is any need to dwell on the negatives, for it is over with and I arrived safely and in one piece with all of my luggage in hand.

During this journey to New Zealand, is when I began to realize that studying abroad is not always going to be peaches and rainbows. While it is a little early to have an idea of what exactly will come my way in terms of ups and downs, I feel like my long journey just to get here made me realize that there will be some hard times; some struggles (to be honest I have already faced a few: missing flights, homesickness, losing my phone, facing the fact I am not only here to explore, but to learn). There will be moments when I question myself, and there will be moments when I feel unsure.

While there will be these moments of anxiety, sadness, and perhaps loneliness, there will be, and already has been moments of happiness, laughter, and pure amazement at my surroundings and situation. The main goal of this blog post is to remind myself and others that there will be struggles during our adventure. Life is not easy, college is not easy, and most of all, travel is not always easy. Despite the unease that might come and go, there is undoubtedly going to moments that you feel pure bliss! Whether that will be seeing beautiful landscapes for the first time, laughing till your stomach hurts with new friends, or eating delicious foods when you decide it is time to spoil yourself a little. It is important for me to remember that I am so lucky to be in this position; to be studying in a country as beautiful as New Zealand  for a whole semester and to take on a new independence through this experience. I hope to face every curveball that is thrown my way and use it to learn and grow from, because when taking the down moments with grace, the up moments are only going to feel so much sweeter.

XX -Bella


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Bella Santana

<p>Hello all! My name is Bella. I am 21 years old, and am a lover of the outdoors, yoga, hula hooping, and music. I believe that life is about enjoyment, happiness, and exploration, and I hope to share my everyday findings of happiness and life with you all!</p>

Home University:
Indiana University
Chesterton, IN
Environmental Studies
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