Greetings From 17 Hours In The Future

Bella Santana
August 5, 2018

Good morning, good evening, or maybe even good night depending on where in the world you are. For me, it is almost 9 pm on a Sunday. At home in Indiana, it is almost 4 am on Sunday as well. After being in New Zealand for about a month now, it is starting to finally not feel so odd to realize that I am living practically a day ahead of everybody else that I know back home. My Sunday comes as their Saturday is taking place, with my day beginning, as theirs is ending; always one step behind in time's eyes. At first this was such a weird feeling. I am not sure why, but waking up at 9 am and knowing that I should just now be getting off of work, relaxing at home for the evening, or getting ready to make dinner gave me a feeling of anxiety and uneasiness in my stomach. While I still find it odd that I am living ahead of the majority of the world, I no longer get filled with unease about it, but more so find myself in awe with the complexity in time that comes from being in different locations on this Earth.

I could probably sit here and write for ages on the little oddities that go through my mind every day, most of them probably not making much sense or being worth the read. So tonight, I am going to end my little time ramble above, and instead, I am going to have a quick little recap of what I have been up to since I have last written.

As promised, I am going to begin with my personal opinion on the Tramping Club at UC. For starters, I need to make it known that tramping is hiking, not backpacking. So if you are like me and assume that tramping is backpacking, realize that no, that is not true, and backpacking = backpacking; tramping = hiking. Also useful to realize is that assumptions make a you know what out of yourself, so just don’t assume (I am very guilty of this in this situation).

In terms of the quality of the time I have had with the club, I highly suggest joining it for those who love to hike and backpack, or simply those who want to explore some of the NZ land. While I am mostly going to spend my spare time tramping with my friends opposed to with the club, the club offers very cheap gear rentals to members, discounts to outdoor stores in the area, the opportunity to go on weekend trips and learning experiences with individuals that have similar interests (i.e. TRAMPING!), and a safe way to get outdoors in NZ if you are new to tramping or unsure of your skill level in the backcountry. For example, this upcoming weekend I am going with the club on a “Snow Craft” lesson, where they are going to teach us how to use crampons and ice axe’s in order to safely maneuver ourselves in snow during hikes! This is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to winter hiking or simply exploring on snow covered mountains. So, my final verdict? The Tramping Club is well worth the 20 dollars it cost to join!

With last weekend being spent with the tramping club summiting Little Mt Peel and Mt Sunday, which are two stunning places in New Zealand that I highly suggest going to (I will insert some photographs as proof), this weekend I went with some friends to the West Coast of NZ. We went through Arthur’s Pass and took a short walk to the Devil's Punchbowl, which is the largest waterfall I have ever had the pleasure of seeing in my life. I stood about 100 feet from it, and still managed to leave looking like I took a shower. It was wet and cold, and absolutely worth it!

After Arthur’s Pass, we went to the Pancake Rocks that are in Punakaiki along the coast. These rocks are an absolutely amazing piece of geological history! The rocks have this layered pancake looking structure because they were once the sea floor, which is proved by the marine sediments that are found within their rock structures. This means that these rocks that are now on the surface were once fully submerged by water, which says a lot about the past ecological conditions of New Zealand (something an Enviro-nerd like me was incredibly amazed by).

The next day we went on a 9 mile hike to the Franz Josef Glacier, which was the first glacier I have ever seen! The hike consisted of 5 swing bridges, miles of scrambling over rocks and rivers, mossy covered forests, and amazing views of the valley and mountains that surrounded us, with our final view being of the Franz Josef Glacier itself.

Today, as we headed back to the east coast from the west, I watched as the ecosystems changed. They went from ocean, to lush snow covered mountains, to bushy dry mountains, then hills, and finally to plains, and I thought about how truly lucky I am to be in such a diverse and extraordinary country. There are not many places in the world where you can see all of the diverse and unique ecosystems I saw within a 4 hour car ride, and that is something extremely amazing in my eyes. As every weekend here has seemed to make me feel, I end my weekend going into the week feeling revived, grateful, and amazed by this beautiful planet full of amazing and new opportunities.

Thanks for reading, and sending all the love!



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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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