Our trip to New Zealand’s north island began in Wellington, the capital. Home to the beehive and one of the cutest piers by the ocean, we spent two days exploring. Our next exciting stop was Hobbiton, from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie set. Everything was incredibly detailed, from the colors of the doors and mailboxes, to the pathways to the clotheslines and real vegetables in the garden.
Auckland was the largest city we visited, and definitely reminded me of cities in America, with skyscrapers and busy street crossings. We took a ferry to Rangitoto island during one of our days here, where we saw the city skyline and explored the lava caves on the island.
The last week of our break was spent in Rarotonga with IES Abroad. Rarotonga is the main island of the Cook Islands, with the highest population and the central airport. I have never been to an island in the middle of the Pacific before, and the experience was incredible. We saw the sunrise almost every morning, and incredible views of the island from the cross island walk. I also got the chance to husk a coconut with a sharp wooden stake and hand-print our own sarong. As a group, we got the chance to snorkel in the island lagoon and view marine life up close, something I had never done before. Every night we ended the day with good food and great company, and I highly recommend this trip to any future New Zealand IES Abroad students.
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<p class="MsoBodyText" style="margin-top:2.35pt; margin-right:12.3pt; margin-bottom:.0001pt; margin-left:5.0pt"><span style="line-height:115%">One fun fact about myself is that I am not sure the exact date of my birthday! Before I was adopted, I was a baby in China and my parents could not keep me because of the one child policy. Therefore, as was the way of many families in China in the 90s, I was left on the steps of the police station. When the police found me, they estimated my age. This estimate is the age on my birth certificate and on every official document. It is interesting to think about my birthday being one day before it is written, or maybe a few days after!</span></p>