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Showing posts from 2015

I Will

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I have some big news to share, but it comes with quite the backstory...
December 14th, 2013 Ben and I went on our first date! We went on a double-date with our good friends Hannah and Tom. (In September of this year, Ben and I were actually in their wedding together, which was a lot of fun.  Those sneaky Smiths played matchmaker. And it worked very well!) The night of our date was a chilly Saturday night, and they picked me up at my house in Hannah's blue Mustang. We ate at Olive Garden first, though not for any particular reason. We couldn't decide where to eat, so Hannah and I finally just said to go there. While we ate, I think I talked to Hannah and Tom more than I talked to Ben. Although, I would like to point out that that's not my fault. He'll even admit that he was very quiet that night. Afterwards, we went to Nashville to go ice skating, which was so much fun! (Ben and I have actually been ice skating a couple of times since then because we like it so much.) O…

And Back Again

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Palmerston North, NZ On Monday, I packed up my dorm room into my two pink suitcases. Everything fit just perfectly, even though I’ve accumulated quite a collection of T-shirts, Salvation Army finds, and other souvenirs. I actually left three pairs of shoes behind, which gave me some extra room in my bags: New Zealand wears your shoes out! Since Sunday night, the international students have been slowly leaving Massey University, and I was able to say goodbye to most of my friends before I left. Some are travelling for a few weeks before they head home, others are going home soon. I’m the first American to head home, and I’ve really gotten some tough comments from some of the more adventurous (and quite possibly wealthy) Americans about being so excited to leave. (“Why are you so excited to leave this beautiful country?” “You should travel more before you leave! Live a little!”) These comments usually come from people who don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend back home, aren’t particularly c…

Quirky New Zealand

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My time in New Zealand is coming to an end in just a few short hours, and I thought I'd share some of the things that are different here in the Land of Long White Cloud! It's definitely a completely different atmosphere than the Southern US, and I would be lying if I said I didn't experience any culture shock when I first got here. Over the past four months, I've become adjusted to the Kiwi culture, but I am ready to be back in Tennessee.
Fashion First of all, guys wear really short shorts in New Zealand. I mean really short shorts. It's not attractive in the least, and there have been a few instances when I was cringing walking behind what I thought was a girl with very unattractive legs and discovered that it was just a guy with a man bun and tiny shorts. (This is definitely something I will not miss about New Zealand.) I believe it comes from the popularity of rugby in this country, since rugby uniforms are fairly short.
In general, clothing is somewhat similar to…

Living on the Edge

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On Friday, Kristi, Kendrick, Chandler and I took a break from studying and drove three hours to Taupo to cross something very exciting off our bucket lists. 
We went bungy (or bungee) jumping.
Bungy jumping was first commercialised in New Zealand in 1988 near Queenstown in the South Island, and since 1991, over 350,000 people have jumped at Taupo Bungy in the North Island. Yesterday, I joined that number of brave souls and experienced the thrill of a lifetime.  At Taupo, jumpers fall 47 metres (51 yards) before reaching the Waikato River below, making it the highest "water-touch" bungy jump in New Zealand. (Although, I didn't get to touch the water. I don't weigh enough, and it was kinda chilly the morning of the jump.) The facility is highly professional, and the likelihood of injury is very, very slim. Bungy jumping is completely safe, given the jumper is healthy and has no previous injuries. 

We originally decided to do this when we found tickets online for $100 …