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Travel Journal

Volume I, Entry I
Jessica Long, age 22
Auckland, New Zealand

22 years old, 18 hours away from home

Three months ago I moved all my favorite belongings back to my parents house in Rhode Island. I filled my drawers, decorated my bedroom walls, and said goodbye to my apartment in Boston. As a recent graduate from Boston University, I was transitioning to the next big stage of my life.

Just days after all my boxes were unpacked and my closet was full, I turned around and began to repack. However, this time I left the boxes in the basement and I brought out one single suitcase. On June 14th at four in the morning, my adventure began.

After driving to the horse barn, where I have spent most of my after school days, to say goodbye to my horse, followed by farewell mimosas with my family, I hopped in a car with a destination for the airport. That was the day I moved to Auckland, New Zealand - without an apartment, without a job, and without any preconceptions of what to expect.

Although my days and nights are hours apart from those of my friends and family, I find my self quite settled and very contented. Besides the kiwi accent, which slowly fades distinction as the days pass by, and the various proper English terms, such as, "til", "loo" and my personal favorite "tomato sauce" (one homemade ketchup pizza ended that confusion), life here is not much different from life back home.

Perhaps, once I depart from the city life and embark on my travels through the country, the vast differences will begin to reveal themselves. Until then, I'm going to continue living my life. My life as an explorer, as a learner, and as a free spirit. After all, I am 22 years old, living across the international dateline, with a backpack, a pair of hiking boots, a curious mind and a heart full of wonder.

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