Life is all about people.
They stay. They go. That’s just how it is.
But what I do know is that despite the end (and the sad truth, that I probably will never see some of these faces again in my life) we were there.
And I think that’s what the Kiwi Experience has always been about. It’s never been about the places you go or what you see or the weather or the activities.
It’s about a true New Zealand experience.
(And yes, the fall season down here brutally assaulted us with its rain and cold and ugh.)
It’s about life. It’s about dealing with the unplanned and the unpredictable and the unwanted.
It’s about the memories you make for a lifetime and the friends you do get to keep.
Yes, I was a sap and almost cried at the bar my last night while the lyrics of “I Love It” rang throughout the bar. But no I didn’t cry.
I put on a smile.
Because despite the rain and mud and cancellations I met people that have changed my life in the smallest of ways.
And yes my Austrian friend Mike did tell me he would always remember me. And yes maybe that was beer and tequila induced but some part of me hopes it’s true.
Because yes, we’re all gonna move on and do things and see things and just be.
But thank you.
Because I came into this alone.
And by the end of 10 (maybe 11, 12?) days I came out of it more alive and excited and independent than I’ve ever been.
I was terrified going into this. I am beyond glad I was proved wrong.
I came out of it with people I didn’t think I would get to meet.
I came out of it with dirt crusted boots and clothes I’ll probably have to throw out this week.
I came out of it with dizzying bus ride headaches and a list of things I need to do in the future places I plan to see.
I came out of it. I did it.
And I love you all for it.
So thank you.
Thank you for reminding me how small this world is. And for why I’ve always wanted to travel and to try and to do. And for walking through. And for dancing and laughing and screaming and whining and hiking and stargazing and drinking and snapping photo after photo after photo after photo.
Maybe one day, if ever, we could do it again.
And if not, well, it’s not goodbye: it’s good luck.
Maybe next time you won’t have a vacation from hell.
I can’t wait to hear your stories.
But hey guys, we survived.