Shire  Smiles

Yo yo yo so here’s a throwback of chunky lil’ Denae playing Bilbo Baggins at her community playhouse. So you could say that my visit to the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata yesterday was a long time coming. Even though getting there and back again (heehee) took all day by bus (3-4 hours each way), […]

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Auckland

In Auckland, frankly exhausted from the week of fun in Queenstown (it was so nice to flop into my homestay bed), and coming down with the sniffles, I was ready for a quiet couple days. After all, you have to take care of yourself–especially when traveling solo. There’s no use seeing the fun sights if […]

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South for the Winter

The first step to finding joy was finding the right pair of shoes. Rewind with me for a second back to Bondi Beach. My first afternoon there I got settled into my homestay, breathed in some fresh sea air… and then headed over to the first thrift store I could find. Little did I know […]

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Ways to Keep Warm in the Sydney Winter

It turns out there are some perks to accidentally planning your trip to Sydney in its winter instead of summer–less-crowded beaches and off-season prices being a couple. Find some ideas for an Australian winter getaway in my article on the Student Universe blog!

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Jesus, Take the Wheel

Carrie Underwood’s ballad has never spoken to my heart so much as it did today. This enlightenment featured one rental car, two American girls who just wanted to get to Queenstown, and six hours of driving through the South Island of New Zealand…on the left side of the road. There were white knuckles and Adele […]

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Unavoidable Existential Thoughts Which Accompany Visits to the Ocean

Today, it actually was something resembling warm–so I got on a bus for 20 minutes to Sumner and went to the beach! I sat on a rock and ate a sandwich and then watched as the ocean washed away my oh-so-carefully engraved words in the sand. **shameless plug: see more pictures on my Instagram under this […]

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Take Me to (Christ)Church

They told me it would be cold here. I just thought they meant, you know, a warmer cold. But no such luck. So, as my back pack is full of shorts and skirts and dresses and things befitting the summer of the Northern Hemisphere and not the winter of New Zealand, I had no choice but […]

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Australia Recap

Sydney was a party. I was probably just overwhelmed with gratitude that I was in a place where I knew the language and had partially been exposed to the culture (thx Olsen Twins, #OurLipsAreSealed), but I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed it even otherwise. Living with Julie in central Sydney kept me close to a lot […]

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Bondi: Beach, Brunch, Repeat

If living in central Sydney was about seeing the sights, then living at Bondi is all about taking it easy. Perhaps that’s my first lesson in beach culture.   Bondi is small, but I’ve kept busy well enough. Suffice it to say that the staff in all of the thrift stores recognize me by now. […]

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