I can’t even believe we’re getting ready to wrap up the year. Around this time of year, I always find myself in a reflective mood. My mind is a constant flow of thoughts and questions, some which remain unanswered. If you’re in the same boat, I would really suggest talking it out with your best friend perhaps over hot cocoa, or just write. I like to think I’m really lucky because I have some of the best friends in the world. We talk about anything and everything, all that’s in between. Whether it be something silly like explaining what the latest meme means, or something as deep as how extraordinary the galaxy is and how there are galaxies beyond us humans have yet to discover. It’s magical and unreal. As I reflect on my life, I like to remind myself what one of my best friends told me: our galaxy is only one drop in the ocean. That will forever blow my mind. Life is way too short. What’s important to you? Make time for it. Name your top 3 dream destinations. GO THERE. Do something big. Help people. Inspire people. At any time in your life can you decide that today is the day.

One of the best ways for me to reflect is to be on my own. Traveling alone has allowed me to open up to people. It allows me to test myself, question my weaknesses, and turn them into a life lesson or something to be proud of. Being an introvert, I’m forced to break out of my comfort zone and adapt. One thing you might not know about me is that I was terrible when it came to navigating my way around – not just on foreign land, but even in my own hometown. One of my greatest accomplishments is getting over the fear of being lost. I’ve turned it into something to be excited about. Getting lost in Auckland? Check! And it was awesome. I’ve not run into one grumpy person in this whole city and though some are telling me that locals are always kind to tourists, I like to let myself believe that people are just genuinely kind. That’s it. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’m sitting in an eatery/grocer/flower shop in Auckland right now called Scarecrow. I’m writing on my phone because I couldn’t be bothered lugging around my laptop when I knew I would hardly even touch it. Jazz music is playing, blended in the sounds of clinking glass, and city traffic. To my right is a large window, letting in natural light and despite the cold summer rain, I am happy. Despite being alone in an unfamiliar place, I am happy. Despite my empty glass of iced tea, I am happy. Despite today being my last full day in the gorgeous country of New Zealand, I am happy. I am happy, grateful, appreciative of all the people I have encountered. I’m leaving with some of my favorite memories with a friend of five years I never met until a few days ago, new friends I’ll have to reach out to not only in NZ but in Ireland and Korea too!, new ink that I’m obsessed with, and Marmite crossed off my very touristy list of eats.

I’ve become keen (kiwi slang!! I’m leaving with that too!)  with writing while I’m out and about, particularly in coffeeshops with great music. My posts so far have been just my brain to fingertip action, not much planning involved at all, but I really do plan on sharing some of my tips and tricks with traveling solo. It’s something I really feel passionate about and something I would highly encourage anyone and everyone do at least once in their lives. So that might be coming up soon! For now, I hope this is okay. If you read this, I love you and I hope you have the best day ever.