I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and happy during these unprecedented times. Due to the pandemic, the girls and I returned to the States about a week early. It was a crazy adventure to say the least.
Let me fill you in on our trip home. I was on my way to the airport to visit Australia when I checked my email and saw Marymount Center for Global Education emailed us to say things were starting to look unsafe and they suggested we come home. I gave the office a call and talked it through with them. They offered to help rebook flights as well as any other accommodations that may have been needed. Their number one priority was getting us home safely, which is always appreciated!
Nothing can go without a hiccup, right. While I was in Sydney, I received a messages letting me know that if I did not return to New Zealand by Sunday at midnight, I would have been mandated to quarantine for 14 days. Which then meant I would have missed my flight back to the States. Talk about scary! my original flight landed back in Auckland at 11:45pm, not enough time to get through customs. I immediately went to my hotel, packed up my belongings, and Ubered to the airport to get on the flight out they had that night. I got super lucky, and the lady was able to put me on the night flight out.
Coming back into the United States, I had so many emotions. To start I was extremely anxious about being on a plane for that long, so close to so many people who may or may not been ill at the time of flying. I was nervous about the long flight back. From Auckland to San Francisco was about 13 hours, and then from San Francisco to Dulles it was another 5 hours. Lots of time traveling that day. I was scared about the borders because we had heard so many different rumors about what was happening at the U.S Borders. I was extremely happy to be back in the States with friends and family as well. I was feeling almost every emotion under the sun as I was returning to the States.
As I have been home for about a month I have had time to reflect on my trip and I wanted to go through my top 5 memories of being abroad, but first a life lesson.
Life Lesson: Always be flexible
Being flexible means to be able to change to adapt to the current situation or circumstance. Life right now as we know it is a little hectic. We need to learn to adapt and be flexible with the situation. Coming back early was heartbreaking, having to say goodbye was rushed, but thinking flexibly, I needed to return to where I was safe, and healthy to continue my education.
Okay, here we go, my top 5 memories from this incredible trip.
5. The adrenaline of getting on a plane to go to a new country!
This feeling is like no other. I was super excited to hop on a plane with an incredible friend and travel for 24 hours to an unknown country and make some unforgettable memories. The feeling of packing up your life for almost 2 months, then leaving something so familiar was an experience I have never had. I do not regret a moment of it.
4. Queenstown, New Zealand
What an incredible place filed with even more incredible people. The girls and I traveled down to Queenstown for a weekend. It was full on amazing views and the nicest people. We decided to stayed in a hostel and meet so many new friends and learned about their journey and why they ended up in Queenstown also. Queenstown will always have a special place in my heart
3. Sydney, Australia
Being abroad gave me the opportunity to travel even more. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to travel to Australia. I had the opportunity to go so I went. The feeling of landing in Australia was unlike any other. I was so excited. The man sitting next to me on the plane could tell how excited I was, so he started giving tips and tricks on different things I should do and see! Seeing the Opera House in person was absolutely breathtaking. This feeling is definitely a top 5 memory for me
2. My Host Family
My host family was amazing. They treated us like their own children. They drove us to and from school every day. Always offered to make us breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drove us wherever we had asked and most importantly genuinely cared about us. I am forever grateful for my homestay and the memories we created together.
Riverhills School has a place in my heart forever. I have an entirely new perspective on different languages and cultures because of this school, students and teachers I worked alongside with. I was the youngest teacher there, but I was never looked down upon. The teacher and teacher’s aids always wanted my opinion, asked about how we did certain things in the States, and communicated with me rather than making me feel left out. They always reviewed things with me to make sure I understood what was happening because of a partial language barrier and cultural difference. But for this I am forever grateful!
I am honored to have been a part of such a special experience. I am extremely grateful to Marymount for giving me this incredible opportunity to teach abroad and get a global perspective, and I am so proud to call myself a Marymount Global Ambassador.