Here are ten things I learned this past month...
1) I spend more time in the future than I do in the present. I realized that I spend a lot of time thinking about what Dave and I will do in the future; where will we live, how will I decorate it, how fun it will be to finally be close to our friends, what will our next adventure be, so on and so on. I spend so much time in the future that I take the present for granted. Living in the moment and taking this adventure day by day is going to be the best way to experience it and remember it so I can tell this amazing story to our future children.
2) My goodness do I miss the ability to have a GOOOOD burger when ever the mood strikes me. Dave and I don't really eat red meat, just once in awhile and usually in burger form. Sometimes I just get a craving and I need a good burger to sink my teeth in (my mouth is kind of drooling right now). Australia does not have good burgers, heck all their red meat kind of stinks. For some reason they think they should put little onions or onion flavor in EVERYTHING, leaving the flavor to be much desired. I know that when Dave and I land in Minnesota one of the first meals will be a burger and fries...ooohhhhh I can't wait!
3) Dave and I are able to laugh at ourselves in almost all situations. This month had it's handful of situations that were pretty embarrassing, but both of us were able to laugh at each other. One such situation took place on a whale watching boat. The waves were HUGE that day, tossing our little boat here and there. One woman was very sea sick and Dave and I sat by her for about one minute before she started a little Shoave chain reaction. This reaction ends with Dave and I both at the side of the deck with vomit not only on the boat but also on us and with both of us bursting out in loud laughter. We could have been pissed, embarrassed, wanting to cry, but we just laughed because we were both in a horrible situation that we did not think would ever occur. Plus we didn't see any whales, so that makes it twice as sad.
4) In America we take many thing for granter, I like that different situations remind me of that. A simple thing that reminded me of this was not having many options in Newcastle for items. In America we have TOOOONNNSSSS of choices for almost everything we need (and don't need). Dave and I talk about all the variety that is in the states and how we kind of wish we had it here. But I also love that they don't really have chain restaurants and huge stores, a lot of places are locally run and owned. This is just one small thing that we take for granted as Americans, or it just may be me!
5) New Zealand has a departure fee. Dave and I were not aware of this when we were trying to leave the country and it was a horrible shock to our systems. We have paid departure fees before but they were in third world country where you understand why you may have to pay since the country is poor and its a way to get revenue. I don't know if New Zealand is a poor country but I do know that they are not a third world country, thus I feel it is silly that they have a departure fee. How much is the fee you ask? It is $25/person....eeeeeeecccckkkkkk. But now you are warned and told in advance so you will not have the sticker shock as we did. Literally you pay the fee and they put a sticker on your ticket so you can get to security.
6) I LOOOVVEE working in student affairs and miss it greatly! I miss being on a college campus, meeting with students, working with a great professional staff team, and helping develop others. There is an energy on a college campus that I don't think you can find anywhere else, it is a constant buzz from everyones personal energy colliding. I miss the feeling of this energy, I may be going through withdrawl from it. It was tough seeing everyones facebooks status about school starting up again and being here and not apart of the excitement.
7) Nanado's is international and still delicious. Nando's is one of Dave and I's favorite restaurants in D.C.. They serve Portuguese chicken in a variety of sauces from lemon herb to HOOOTTT and their sides are da bomb!!! The best thing is they are really cheap, you could get a meal for 4 people for like $27! We found a Nanado's in Wellington, New Zealand and just had to eat there for dinner. It was a great meal that reminded us a little bit of home in a far away place.
8) Figuring out what you want in life is a lot harder than it sounds. You may think that this is easy and everyone knows what they want. Nope, not true. If you are real and honest with yourself this is a task that can take days. You deal with different emotions and you question a lot of things. It's a hard task to finally think about what you want from life, write it down, and then figure out how to achieve it. It is hard but it is very rewarding and something that we all should do.
9) I have an addiction to reading. And this is in no means a problem, I LOVE it! Since being here I have read nine books, have 5 books waiting for me to read, and I got a job at a bookstore. The books are only priced $10 and I get a 35% discount, I'm pretty sure I will be getting plenty of more books to feed my addiction. I also have joined a book club, we have our first meeting next week where we will be discussing Michael J. Fox's "Lucky Man". I'm excited to meet other book lovers!!
10) Dave is my protector, from the little and big things. I love this about him, he just loves me soooo much. I truly am such a lucky girl, and I hope all girls get to be loved the way I am loved by Dave. In New Zealand on a rainy day I accidentally slipped and slid down a muddy hill, twice. After the first slip and slide he was terrified that I was going to hurt myself. He blocked my way and tried me to go around him...I didn't do that and I slid down the hill again. He then yelled at me to get over on the grass because he was NOT going to let me die on that hill. When we finally made it down I had mud everywhere, my front legs were covered, my back, my arms...I was a mess. We had to walk through the city and some people pointed and laughed at me, they didn't try to hide it at all. I didn't mind because hey it is funny. But Dave, bless his heart, would get furious at these people for laughing at me. I loved him for it, it's nice knowing someone will protect you from physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental abuse.
What things have you learned this month?
I can't wait to see what will happen this next month
and what little lessons I will learn.