My travels, thoughts, memories, and love all in one place. Life documented as a twenty-something.



I hate writing this post. But it must be done. And if I put off writing it any longer then I will forget even more. I don't want to forget. But I also don't want to accept its over. What a dilemma... So the South Pacific. Lets talk about it. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. But this trip was different than my first study abroad, because it didn't quite feel like a study abroad. I think largely is because of the fact that this was a paid internship for me so I wasn't a full fledge participant like the others. I was like this awkward-in-the-middle-half-student-half-director thing which honestly made it hard to connect with the other girls in some situations. But by golly this was by far the best paid internship I think anyone could ever ask for! Plus I loved every single girl (and Ed!) that participated. We had such a good group and we really came together in so many situations. You just create a different, unique and special bond with people when you travel together. And Patti Freeman, don't even get me started on my love for good ol' Batty Free Man (inside joke... you wouldn't understand unless your name is Ning). I have absolutely loved loved loved working with Patti. When I first had Patti as a teacher I wasn't quite sure how I felt about her because we didn't really "click". But now, well now I am totally considering Patti as a future bridesmaid because we clicked THAT much. And you can tell I am being real here because Patti reads my blog and she might even read this post. And everyone knows that the moment when you finally become "real friends" with someone is when you get to that point where you can tell them your nasty first impression of them and know you two can laugh about it. Well ya. Patti and I totally passed that point. So Patti and I started working together after she hired me back in November. Going into the interview we both weren't sure if we liked each other, but during my interview we just sat there and talked about what a hunk Derek Hough is on Dancing with the Stars. And from that fan-girl moment we knew we would be friends. Patti made the study abroad so easy to plan. She was so easy to work with. And quite frankly Patti is so inspirational and I truly look up to her in so many ways. I know for a fact that Patti truly touched the lives of every girl (and Ed, the one boy) on that trip because she surely touched mine! So thank you Patti, I am clapping for you now! So as one final tribute to #rectrek15 here is a list of the bests and worsts:

  • Best gelato: Giapo in Auckland, New Zealand. Like I may or may not have paid $20 for a deluxe cone but let me tell you it was worth every penny.

  • Best meal: The Flying Burrito Brothers in Hamilton, New Zealand. This was one of those meals that I was still thinking about weeks later. In fact I still think about how good that place was!

  • Interesting meal: Like every other dinner in Fiji was a little interesting... But good. But still interesting.

  • Song of the trip: Talking Body by Tove Lo and I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

  • Key phrases: See ya! (said in a Sarah Christensen voice)

  • Favorite run: 5 miler to the Sydney Opera House and back

  • Best dessert: That one chocolate crêpe in Fiji that Mirelle started crying over when she saw. Like the crêpe wasn't that good but the moment was gooooood.

  • Most spontaneous moment: Skydiving in Auckland, New Zealand... Literally put my life on the line with chain smoker Sam

  • Candy bar of the trip: Mint Kit-Kats

  • Candy of the trip: Sour gummy worms

  • Best cheese: Heritage cheese from Gallo Dairyland

  • Most endearing moment: The mothers day picture Maxwell drew for Patti

  • Most relaxing moment: The well deserved and needed pedicure in Cairns, Australia

  • Best sleeping arrangements: Rotorua, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia

  • Mixed feeling sleeping arrangements: Fiji... like I don't know how many geckos I counted those nights

  • Scariest moment: That 15 hour ferry ride and that crazy jumping pillow at Hot Water Beach

  • Most awkward moment: The Skyline Luge gift shop encounter with Ed, Madison you know what I'm talking about haha

  • Pure happiness moment: The last 20 miles of our sea-kayaking adventure to the Fiji resort. Madison and I legit got out of that kayak and ran to that beach with tears in our eyes.

  • Most accomplishing moment: Boarding that plane from Fiji to New Zealand

  • Most embracing & living in the moment: Watching the Vivid lights as a group on our last day, that jet boat ride with the group around Sydney Harbour, and the last day in Bondi surfing with Ed and Sloane.

  • Most expensive wifi that Madison and I paid for and kept a secret the entire trip because we knew everyone would make fun of us: Papageno Resort.... I think it was $25 for 30 minutes? Please judge us.

So yes here is the last official post about any study abroad I will ever go one. Actually I take that back. Because as soon as I finish my study abroad video recap I will post that and that will be the last one ever. But jet lag is real. And procrastination is real so lets just keep our fingers crossed that that gets done before I turn twenty two.

xx, m. P.S. Lets take one last moment to silently acknowledge the mastermind of this trips hashtag. So to Patti Freeman, the creator of #rectrek15!!!