Independence in Karori

A week and a half in New Zealand, and I finally feel settled.

After some time and frustration, we were finally able to book an Air BnB for two weeks. The closest one available was 12 minutes by car and 25 minutes by bus, but whatever, we were desperate right? This place was modestly priced, especially compared to the many I had pored over in the last week, but when we got there we were blown away. Not only is this home beautiful, modern, and comfortable, the view is breathtaking.

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And there is a dog! His name is Teddy. swoon He is very nosy and mischievous, but also soft and very sweet. He makes me miss my dog, Ace, who I swear can see and hear me when I Skype with my boyfriend, but I could just be going crazy.

Being in Karori has eased my mind and soul. The houses are nestled into the rolling hills and it has the feeling of a small town despite its proximity to the city.

Wellington has been fun to explore as well. There’s a lot more to discover, but so far the food is excellent, the people are kind, and the wind is constant. Plus the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is free and beautiful. We are always finding new places and deals that we know will consume our time as students in the middle of the city, such as a nearby food court serving food from all over the world, and student-discounted yoga.

I am unsure if it is the stress of the last week or just my nature, but I am finding most comfort lying in bed watching my favorite YouTube channels and surfing Pottermore (I’m a Hufflepuff). I believe that carrying three times my weight almost every day for at least half of last week put a lot of stress on my knees, which is making it difficult for me to walk, and I am finding solace in pampering myself. After buying a monthly bus pass and visiting the museum in Wellington, I left Kristin in Leyla (who went to a Valentine’s day pub crawl only to find all the men were about 17 years old!) to get my hair done, buy two muffins and jump into bed. (Luckily I ate the chocolate chip muffin earlier, because right as I was editing the photo below of the blueberry, Teddy the Rascal swooped into my room and snagged it right off the bedside table!)

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Dreading the idea of walking 13 minutes to the nearest supermarket, I braved a way-too-high delivery fee to get my sushi fix. Not very exciting stuff, but I am treating these two weeks as a vacation. Of course I’d love to experience all I can before I am bogged down with school work, but the comfort of this bed next to the view of a lifetime is definitely worth it.

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I’m excited to (eventually) go on hikes and learn to really backpack with Leyla and Kristin, and I am equally excited to explore the city on my own. Wellington is quite small, and I would love to figure out the bus system and really learn about the city. Every nook, every weekend market hidden in an underground parking lot, everything. I want to get back into my yoga practice and gain the stamina I need to really experience New Zealand. I want to be comfortable enough on my long board to travel throughout the city on it. I will take all the time I need to relax in a quiet place with a good book, but I won’t miss out on fun and new adventures. There is a balance, and I think I am getting closer to finding it.

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