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  • This has taken far too long, but in typical Christi fashion I have procrastinated… So here it is, finally, my blog. Originally I wanted to send out blast emails giving updates on my whereabouts, lessons learned, photos, etc. but after telling a friend and realizing (via their facial expression) that that particular mode of mass communication is a bit outdated…. I decided to blog- how hip of me.

    I am currently in New Zealand, just arrived Tuesday, but I left Chicago on January 11th so before I tell you about my current surroundings and experiences I want to set the stage a bit then explain how I got to where I am...3 weeks after I said I was leaving for that very place.

    I have the good fortune of having a friend that works for an international airline. On top of that, he felt generous enough to let me use one of his standby buddy passes (uh- yes please). Only problem… its standby, meaning you fly when they have seats, and if they don’t- well then good luck tomorrow . Also, this particular airline only flies direct to Sydney so I’d have to get a ticket to New Zealand from there. The situation seemed perfect for me as I didn’t have to be anywhere at any specific time. So on January 11th I flew out of Chicago to LAX to await my 10pm flight to Sydney. I didn’t make that flight. Or the next one, or the one after that…. I was beginning to think I would be living with my friend in LA (as a matter of fact I think she was too). I was wondering if I’d ever get out of the US. I wanted to leave so bad I was contemplating a roundabout journey through Tokyo! But that ended up being crazy expensive so I resolved to do what I do horribly- wait.

    I ended up being in LA for a week which was completely unplanned, but in that time I was given a chance to stay with a friend and get closer to a her during a time when she was/is feeling most homesick, reconnect with my mentor from college who I hadn’t seen in almost 3 years, and help friends from college shoot a section of their marketing video for an amazing new company they are starting called American Re-Up. In between I ate lots of puppy chow, had an incredible breakfast made for me and a friend by two gracious hosts, had multiple other meals made/bought for me, met the boyfriend from Modern Family on a grocery run to buy powdered sugar (for the above mentioned puppy chow), and went to a Golden Globes after party (Yep, for real, that happened, with cute clothes and shoes that were also graciously lent to me).

    I did, however, finally get on my flight on January 18th. My first request once the flight attendant came by with drinks- whiskey. I arrived safely in Sydney after a 14 hour flight, on January 20th at 7 in the morning. The following week was a whirlwind of coincidences, wine, surprise excursions, free upscale meals, wine, beaches, runners, flies, stinky feet, amazing coffee, roses and more wine. I’ll write a specific post dedicated to my romps in Australia soon but in the interest of your attention span the above will just have to serve as an appetizer :)

    I’ve now been in Auckland for 4 days and have had a night out with 5 people I met on a traveler’s networking site (Travel Buddy) from Norway, Germany, California, and Canada and we danced the night away to Michael Jackson and more 80/90’s hits (who knew they loved US pop stars this much?!). None of the past 3 weeks would have happened had I tried to plan everything, even the ticket! Had I tried to control outcomes and give myself a safe and sanitized version of a trip I would have missed most of this. That has been one of the biggest lessons learned thus far, to let go of control because honestly we have less of it than we think. The other has more to do with my inability to make decisions. Most times the idea of making them is crippling. Usually I just walk away, allow my mind to wander and focus on something else and somehow the decision is made, either by a result of time or other people getting too impatient with waiting and making it for me :-/ Well my wise grandmother once told me, “Chris, you’re a smart girl- you’ve done the research. There’s no wrong answer, just pick one!” So I am doing my best not to let all of the options weigh me down. I’m trying to stay in touch with my reasons for leaving home and traveling and allow those to guide my decisions and just go.

    Traveling solo rarely gets lonely with all of the other solo travelers who are looking to join in on the journey. The hardest part has been dealing and living with myself. I’m facing some things within me that I’m not entirely comfortable or happy with (indecisiveness, lack of resolve and will power). There are definitely kinks that I need to work out, and I’m hoping that this very public record of my musings will prove as a mirror for me. And I’m also hoping that you all will help keep me honest and push me along when I get a little sick of myself ;)

    Tomorrow I’ll be leaving for the Coromandel Peninsula to explore that area a bit. I promise the next posts won't be this long! I’ll post pics soon!
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