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A Thirty-Something Flying Blind

Destination: ¯l_(ツ)_l¯

Month

March 2016

Movin’ Right Along

Life announcement time!

Since starting college, I have moved a lot:

  • Age 18: Moved to Atlanta, GA for undergrad. Moved in & out of dorms every year for 4 years.
  • Age 22: Moved to NC for my M.A. Moved after first year for super cheap rent with awesome roommates.
  • Age 24: Moved overseas to the Netherlands for my Ph.D. Moved to a new kamer after a year, and too tired of moving to even consider finding a new place.
  • Age 28: Moved to Perth, Australia for an awesome post-doc.
  • Age 29: Moved to Gold Coast, Australia to continue working on the awesome post-doc.

And while I have moved a lot, I have enjoyed all the places I’ve been and the opportunities I have had. And now, I’m happy to report that I have a new bullet point to add:

  • Age 30/31: I will be moving to Nashville, TN for a new, awesome post-doc at Vanderbilt University.

That’s right–I am moving back to the South, y’all!

Right around my birthday in July (hence the ambiguous age), I will make the move back to the U.S. While my international travels likely will decrease (for now), I am sure to travel more in the U.S. now than I did in the past. Still, it will be good to be back in the U.S. after living abroad for seven years…although I seriously hope this election year will not make me regret that decision. 😀

Darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes

Queenstown, New Zealand is known for its adventure tourism. According to their wiki page, they claim to have over 220 different adventure-related activities (sky diving, bungy jumping, canyon swings, paragliding, etc.).

That said, I did absolutely none of those things.

I’m not against going extreme, but I would rather spend my time and money on seeing and experiencing things I can’t do in other places. Some of these extreme things in Queenstown are unique (e.g., the canyon swing), but they didn’t appeal to me. In my mind, if I were to skydive, I could do so any time or anywhere else on the planet. Seeing kiwis or going on a Lord of the Rings tour, now that’s unique. And I now I can always tell people that I had tea and biscuits in the forest where Boromir died.

Also, I think I maxed out my “extreme” quota for my New Zealand trip when I went on a crazy heli-hike tour on Fox Glacier. As the name suggests, I rode in a helicopter and hiked on a glacier, which is something I never thought that I would do in my life. It was a great experience, but it was a terrible decision for someone who is legally blind (single-file, trying to see the path ahead. Not easy.). Still, I survived, and I lived to tell the tale.

Instead of going to extremes in Queenstown, I chose to do the following:

  • Lord of the Rings tour (because I am a nerd)
  • Rode the gondola up to the Bob’s Peak on Ben Lomond
  • Saw kiwis (and heard kiwi mating calls, which is rare) at the Kiwi Birdlife Park
  • Went to an ice bar.
  • Went on a wine tour
  • Planned to go stargazing, but canceled both nights due to weather.

Mind you, all of those activities were awesome, which goes to show that Queenstown is amazing even for those who might not be an adrenaline junkie.

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