I’m back from New Zealand, and instead of the standard marketing post for this week, I thought I’d share with you what I learned taking this trip.
Traveling to NZ was my first overseas trip — and while the anticipation of it was exciting, it also filled me with anxiety. For months leading up to departure, I worried. In fact, right up until about a week before leaving, I kept thinking I should call Rachel Cunliffe, my host, and tell her I wasn’t coming after all.
I worried about money. I worried about not having the right clothes. I worried that I’d be “bugging” Rachel (who has four children, a small farm, and a business) and be in her way. I worried about driving on the “wrong” side of the road. I worried about pretty much anything that could be worried about.
Then, the day came to leave and off I went to the airport. After a stopover in California to visit friends and family, I stepped on the plane to NZ.
I had a blast! I fell in love with Rachel’s children and became like one of the family. I reveled in wearing shorts, tank tops, and bare feet every day.
I stood outside at night, when everyone was asleep, my feet sinking into the rain wet grass, and gazed up at a sky filled with stars. I hadn’t seen the Milky Way since I was 12 years old.
I helped Rachel and her husband, Regan, prepare for their Harvest Banquet. Guests were told to bring dishes using foods from their gardens; items ranged from the spit roasted lamb and pig (courtesy of Regan) to fresh veges, salads, stew, and other dishes — including desserts.
I took the bus to Auckland a few of the days and poked around the city.
I walked from one side of New Zealand to the other (the “Coast-to-Coast” walk), and enjoyed high tea at a lovely hotel. I met so many nice people — many of whom stopped to help me with directions when I got lost (multiple times!).
One day I took a ferry to an island a few minutes off of Auckland and climbed a volcano. The wind was ripping that day — so it was quite thrilling to stand on the crater’s rim and feel all that air rushing by.
And, I marveled at the cleanliness and efficiency of the public transport. “OMG!” I texted Rachel, “this train car is cleaner than my house!” Even more astounding, all the busses and trains ran on time!
I arrived home last Friday, and after recovering from flying half way around the world in 18 hours, I found myself thinking, “So what exactly was I worried about?”
I realized we build up resistance to achieving our dreams, and sometimes the resistance is so big and so powerful, we prevent ourselves from doing the very things we most want to do — especially when those things will help us grow and change.
For me, one of my fears was simply the distance: flying 9,000 miles to an unknown country and not knowing what to expect. Getting out of my comfort zone, in other words.
But I did it — and once I returned, I realized that getting to NZ was pretty easy. All I had to do was buy a ticket and get on a plane. The distance was all in my head.
Since coming to this realization, I’ve been looking at a big hairy goal I’ve been working on and thinking that perhaps the reason I’m struggling with it is because I’ve let myself become afraid of it — because it’s big. Or at least I think it’s big.
Now I’m wondering if it, too, is all in my head.
What about you? What was the first overseas trip you took and what did you learn in the process? I’d love to hear your story.