It is the end of March! Where has the time gone? Apologize for the slightly later (Sunday instead of the usual Friday) posting. My internet every week is limited, and I used all my allotment too soon in the week.
At my current stage of studying abroad I have reached stage 4. I have been experiencing a new kind of normal. I usually feel quite adaptable to new environments and comfortable being in unfamiliar situations, but it has taken me a longer time to adjust in New Zealand. I wonder maybe it is because I am not filling my schedule with an abundant amount of work, a state where I thrive on being productive and busy. Usually my days are filled with clubs, job(s), volunteer work, homework, socializing, and personal time. Being in a new country and studying on an unfamiliar schedule (and not having my usual work/ volunteer/ social circles) I find myself with free time – finally time to read, to paint and self-care that I often neglect. Many moments are also filled with exploring nature, cooking and reflection to help me regulate a stable life style.
I think at the beginning of the month where I felt very helpless and struggling while I was sick definitely served as a low point. Though I found that as a good discovery of how important health and self-care is while abroad. There are no close, loving friends (nor family) around me, which means I need to develop resilience and independence to take that extra mile in checking in with myself. Now I have developed a decent schedule where Mondays I schedule out my week and set out weekly or daily goals. Tuesday through Thursday I focus on making the maximum amount of progress in my research work. Friday night I treat myself with a movie or hang-out with a friend exploring the city or other activities. Saturday I wrap up some homework and read comfortably at the local library. Sunday I do a reflection, finish some writings and go to the Harbourside market to buy fresh groceries – fruits, vegetables for a very decent price!
I am happiest when I am productive but over the last month I realized the importance of relaxation, which means both outdoor and indoor activities – living a balanced life! There are still many small moments that I still notice that I am not familiar with – Kiwis don’t say “Bless you” as much as Americans do. I ALWAYS want to say that after someone sneezes. Apparently when you ask a Maori where they came from, they would answer “Hawaiki” – but this can’t be traced back to a real place?
I love learning something new everyday while being embedded in my own routine. A piece of me will always be in Wellington.