Since New Zealand is so far away from the States, many people have misconceptions in who exactly are New Zealanders. Part of my journey in New Zealand is to discover what is the identity of Kiwis and how do they tend to present themselves. I have learned that since New Zealand is geographically long with many different landscapes. The regional differences is very strong, so I can only speak as to the area I have been exposed to, which is Wellington.
I often see men with breads and long-hair tied up to a bun. I see women with flowy pants and long trench coats with dresses. Many people wear no shoes walking around, but there are also students wearing heels going up steep hills. Most people don’t wear makeup, but others wear a full-face of makeup. Clothing wise, retro-80s look is very trending in Wellington. People seem very non-judgemental about personal style choices, which makes the city feel safe on a different level.
When I am here, I feel encouraged by the city to try something new I never tried before! Particularly, I wanted to change my hair since I saw some packages in the grocery store. Since I have dark hair, I first need to lighten my hair and re-dye it a different color. Luckily I had a friend who was willing to help me lighten my hair! Since I wanted to make it ombre, she layered my hair and dyed it with different times to make the color show. Later I will be dying it purple — as I think it fits well with my personality.
Lately I also had been trying to incorporate more mindfulness in daily routines. A part of self expression is not only what you show to the world through outward appearances but also how you carry yourself as well. As one of my favorite videos of “make up” tutorial includes understanding eye makeup as “perspective,” blush as “kindness,” and hair as “confidence.” This helped me put everything into perspective of how one should be comfortable presenting themselves but also caring for themselves in a way that is mindful of mental, physical, and emotional health.
I had been homesick ever since I arrived, but I am so excited to say that I will be heading home in less than a month! Our university ends classes very soon and it will be exam week soon after. I can’t wait to be graduated and spend my summer traveling to see good friends. After exams, I will be going to Northland first to explore all the beautiful places – caves, sand dunes, and islands.
Many more adventures to come!