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New Zealand Blog 1: I’m Flying, You Fools

 Written by    May 16, 2018

I feel a little bit like Bilbo in the beginning of “The Hobbit”. You know that gif where he finally yells, “I’m going on an adventure”?

If you think he’s excited, that’s a common misconception from the movie. In the book, even after Bilbo agrees to go on the adventure with Gandalf and the dwarves, J.R.R. Tolkien cleverly weaves in Bilbo’s lack of enthusiasm by writing just about every other page, “Poor Bilbo just wished he was at home, in his hobbit hole, eating seedcakes and suppressing every bit of his Took self, and not be around these terrible dwarves.” Okay, not those exact words.

But the point is, I feel a little like Bilbo in being reluctant to explore the rest of Middle Earth. As I write this, I’m waiting out a five-hour layover in the Houston airport until I can board my flight to New Zealand for my four-week OHIO STATE-SPONSORED (#GoBucks #ComeHere #Recruit #BuckeyesAboard #It’sTHE) Global Project. It’s through the Fisher College of Business – a consulting project with seven other people (split into two teams). I’ll be consulting with the American Chamber of Commerce.

It’s a weird ending to this year. I haven’t blogged since last November since being slammed with work. So I think I need to catch all my dear readers up a bit.

The pros of this year:

  • Many more friends. I’m not sure if it’s because I got better looking, but the awkwardness of my interactions in high school have suddenly become cute, even though I am still very awkward. I know a lot more people.
  • Pushing my limits – pushing myself to take every opportunity, to still ace school, and still not be an asshole. (Read: 2 majors, 4 student orgs, 1 job, about 15 internship applications).
  • Doing everything I love.
  • Learning a ton. I know how venture capital works now. And what big data is.
  • Took a class on Lord of the Rings. (Very important!) (It’s English 3372, “Tolkien’s Monsters”).
  • Built back up my writing confidence after a class completely destroyed it last semester.
  • Learning about zines. Submitting to a zine. About to have my poetry published in a zine!
  • Threw a surprise party for my best friend.
  • Living in Scott.

(I know all the verbs are not parallel at all. Sorry.)

The cons of this year:

  • Have not been able to breathe.
  • Have been very impatient.
  • Being introverted in business school is very hard.
  • Being rejected from an internship I was 99.999% sure I was going to get.
  • No sleep.

So I was a little doubtful coming into this trip. I committed to it because 1) I could use my STEP funds (OSU second-year program), 2) I could go to Hobbiton after taking a class on Lord of the Rings (maybe that was reason 1), and 3) Because I would like to be undaunted. Undaunted by foreign countries, travel, other people…

So. The things I’m looking forward to most:

  • Bungy jumping.
  • The scenery.
  • Different looking streets.
  • Getting a new perspective. I’m not sure what this is, yet.

The things I’m not looking forward to:

  • Sharing an apartment with 5 other girls I do not know. I am a clean freak. My roommates in college are even more so. Uh oh.
  • Traveling with 7 people I don’t know! I’ve written about being introverted before. More and more, I feel like that defines me. The introvert in me likes quiet time, time to myself. Time to read books and poetry, watch plays, write. Time to breathe, look around, observe the beauty of, well, observation. Observing who is around me, the taste of every morsel of food I get, the sights and sounds and smells of each scene I enter. Time to sit in early mornings and just take the world in. I’m scared I won’t get time to do that.
  • Managing everything halfway across the world. What if I get sick? What if I lose something? What if I just don’t like what I’m doing?

So I feel like I haven’t been able to breathe since last November, and now, sitting down in this airport terminal, and I am slightly nervous.

Nonetheless, I want to remember the beauty of travel, new experiences, and pushing my boundaries. So I’m going to write while I’m there and document it. And what better way to frame it than by Lord of the Rings for a New Zealand travel blog?

I think this chapter of my journey perfectly aligns with Bilbo in the first few chapters of the Hobbit. My professor told us, “Hobbits are more us than we are.” They certainly are: they are homebodies, love food, and the peacefulness of a quiet life.

So I was thinking about something with “Hobbit” in the title for this blog. These are the names I was considering:

  • Do they have second breakfast in New Zealand?
  • Channeling my inner Thorin
  • Leaving the Hobbit Hole

…but I think I should choose something more optimistic. Well, the name I am thinking of is a little dark considering that Gandalf was battling a Balrog when he said this. (Also, it’s “You cannot pass”, not “You shall not pass”. Another movie misconception.) Anyway, you already know what name I chose, because that’s why you clicked on this blog name. So. I’ll keep ya updated, don’t worry. I’ll be protecting this laptop I’m typing on like the One Ring.

Bilbo Gif

Study Abroad


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