So, in a few days I will begin another excursion to the outside world. This is not the first time I will leave my home to travel abroad, yet the small feeling of dread is still all too similar like my previous experiences. In this case, that feeling seems to be augmented since it will be the first major holiday I will leave my family. Spending the New Year outside of the US is a scary thought, and being away from family during these times can weigh down on people a lot. I’ve seen it happen. One of the greatest fears that plague our minds is the fear of the unknown, and that can manifest itself when traveling abroad.
However, I gladly accept to leave my comfort zone to learn more about what is out there. Any opportunity to leave the nest is an opportunity well spent, I would say, because each time I am exposed to something new, I return home changed, with more experience, and (hopefully) a better person. It doesn’t take much to prepare for a short outing like this one. All it takes is paperwork (completed prior to departure), a backpack, a small suitcase, and an open mind.
Really, the best things on these trips are usually unexpected and pleasant, and learning along the way is indeed the best part. When someone visits a country with an open mind, expecting nothing, they usually learn about and receive more than they could imagine, and that is how I learn when I travel. Observe, analyze, and report. Just speaking and listening to people of the country and observing how life is like there can give someone a lot of information.
New Zealand will be a place I will not forget, I am sure of that. So far, the information I have looked up on New Zealand seems to only be tourist related. Lots of opportunities for hiking, places to swim, Hobbiton, etc. However, to truly understand a place, all previous assumptions about it must be cast aside and critically analyzed. Although the class is about agriculture (specifically animals), my philosophy and geography background does not allow me to look so much at what make New Zealand a great tourist place, but more at what makes New Zealand very important for agricultural production. The answer will come from the people who run the farms, those who manage the distribution of agricultural products, and the impact it has on the country (and the world, to a further extent).
This will be the main focus of my time in New Zealand. I admit, however, there is more that I would like to know about, like the culture and society (and tourist sites) in the place I will visit. Hopefully, I will have time to explore as much as I can of this beautiful island country. Until then, I hope for the best and await this great adventure.
– Emmanuel Hernandez, New Mexico State University