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There is something so beautifully alluring about the open road. Setting out and just drifting where the mood takes you, no time crunch, no obligations, no schedule, no dwelling to keep tidy. The freedom to stop wherever and whenever simply because you choose to. The destination is wherever you are.

I am historically bad at this. Despite my longing to be free and easygoing, rigid attachment to “civilization” kept me rushing, planning, ever-focused on that next stepping stone to get to the future. College was one big, ongoing checklist, as was travel and even the great American road trip.

New Zealand has been the backdrop for innumerable lessons and opportunities for personal growth. A great deal of planning went into getting here, but the time beyond our first two weeks was largely undetermined, with only the loosest ideas. As a self-labeled control freak, this was ever so slightly uncomfortable for me. But that’s the point.

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Oceania New Zealand