Hobbiton

CARTEL

While I was in New Zealand I knew I had to see some Lord of the Rings scenery. We were only on the North Island which limited my options, but still left me with Hobbiton. Only a couple of us from the group wanted to go and we had heard mixed reviews on whether it was worth it. I knew when we had arrived that it was.

New Zealand is gorgeous. The rolling green hills are unlike anything I have seen before. When we arrived at the tour they picked us up in a big bus. The first this they told us was any photos taken were not to be posted anywhere public including social media. This was a bit of a bummer since, who wouldn’t want to show off that they’ve walked where the hobbits walked? After asking about how serious this rule was and being told in depth of a law suit they were in currently going after someone who had posted a photo to Facebook I decided it was not worth it to share the photos. That is why I will not be posting any photos directly from the tour.

When we pulled up to Hobbiton I was so excited to see it was exactly how it looked in the movie… I mean I realize it’s the same place, but it was surreal. Most of the little Hobbit doors didn’t open to an actual room. Some were small and what hobbit doors should be and some where sized so for an average person. Some of the doors were just like the movie and others had been stripped bare for a reason I am unaware of. They told us in depth what it took to make the scenery and shared different fun facts about it.

After taking our time strolling through Hobbiton we hopped back on the bus. To my surprise the next stop was a sheep shearing demonstration. No idea why this was a part of Hobbiton tour, but it was fun to watch. After the demonstration they gave us bottles to feed the baby sheep and we  had a blast.

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Finally, we headed back. I would highly recommend this tour to any LTR and/or sheep fan!

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Bungy Jumping in New Zealand

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I’ve never been a fan of big drops. It hurts my stomach! Even when in a car going over a steep bump I get butterflies. So I never thought I would go bungy jumping.

When we arrived at Agroventures and I saw the option to bungy jump I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would regret it if I didn’t do it. Then I found out you could even get tied to a friend and jump together. I knew this was the only way I would do it so I convinced my friend Mandie to jump with me. Without thinking to much about it we paid for the jump knowing if we paid we couldn’t back out. We watched as a few people in front of us jumped and it was terrifying. They looked like rag dolls as they bounced all around.

Our turn was finally up. We got into the crane that brought lifted us into the sky. I watched as we were rising in the air but soon had to close my eyes. I was doing my best to stay calm, but my heart was racing.

The final thud of the crane getting to it’s max height jolted me, but I was relatively calm for what was about to happen. Mandy and I had been strapped together by the ankles and were told to hold on to each other. We both had our eyes closed hugging each other tight as the guide lead us on to the edge.305235_10150780951970447_542215154_n I asked him what the best way to jump is and how he gets people who are scared to jump. He said to keep our eyes closed imagine you’re in your living room and just tip over.

Whether or not Mandy was ready that’s what I did. And off we fell. It felt like a HUGE drop. I can’t even remember if I had butterflies or not. We bounced what seemed like 100 times. Each bounce I felt the blood rushing to my eyes to the point that they felt like they were going to pop out. Finally we slowed down and they lowered us to the ground.

People always ask if bungy jumping is painful and I would say yes. But not because it jerks you around but because of all the blood in your head. I swear I had a little panic attack anytime I was upside down for a good year after that.

Would I do it again? Hell yea! I want to do a water touch next time.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?

Studying Abroad and Why It’s a Must

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Bungy Jumping is something I never thought I would do, same with dark water rafting and swimming with sharks. In my Sophmore year of college I decided I wanted to study abroad. I found a couple programs I liked, but one that stuck out to me was a Recreational Management study abroad to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji over the summer. I immediately applied and a few weeks later was accepted. The Summer of 2010 my mom and I flew to LA spent a day touring the city and then she left to go back home and cried as I went off to meet 30 strangers who I would be traveling half way across the world with.

It was terrifying to not have met a single person before the trip and it was terrifying to go on my first big trip without my parents, but it was the best thing I did in college and I wish I would have gone on more. Here is why studying abroad is a must.

1. It gets you out of your comfort zone. I already loved traveling at this point, but had only ever gone with my parents who planned and paid for everything. This was the first time I had to do some planning on my own(but not too much) and the first time my expenses were completely up to me and with my own money. I met the people I was traveling with at the airport and had to put myself out there to get to know the group and ultimately make life long friends.

2. Traveling while in college is the best time to travel. After college comes a job and I failed to realize a job is year round. There is no two week winter break, three month summer break, and all those days off in between. It’s amazing how much time you lose when you get out of college. With a career and possibly a family it can get harder and harder to travel.

3. Studying Abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sure there are other opportunities similar, but when else can you travel with a big group of people with similar interests and at a similar place in life.

4. You get college credit for doing what you love. My study abroad was focused on recreational management. We were studying how to have fun…. we would go black water rafting and observe how the guides did their job, we would scuba dive and watch the dive masters, we went bungy jumping and paid attention to how the company did liability. I mean really…. I got college credit for going on an adventure of a life time.

5. The Price. I spent about 8 weeks traveling through the South Pacific. It cost me about $4,500 all said and done. That’s flights, food, lodging, activities. To go to Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand that’s not a bad price. It was definitely expensive for a college student but if you can make it happen it is worth it. You can even apply to be the group lead and get your trip paid for, for helping in the planning process.