5 Reasons You Need To Travel To New Zealand

5 Reasons You Need To Travel To New Zealand

New Zealand should be a must visit place on everyone's bucket list!

New Zealand is an incredible country that I had the opportunity to travel to last summer. I quickly fell in love with its beauty and friendly locals. It is by far my favorite place I've ever visited and it has a special place in my heart. Below are 5 reasons you too should visit New Zealand.

1. It’s incredibly beautiful

New Zealand is known for being one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. The beauty of New Zealand is enough to visit! It is absolutely breathtaking. You can see everything from snow-covered mountains, to cliffs overlooking the ocean, to vast waterfalls, to black pebble beaches, to vibrant sunrises on the coast. There are so many beautiful sites to visit. Really, everywhere you go is stunning in New Zealand.

2. There is so much adventure

New Zealand is the perfect place to visit if you have an adventurous soul. There are tons of places to go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, white water rafting, bike riding, and after all, bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand. It's a great place to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. You’ll be sure to have plenty of adrenaline rushes while visiting New Zealand. I can guarantee you will never get bored.

3. There's something for everyone to enjoy

New Zealand offers countless options for things to do. You can go on a hike overlooking the ocean, chill out on the beach, go bungy jumping, check out local restaurants, go shopping in the city, go to a rugby game, check out the nightlife, the options are endless. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy in New Zeland.

4. Kiwi’s are the coolest

New Zealanders’ refer to themselves as Kiwis, which is a local bird. Kiwis are some of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. They are super friendly, adventurous, easy-going, and hilarious. You'll definitely enjoy their energy!

5. The coffee is amazing

The coffee in New Zealand is some of the best I've ever had. Wellington, NZ, in particular, is known for having the best. Flat whites are the most popular drinks to order and you have to try one while in New Zealand! There are also coffee shops everywhere, so you'll constantly be tempted to grab a delicious latte (treat yo'self).

Keep New Zealand in mind the next time your planning your next travel adventure and you won't be disappointed!

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Jeanine Goodall

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An Open Letter To High School Athletes In Their Senior Season

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

As I’m sure you know senior year is an exciting time. You’re the “big dogs”, as my teachers would put it, of the whole school. This is the year you are able to do all the things you’ve waited for the past three years. You can sleep in every morning because you don’t have class until nine or leave school early because you don’t have a last hour class. It’s great, right? Right.

However, this year, although it’s arguably the best year of high school, could also be the hardest. No, not hard because of classes or homework or actually having to decide on a college. Hard because it’s full of lasts. Last Homecoming, last spirit week, last Sadie’s, last school pictures, last musical.

And for many, the last time you’ll wear that jersey.

Of all the lasts that will happen this year, that has to be toughest one. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that will continue playing your chosen sport into college. Congratulations if that’s the case for you and I hope you continue playing as long as you can.

For those athletes that have handed or will hand in their jersey. This one is for you.

When you started as a freshman four years ago, you might have had little clue what the coming years would bring. As all freshmen do, you dreamed of making varsity and playing in every game, or earning as many medals as you could. The possibilities were endless.

Now here you are, in your senior year. Maybe you’ve won a state title or two. Maybe you’ve set new school records. Maybe even state records. No matter the case you’ve played your heart out for the past four years on the field and court. You’ve woken up at five in the morning for workouts and practices. And you’ve stayed until ten at night trying to get every play in the book fixed into your brain. You’ve spent your Friday nights under those nights no matter what the weather was like, rain or snow. You’ve spent your Saturdays at volleyball tournaments and your Sundays resting knowing that Monday’s practice would be a rough one. You’ve missed nearly a whole day of school for track meets or games that were just that far away.

You have had tan lines like crazy from your tennis uniform. Softball and baseball players have one hand darker then the other and golfers have legs three shades lighter than their arms. If you were like me you'd complain about how bad your tan lines looked in homecoming pictures (thank you tennis).

It never seems like it's your last year until senior night comes along. At least that's when it hit me. Then the next thing you know the season is over and you're handing in the uniform you've had the past couple of years.

So when you go to hand in that jersey or uniform remember the last four years. I hope you remember all the bus rides to and from games laughing with your teammates. The team dinners before games and the banquets to celebrate the season. All those early morning practices you dreaded until your coach came walking in with a box of doughnuts. All the games, win or lose, rain or shine, windy or hot. All the bruises and cuts you got that seemed to take ages to go away. Every practice you had to run extra for having too many fouls or turnovers. The pep rally’s for the first game of the season. The way you felt when you made that three, scored on a serve, caught that pass, or won that medal.

Because that chapter is or is almost over. The past four years you have been an athlete, I hope you showed it in every way. One day you won’t be an athlete anymore, so take this time to enjoy it and play with every ounce of passion you can.

Cover Image Credit: Rebekkah Wamser

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Here's What I Learned Going To A Gun Range

First of all, remember to put on earmuffs.

Over Spring Break, my roommate and I decided to try out a couple of activities we've never done before. We decided to visit the gun range to experience something that is very present in our lives. Coming from a country where private ownership of guns is largely outlawed, I first encountered a drawn gun during the USC Fertitta shooter scare of 2017.

Even so, I can say that I am 'familiar' with guns, and by that, I mean it's everywhere-- in movies, video games, and other media. Branding a gun looks so effortless when the hero of the movie jumps in to save the day, but knowing that real life is never like the movies, I wanted to experience what shooting a gun is truly like.

I started to sweat profusely the moment I entered the gun club lobby. All sorts of guns were hanging on the walls, and the sounds coming from the range were LOUD. After getting our gun (AK-47), ammunition, and protective gear, we headed to the range-- WITHOUT OUR EARMUFFS ON.

It was such a common sense thing to do, but our nerves got the best of us. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach when that shot went off, and my ears were ringing for about a minute.

It took us a while to gather ourselves and make sure everything was on. The first thing that hit me when I first entered the room was the smell. I guess that's what they meant in novels when they describe the smell of gunpowder.

Then, it was time to shoot.

What I was most afraid of was the kickback, because I hear about people getting hurt from the force. But when I pulled the trigger, the thing that made me jump was the sound-- not the smell or the kickback. The sound wasn't only loud, but very distinct and punctuated-- it took me by surprise even though I was expecting it.

After a couple of rounds, and lots of pictures, we were done.

It was a learning experience; I had never held such a powerful weapon in my hand, and I went in knowing that it's not a toy that you hold and look cool in.

I would definitely do it again.

Cover Image Credit: freephotos.cc

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