Kelsie on New Zealand

Our second guest post is Kelsie from Thoughts From the Girl Next Door. Kelsie is one of those real-life friends I have who really knows how to live life. She has taught me so much about celebrating the small things, not taking life to seriously, and how therapeutic dancing to Justin Bieber and Beyonce can be. I love this girl so much.

Hello everyone! I'm Kelsie from
Thoughts From the Girl Next Door. I was so excited (and honored!) when Mandy asked me to guest post the other day, except I have to be honest: not only was I semi-intimidated (read: completely), I also had the hardest time figuring out what I wanted to write about.

Mandy was actually one of the first "blog friends" I made years ago. Not long after, I was lucky enough to become real life friends with her over a lunch at Cafe Rio and cupcakes at the Sweet Tooth Fairy. What I can say from being lucky enough to know Mandy, is that she is an intelligent, ambitious, beautiful person inside and out, and that she truly did marry the doppleganger of Jim off The Office. Looks, personality, everything = Kevin. So thank you Mandy for letting me be a part of your darling and beautiful blog, and letting me guest post!

What I wanted to write mostly about today was the experience I had this summer while living in New Zealand.

My parents like to tell me I have a small comfort zone; stubbornly I disagree, but I think most of the time I know they're right. I eat turkey, cheese, and bread for 90% of my meals. My friends are the same friends I've had since I was thirteen. And with one small 4-month exception, Utah has always been home.

When my dad first accepted a job that would take him 7,000 miles away, I remember one night asking him how he could be so brave? I think his response fell something along the lines of what Robert Frost once said, and that he was "taking the road less traveled" - but for whatever reason, that conversation has always remained with me.

When the chance came earlier this year to spend a part of my summer in New Zealand, although I knew it would be out of my comfort zone, I knew it would be an experience that could bless my life. So off I went!

Living six weeks in another country certainly doesn't make me an experienced world traveler, but those short six weeks gave me a taste of something different, and I think a little bit of courage. A few days after coming home, I saw a trailer for the movie "Life in a Day" (has anyone else seen it??) and watching it only confirmed what my experience abroad taught me in small a way.

I think the world has so much to offer; but it wasn't the beautiful landscape or the amazing countryside of New Zealand that inspired me so much, (and that's not to say that the country itself isn't completely gorgeous) - but it was understanding a different way of life through the people I met. Whether they were from South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, or New Zealand, these different ways of life made me appreciate the beauty life so much more.

And the best part of all of that? It was something that I didn't have to leave behind. As I boarded the plane and looked out the window, I realized that what I was taking home with me wasn't just the Tim Tam cookies in my carry on bag, it was a new perspective. It reminded me of something Henry Miller once said, "One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

Not everyone is going to travel the world, and I may never be able to visit another country again, (and unfortunately I still remain the worlds pickiest eater) - but my summer in New Zealand taught me that it's not going to be the postcards or stamps in my passport that broaden my horizons, but the people and lives that I really take the time to really get to know.
And best of all? That can happen to anyone, anywhere the world will take you.

Thanks again so much Mandy for letting me share my thoughts!
And thanks to all of you for reading them!


Emily Meyerhoffer said...

I could listen to your thoughts all day long, Kelsie!

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittany said...

Whoops, I commented from my mom's account!

Kelsie, I couldn't agree with you more. Traveling and meeting different kinds of people has opened up my mind so much. I love how you articulated your thoughts--so true and well-said and fabulous.

L!$@ said...

I wanna see that so bad! Such an awesome idea :D Glad two of my favourite bloggers are friends too :D

withoutizy said...

I want to see that movie SO badly! Grrr!

Also I'm from NZ - currently living in Europe and I've traveled a wee bit now. I love our world, but i love my home so much too! I'm glad you enjoyed your time there. xx