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Hello!

I am back home from my 6 week Contiki trip and it was amazing! Loved the sights and sounds and the trip manager was so great, but I don’t think I could do another big group trip. I think I would do better with a smaller group, and definitely with friends or a partner. I think I really needed it – I needed that excitement, I needed to learn more and get that perspective in life. I found it very easy to distance myself from things like World Wars, Nazi Germany, current refugee situation, GFC ramifications and Brexit since I live in a place that literally could not be further from the action – all of those things were just subjects in school or on the news for an hour a day. It is so much more confronting and makes it so much more real for me when I’m seeing the university Hitler got rejected from in Austria and the balcony that he stood from when he declared Anchsluss. When you see how much war is in Europe’s history and has so many consequences, and has caused so much fear and death. I never could grasp how powerful ideology could be, until I was going through the House of Terror and realised that fascism and antisemitism are literally just ideas. Ideas that caused millions and millions of deaths just to defend that idea, that people are killed for not thinking the same, or being the target of one of those ideas.

It’s so crazy to me that when I visited the Hot Gates with a Spartan statue to comemmerate the 300 Spartans that fought there against the Ottoman Empire that.. Spartans were real. Before, Spartans to me were as real to me as Maui and his fishing boat and I thought the movie 300 was based on a myth. But it’s not. 300 Spartans, who were some of the fiercest warriors the world had ever seen fought there and were people like me. I just can’t really get over how all these historical figures and events became extremely humanised for me. Of course I have heaps of stories and things I found interesting on the trip.

Some little bites I’d like to share;

  • My favourite country was Greece- sooo dreamlike. White sands, white houses, beautiful seas and sunsets. I’m currently reading a book called Mythos by Stephen Fry and the myths and legends from Greece are so beautiful and interesting to see how a lot of english words came from Greek god/goddess names. I went to Athens, Ios and Santorini in Greece and my favourite was definitely Ios. I would love to go Mykonos and Crete.
  • I LOVED Paris! Before I had heard that Paris was dirty and lots of scammers but I didn’t think so at all. I loved the history, the vibe and the architecture of the city, every street is so beautiful and I love how passionate people are about politics. I also loooovee the way they respect their food and treat it so well, I appreciate it so much. I would really like to go back and visit Lyon, because it’s supposed to be a gastronomical destination and you can do gastronomy tours there and that sounds ammaaazzingg. I really like the French language too- I always thought it was tacky when people were obsessed with Paris and French and although I still do, I can see why there is a hype. French is so chic! My trip manager also told us that French people were like coconuts- hard exterior but once you get passed it they’re really soft and sweet on the inside and I love that analogy. I like those sort of people. Plus how good would a French boyfriend be. I was literally daydreaming about moving to France and immediately thought about how I could not speak French, but then at least I could get swiping on Tinder and Bumble and get a French boy and that’s what really matters- to be in range for booty call apps.
  • My favourite food had to be from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland region because they really like pork belly and knuckles, sausages, beer and divine cheese. I had this really nice herbs cheese and ham cheese in Switzerland and I still think about it regularly. There were so many cheese stores who would give you free samples and I don’t think I can ever eat cheese that could top Switzerland cheese. I also really liked their roast pork belly and roast pork knuckles. The crackling- sooooo goooooddd. Switzerland was actually so beautiful, no wonder the rich and famous always decide to hide or send their kids to boarding school there.
  • I don’t think I want to live in London. I know a lot of Kiwis and my friends have moved over there but I think I would seriously struggle with the high cost of living and the pressure. I believe I would be more excited to move to France, before England.
  • Places in Europe I want to go to next: more time in Italy, Lyon in France, Mykonos and Crete, Croatia (the cities have their GoT name on their instagram geotag and it killlss me I want to go there so bad) and more of the UK!

I also got quite sick so my body definitely needed the rest.

I think it also has helped my direction in my life, and helped me think about what I want- I have some really clear goals now that I want to work towards, and I am actually really keen to get started on them. I know it will be different once I am in a routine again, and I’m so glad I’ve gone an adventure that I’ve always wanted to go on my entire life. it actually surprises me a little that I went to America before Europe, as i’ve wanted to go Rome, Italy specifically since I was in school.

Now I am back on the jobhunt again. I’ve managed to sort out a few life admin things since being back, like getting my full drivers license!!! And reporting for jury duty. I got summoned before I left and they knew I was coming back so they sent me another letter while I was away, and I have to go in and see if I get chosen at the end of this month!!

Hope you are all doing well- until the next thing that crushes my soul and I end up on my blog ranting about it lol

Esther

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