HAPPY MONDAY, EVERYONE! I'm so so so excited to finally share my photos from my trip to New Zealand and Fiji! For a quick story/rundown, my university has this great program where third year students study different cultures for a semester, and then for the month of May get to go out and experience them! I'll be posting every day this week, sharing photos from each place we stayed, and at the end of it all will share a video of the trip! It was a crazy, unbelievable adventure, and I'm so glad I have these photos to look back on and remember.

We also were required to keep a journal of the trip, which I would have done anyways, so I'm sharing little snippets from that as well.

A POEM FOR A STRANGER, An elisive state of existence between May 5 and May 7:

A stranger, passing
Moments of a small
Recognition. Our
Eyes become blinking
Telegrams telling
Our darkest secrets.
You are beautiful;
Your darkness is lovely
And I fall in love
With all freckles in
Your eyes,
Connecting the dots
Between you and I.

May 7 >>>

  • Got my shoes cleaned by customs.
  • Almost ran into a bird at the airport.
  • Barely made it on the airplane in time because of the shoe cleaning.
  • Discovered that people of Wellington are all well dressed.
  • Ate the most delicious fish and chips (at a cute place called The Chippery! It was also here that I fell in love with the ever ironic L&P drink ... it's ironic because that's my initials).

Part of the allure is the ability to be anonymous. I know no one, no one knows me, and no one knows that I'm American. It's almost like a secret I'm keeping from them, and I'm able to observe them closely because they don't suspect that I'm not one of them.  But what I've discovered is this: they are still just human (for some reason I had it in my mind that people in a different country were somehow intrensically different from me, which I never thought about consciously before). And they are so so unbelievably beautiful and I fall in love with every person I meet.

May 8 >>>

  • Woke up at six am.
  • Met a photographer with local firemen: "Just don't take a picture of my fat ass!" I loved getting to meet with him and talk just a little bit about photography and exchange business cards.
  • Fell in love with the city.
  • Toured Weta Studios.
  • Took the cable car.
  • Walked through the botanical gardens.
  • Saw a wild hedgehog!

[YOUR SILHOUETTE IS A REFLECTION OF MYSELF]

Old fingers.
Young face.
This is
Human Race.
To finish.
Line up.
And pick.
The poison
That we.
Make our
Life's work.
Surrounded by

Everyone.
Each person.
Same but
Separate but
Equal.
And no one
Knows and
Yes-es.
We are
All on
One bus.
And no

Gaze but.
We feel
A pull.
Towards one
Another.
Just passing
Thought to
You. I 
Receive.
And you are
The world
To me.

May 9 >>>

  • Went to the Te Papa museum.
  • Climbed Mount Victoria
  • Photographed Prince Harry!

CABLE CAR

Hushed tones bathed in red
Traveling to home
And botanical
Gardens smell the exhaust.
But one-way turns to two
And passing through, our
Red strings of fate knot
Together and then--
Silence.
Cable car silent.
All humans silent.
One one direction,
One the other way.
We look straight into
Each other's eyes and
In silence we connect
Our souls.

There was a station at the Te Papa Museum today where we could draw our own artwork. I sat across from a dad with long dirty blond hair and his little girl and she was excited about my flower drawing. It was only about thirty seconds of conversation, with the dad telling his daughter, "See the flowers in the shapes? She's an artist. You can be an artist one day too if you like." I thought it was beautiful. He's a very good father for telling her that she can be whatever she wants to be. After all, all children are born artists, the trouble is how to remain one when you grow up.

(Julia being interviewed by a local newspaper after meeting Prince Harry)

If you would like to view more photos from Wellington, check out (and perhaps purchase a print) from my gallery here!

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next round of photos!

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