First post or why I created this blog

Packing Panic Mode

That’s my current situation.

I am leaving for the other side of the world on Saturday, and I don’t have anything packed yet.  Sure, stuff that I want to take is lying about, but it’s not actually in my backpack yet.

To bring everyone up to current speed, I am moving to New Zealand next week to start my working holiday. I created this blog to keep my family and friends happy and informed, and to let them know I’m still alive. I plan to chronicle my adventures as both a scientist in environmental toxicology and as a wanderer seeking new experiences.

 Here’s a brief history leading up to this decision:

 Back in May 2004, my mom and I traveled through Australia and New Zealand after I graduated from college. I fell in love with both places and wanted to go back right away, mainly to New Zealand. However, I got busy doing other things (i.e. working in Yellowstone, completing my master’s in biology, and getting a real job in Maryland). Fast forward to summer 2010 when I figured out how to go back with the working holiday program. This program is available to twenty-somethings who are either A) just out of high school and looking to take a gap year before going to college, or B) experienced the real world and decided they didn’t like it. I fall into the latter category.    

 My goals are two-fold: I plan to travel at my leisure through New Zealand, hiking in some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes (Middle Earth, anyone?). Then in May I will be starting an internship at the University of Otago in environmental chemistry working on atmospheric pesticide transport. My visa is good for up to a year so we’ll see how long my adventures last. Feel free to sound off in the comments below. I’ve already been told I’m crazy for doing this, but I am looking forward to it!

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