A common trend I have noticed with students who study abroad is the pressure and excitement of going on weekend trips to explore new surroundings. I am personally a huge advocate of them. Here in New Zealand, many people road-trip to the South Island and explore towns, hike tracks, or do many of the adventurous activities that the country has to offer.
This was something I knew going into my semester and I have enjoyed greatly. I have met so many different people on these trips and have strengthened my bonds with close friends as well. I have explored so much of the South Island and I have seen sights and tested my body in ways I could never have imagined.
Going away on weekends is something I would recommend to anyone who is studying abroad. However, staying at home and relaxing is something I have not yet taken advantage of until last weekend.
My friends and I agreed that we needed a weekend to relax and really immerse ourselves in Dunedin. Leading up to the weekend I was a little worried that we had made a mistake. I realized we had such limited time left here and it felt like there was still so much left to see in New Zealand. We ended up staying in Dunedin for the weekend, and I can confidently say I am so glad we did.
We were able to catch up on schoolwork and other tasks that we had put off for so long since traveling had taken up much of our time. We went to the beach and had dinner with friends who also were in town that weekend. It was nice to end the weekend feeling accomplished and content. Coming back from a long weekend can be stressful at times, so having a break from that was appreciated.
Having relaxing weekends while abroad is important too. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of traveling and exploring since there is so much to see and do. Regardless of whether you travel for a weekend or stay at home, it will not be a waste of time. You’ll still be able to meet new people, strengthen relationships, and enjoy your time overseas.