Sunday, February 6, 2011

20 by 20

i've made it - made it to 19!

today {feb. 7th, nz time} is my first birthday abroad. my morning was spent - meditating, practicing a few asanas, showering, making breakfast, and skyping with my lovely family back home and sarah! they were all so cute {mm, dd, mom, dad, kelsey, sam, emily, aunt b, kim, ally, kate, alex, and even abby and guion in virginia!} and talkative. they were even having the birthday dinner there tonight in honor of me : ) it was hard seeing everyone at home today and be reminded that i can't reach out and hug them or eat the flank steak and salad with them, but i know that i should be here right now. i'm having the time of my life and i wouldn't want to be anywhere else, but your birthday only comes once a year and all i really want to do is celebrate it with people who know me.

as it turns out, thursday was my last day of work here in blenheim, so i've spent the last few days relaxing and recovering from the hard work. my blisters are {mostly} healed and my back doesn't ache much any more. the last few days have been lovely and the weather was really nice, although a little too hot and sunny : ) my sunburns have now become a peeling mess of brown flesh. . .

unfortunately it is a little rainy today, so i'll most likely spend the rest of my birthday indoors. we had planned to go to the river like we did yesterday, but . . . now we're just inside watching the super bowl {maria, i keep thinking of you and your steelers!}.

i have had a truly wonderful 18th year and i cannot wait to see what my 19th throws at me! last year i was here in asheville and at the time i would have never guessed i'd be in nz at this time. never would i have imagined all this was possible by just 19. by my 19th, i've spent at least a month on 5 different continents. {just two more to go now!} i've been so incredibly blessed and my life has changed drastically thanks to my travels. i think that the thing i love most about travel is the people you meet on the road. i've met an assortment of crazy, adventurous, and inspiring travelers already and all of them have a story to tell. hostels are genuis and i've only had good experiences with them in nz so far. . .

in honor of my birthday today, here are a few things i hope to do by 20.

grace's 20 by 20 goals:

1.] learn to make a ridiculously good and moist chocolate cake
2.] volunteer somewhere doing something i love
3.] buy a bike
4.] see mt. everest
5.] take a self-defense or karate class
6.] become a better friend and better listener
7.] teach yoga weekly {at home and abroad!}
8.] learn to knit with ms. beth
9.] have weekly cooking nights over at sarah or kelsey's place
10.] work in a garden
11.] find a job doing something i love
12.] learn to sew a skirt, romper, or dress
13.] start looking for more travel opportunities, grants, scholarships, you name it!
14.] make a chain of blessing and add one each day of school
15.] join a bible study
16.] make art on a daily basis
17.] run in a race
18.] find the best place to see the stars on/off campus
19.] go rock climbing with andrew every week
20.] make a documentary film : )

c'est tout!

tonight is bbq night here at the hostel and we're all going to go to the store in a little while to get some foodstufz.

all the love. . .

{this map is in the hostel and everyone puts a tack on the place they're from. i'm currently the only american, but we have finland, russia, malaysia, japan, germany, and the uk covered at the moment!}

p.s. i've added a few new nz photos to my photography portfolio too


  1. Happy Birthday, dear Grace!! We'll be celebrating you today. We miss you and send much love!

  2. Happy, happy birthday sweet Grace!!! I'm so enjoying living your adventures vicariously - and praying with your mom for you at co-op! When do you come back? I think we need to put a knitting date on the calendar NOW. I want you to get that goal checked off ;)

  3. You would want to make "a romper," of all things... Haha. Loves you. Also, goal #16 I think is already being accomplished. xoxoxo, Chicken.