NZ: It’s Not You, It’s Me

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This is hard to write. So hard in fact, that I’ve been putting it off for a month. It’s like that relationship you know isn’t going anywhere, but drag out solely because it’s easier than having that awkward conversation.

Much to my dismay, though, we never even got to the relationship phase. I fabricated our love story before I even got to know you. Built up a picture in my head that could never live up to reality. It was doomed from the start.

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New Zealand was like the hot chick at the bar. Gorgeous, but our connection was completely superficial and surface level. Sure, I can’t stop staring at you, but I need more substance.

It was weird being that far away and hearing everyone speak English. It just didn’t feel foreign. I could’ve been anywhere. There were cultural performances, but not a whole lot of culture. Borrowed cuisine (fish and chips and meat pies from the Brits), and adventure activities built up for anxious tourists looking to check things off their list.

I seem to be the only person on the planet not having a love affair with New Zealand. Not sure how I became immune to her seductress spell, I’ve never heard a single negative thing spoken about the place, which made me feel like something was wrong with me. Am I that jaded that I’ve just seen too much? So here I am, sharing an unpopular opinion about one of the most popular places on the planet.

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I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. For that “aha” moment to come. After a week on the North Island and halfway through the South, I got the unsettling feeling that it may just never happen. That was a really hard pill to swallow because I so desperately wanted to fall in love. We felt like soul mates. Adventures, landscapes, outdoors, we were destined to click; we had all the same things in common. But anytime you go looking for love, it’s not going to be there. You can’t force it. You can’t lead with expectations.

They say opposites attract, but we weren’t opposites at all. In fact, I see water and mountains all the time. Sure, they’re pretty, but again, not that special. It felt like Colorado…on an island.

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Sure, I did amazing things. Even when I look back at the pictures, I wonder what’s wrong with me. How did I not get that feeling? Ultimately I left feeling confused, conflicted, and even a little guilty – millions of people would’ve killed for this experience, and here I am, not appreciating it like an asshole.

People always ask about your trip, expecting you to say it was amazing. It’s a formality, like asking, “How are you?” No one actually cares or want to hear the truth. Breaking up is hard to do, but at the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself.

Am I just being a drama queen? What places have you been let down by?

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