Travel Log 4: “Studying Abroad…It’s More than Just a Walk in the Park” By: Stephen Sharo, Dunedin, New Zealand

My walk through Dunedin was spectacular. Since Dunedin is a smaller city walking around is the preferred way to get around. Since my arrival my friends and I have explored the city in order to get situated. I started from my house which is located on one of the busier streets in Dunedin. Within a couple of minutes however I was walking through the botanical gardens. I was told that each of the flowers were supposed to have a unique scent to them but they all smelled the same to me.

As I continued my stroll through the city I ended up on the outskirts of the town where the hiking trails and mountains are located. The fresh air is really calming and relaxing, although when a truck carrying sheep passes by you’d better hold your nose because that stench lingers forever. The hiking trails of Dunedin provide some of the best views that overlook the city.

One of the big things I noticed about the people when walking around is that no one seemed to be a large rush. When I go to visit New York City everyone is in such a rush to get to their destination whereas in Dunedin it seems as though everyone is taking a leisurely stroll. The few days I spent in Auckland seemed to have the same walking speed. The way the Kiwis walk fits in with their general lifestyle of laid back and relaxed.

As I was reading the Slimbach article, there was one section he mentioned which really resonated with me. In chapter 7 Slimbach mentions “Faster than walking and slower than riding a bus, the bicycle sets us slightly higher than passersby and offers us a combination of self-powered freedom and flexibility unmatched by any other form of transportation,” ( The day before reading the chapter from Slimbach I was talking to my flatmate about his hobbies which include cycling. Ironically we talked about how great it must be to be able to bike around the city and country.)

The travelogue I read has been very different from my experiences in New Zealand so far. Initially the author of the travelogue, Greg Hung, actually visited New Zealand and decided to make a second journey to the island. Hung is from Canada so his flight time was much similar to mine. The first time he traveled he visited with his sister and they primarily explored the North Island in areas like Rotura. Similar to my experience in the marae he also stayed in a Maori village took in some traditional Maori culture. Greg soon ventured down to the South Island where he visited a lot of the places I want to visit including Christchurch, Queenstown, and the Milford Sound.

Later in 2013 Greg took another small trip to New Zealand. This time he traveled without his sister. He faced some struggles along the way including trouble with his airlines, dead phones. He spent a few days in Auckland and then visited Waiheke Island which my study abroad group also traveled while in Auckland. Although his second trip was much shorter than his first he claims that Auckland, “It is a world-class city with an international makeup, yet it does feel noticeably smaller compared to a city like Sydney,” and I couldn’t have agreed with him more (Hung, Kindle 364-365).

Greg and I have already had many similarities between our two trips. We both experienced the communitas of the Maori people and we’ve both faced many tricksters while traveling. Although both of our experiences are greatly different (how long we are staying and where we are staying) we both can relate to the Rites of Passage model and learn greatly from our experiences

Hung, Greg (2014-09-18). NEW ZEALAND – Travel Adventures – 23 days on the North & South Islands (Kindle Locations 364-365). Greg Hung. Kindle Edition.

Slimbach, Richard (2012-03-12). Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning (Kindle Locations 3381-3382). Stylus Publishing. Kindle Edition.

This picture is from my walk through the botanical gardens

This picture is from my walk through the botanical gardens


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