Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Learning Not to Have a Plan

I’ve learned that sometimes a wrong turn is a good thing.

I’ve always wanted to have a plan.  I get places early,I get stressed when things don’t go according to plan and I don’t wing it.  I know where I’m going and what I’m doing ahead of time.  Or at least I used to know, and I used to not wing it.

Sometimes not having a plan and not knowing where you’re going can lead to beautiful things.  If we hadn’t turned down the wrong road to get where we were going I never would have seen quite possibly the most breath-taking sight I may ever witness.  New Zealand is full of beautiful scenery.  Pretty much wherever you go you are surrounded by gorgeous and incredible things. So many places there took my breath away, and made me feel so at peace with everything around me.  But nothing was quite like this.  In my last week out of five months in New Zealand, a wrong turn landed me in a place that made my mind and soul quiet themselves in awe.  And trust me, my mind is rarely ever quiet.

Now this was not the only wrong turn I made while down in the southern hemisphere.  And I’m talking emotional and mental turns, not just “shoot, were we suppose to go left there?” turns.  Each wrong turn gave me chance to learn about myself and to grow, and for some reason this turn put it all into perspective.

In my last couple of years at Willamette, and especially while abroad, I have learned to let things go.  I have learned that rarely, do things really fall to complete pieces if every little detail is not right, and truly plans are overrated.  No one can really plan their life.  Or even their vacation.  Structure and a general idea of what the heck you’re doing are a good idea, but spontaneity can lead you to places and experiences that can change your life.

Stormy point was the most amazing view I had ever seen, and we hit it at the exact right time of day, just as the sun was setting.  It all came together.  I’m not sure I can even describe what it was about the place that made me feel the way I did, it’s not like it was the first time New Zealand had taken my breath away.  But something about when we found it, why we found it, and the person I was on this specific road trip made me stop and reflect on the five months I had spent abroad and all that it had done for me.

No one ever quite understands just how gorgeous it was up there, staring out at rolling hills for miles.  And how could they? Pictures and stories never actually describe the way things are.  But every time I look at the pictures from this place I’m back there.  My mind and soul quiet and no matter what’s going on I remember how much I’ve grown and how lucky I am to have had the exact experience that I did.  And how thankful I am.

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