Taking a vacation to the South Pacific was a new, unexplored experience for me. Growing up in small town Nebraska I have never experienced even seeing the ocean. So when the opportunity to take a school trip to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji presented itself, I accepted the challenge. Unaccompanied by my immediate family, only with my grandma and aunt, I felt like I was embarking on an adventure of my own, even though there was a total of 72 people in our group. With all the excitement built up, our group embarked on a trip to the South Pacific on June 20, 2012. Upon leaving Nebraska, I have never experienced such a culture shock as I did on this trip. Not only was the atmosphere different, but I had to adapt to many different time zones in a short amount of time. I also got the pleasure of experiencing jet lag when I took eight plane rides in just twelve days! Thanks to EF Tours, I had the experience of a lifetime.
The first destination we visited was the wonderful island of Hawaii. Although it is a part of the United States, I felt like I still needed a passport to go there. The sun and the sand were just a few of the perks of visiting Hawaii. Our hotel, the Queen Kapiolani, was conveniently located just a block from Waikiki Beach. Throughout the two days I was able to spend there I got a tour of the countryside, visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and went to a luau. These adventures helped me to understand the history and culture of this amazing island.
Once we had to leave Hawaii, our next destination was to Sydney, Australia. Here we experienced a drastic climate change and time change because we went across the International Date Line. This was my first time out of the U.S. so driving on the left side of the road was something I had only seen on television. Also the people there were much more fashion forward than the jeans and t-shirt I experience daily back home. The Sydney Opera House, Featherdale Wildlife Park, and Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbor were just a few of the places I visited with my two days there.
The next country I had the privilege to visit was New Zealand. There, the climate was even cooler than Australia and rainier, but the plentiful rainbows were a pleasant surprise. The rolling hillsides and thousands of sheep were also common sights. Besides the countryside, New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world. Because of this I was able to experience luge, the Agrodome adventures, and white water rafting. Adventures were one thing, but relaxations from the geothermal resources from Hell’s Gate were equally exotic activities.
My favorite part of the entire trip was our final destination in Fiji. The warm climate and the sense of paradise were astonishing. The people were inviting and very friendly. Our hotel had a picture perfect setting located with beach front rooms. With Captain Cook Cruises we experienced relaxation for a day on our own private island where we could snorkel, kayak, or go scuba diving. In Fiji I also got to experience parasailing on the ocean!
For me this trip was an adventure of a lifetime. The memories I made can never be etched from my mind. These destinations are ones that I would recommend for people of all ages to experience. I can honestly say that this trip changed my life!
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