this trips final post

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland
March 6th 2006
Published: March 10th 2006
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i am sitting here at the very same place i wrote my first post in the country of new zealand. in the big city of auckland. the boys are asleep and the time is 1:24am. i decided to come and write my last post in new zealand. we are leaving tommorow, 7:40pm is our departure from the airport.

with our hands full of souvineers and minds full of memories, we will be setting sail, back to where we came from. it really hit me this afternoon, as the 24 hour mark came upon us and i realized it was my last day in nz.

ive been a bit quiet all day and have been truly thinking of what weve done and what its done to us. in so many ways have we grown and changed mentally and physically as i had hoped. our minds are stronger. our faces are weathered. our feet are demoed and are smiles now tell a story of 4 months. memories...culture...mountains...appreciation...friendship...laughter...
adapting...learning...being tested. i cannot use one word to explain how i feel about this country. this majestic piece of land in the world we live.

its been said before, this trip started as a dream...a massive dream andy and i thought up over a cup of red roaster coffee at the covent garden market in the winter of 2002. we were mere teenagers at the age of 16 overjoyed by what we could possibly do in the years to come. we discussed travelling and seeing some of the world we had no idea about, and couldnt learn about in school. we had a little chat today about that. in the last hostel of the trip, the last day of the trip, but not the last of our travels. its now full circle and this trip is over. the dream has been followed and it has showed us and hopefully those that read this that you can follow your dreams and you should do it, it can be done. weve all had alot of people telling us they are completely jelous and wish they could have done the stuff that we have. we tell them, then gosh darn do it! we did, its not like we had a ton of money, we worked hard and here we are, stories and memories to last a life time. i wouldnt have spent the money any other way.

i am seriously at a loss for words as how to end this sitting here, cars driving by, in possibly the last time ever. as mike coughs away his sickness and andy snores himself to sleep, i will soon complete this final night as the trip started. one more sleep...then one heck of a long plane ride. maybe once im back in south western ontario and ive had a good couple of meals ill be able to say how i felt at this very moment. we'll see, we'll see. all i know, is ive never felt so proud and inspired with what has transpired in the last 4 months. i know it wont even truly hit me until im sitting in my own bed, on 314.

thank you all for keeping us safe with your prayers, and thank you all for reading and being here with us through this third of a year. i hope to see you all when we get home, if my schedules not to booked with meals at my grandparents for lunch and dinner. we'll see, we'll see.

as my time winds down with 8 minutes left on my $1/hour internet, ill tell you guys something. andrew and michael schmidt are some of the bestest friends a man can have. they've taught me so much about myself and have shown me they truly care and have some of the biggest hearts brothers can have. they were there for me every second of this journey and have made me feel like the 3rd brother. if you get a chance, ask one of these men to tell you a story. i may have forgotten some of the juicy ones.

i must end this post. i could blabber on all night. ill leave you with a quote.

"dont cry because its over, smile because it happened."

for the last time, love from the south pacific...g'day guys, ill see you soon...real soon.

love dano


6th March 2006

sentimental time...
Aw, Dano...I love that quote. And I don't know if you knew this, but you've always been considered the third brother, in the Schmidt house at least. You've always been our little Dano and I'm glad the boys finally made you realize that. You'll always be our favourite gravy-maker too, which you need to come do sometime (my parents gravy fails in comparison to yours). I missed you boys a lot, and I'm so excited to see you soon, can't even contain my excitement! I'm glad the experience was worthwhile Dan, and I'm proud of you boys for making the best of it. Much love.

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