Thirty hours of traveling changes you. Not once but twice disembarking and having to walk to another airport terminal. The delays. Small quarters. Sitting for that long. Lack of sleep. It changes you.
Driving on switchbacks and feeling the urge to video every moment of the drive. Hiking on terrain with views such as this one. Having to stop driving because a herd of sheep have surrounded your car. Drinking from a stream of melting ice. It changes you.
Peering out across an agitated Tasman Sea. Swerving to avoid hitting one of the many flightless birds (there are no natural predators in New Zealand… so the birds forgot how to fly) that dart in front of your path. Studying the multitudes of green in a moss layered rainforest. It changes you.
For the better.