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A Week to Remember

Tom OBrien
Tom OBrien
Tom O'Brien is an American abroad! He's having a great time getting to know New Zealand while he studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin.

So this week was O-Week in Otago which only meant one thing: it was going to be crazy.

We started off the week by hiking Saint Clair’s Beach which was just a spontaneous decision to go exploring. Then we went to the peninsula and Anderson’s Bay only to find the most amazing view I have ever seen of a beach. The soft white sand in between my toes, looking out to the crystal clear, blue water was the first time I felt so away from home.


I didn’t think that could be topped until we decided to spend the night in the caves on Long Beach. We gathered up 18 people and set out for the craziest adventure of my life. We rented a huge van and all jammed inside of it with all of our stuff and drove 30 mins to the beach. It was the same breath-taking experience except for that it was a completely different landscape. We scoped out some caves to stay in and then went looking for firewood. I wish I could put all the pictures I took on here but I swear it would crash the website.


We ended up finding a baby penguin in its nest as we were adventuring around!


We scavenged up some mussels to eat for dinner. They were absolutely delicious!

Sitting next to the bonfire with all of my new friends just talking about everything that came to mind, listening to the waves crash under the star-filled night, closing my eyes and just remembering how I got to this place in my life. Priceless memories.

Then came the sunrise! It was beautiful.


That started off one of the craziest days ever. On the way home, our van completely broke down. The transmission blew and we got stuck in the middle of nowhere. We all ended up hitchhiking back to town just in time to catch a train to ride around the island. The thing that made it even better was that the car I was in, an extremely vintage car from 1963 in mint condition, started spewing gas out of the engine so we had to pull over before we burst into flames and the guy got out and just pulled off a gasket and ended up fixing it. It was quite an adventure getting home that day.


Last night was the Macklemore concert and boy was that nuts. I made it to the front row and had a blast.  He is really good live and really put on a show. The crowd was the funniest part though. I went through 3 songs in a row without making contact with the ground. He said we were the rowdiest crowd he has ever performed in front of. One really cool thing that happened was that Macklemore actually tossed his water bottle to me. Also, when he went crowd surfing, he was right on top of me. Really cool concert I shall say!