JRNM 151 Student
“Obviously my dad will be on the forefront of my mind,” said Lorain County Community College student Andrew Mislinski.
Being a fan of the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movies, Mislinski had plans to make the trek to New Zealand with his father to celebrate his father’s retirement and see the popular filming locations.
However, his father has since passed away, and Mislinski has decided to take the trip now while he is still young enough to enjoy it.
“You can view it [as a vacation],” Mislinski said. But he considers it more of a pilgrimage, “and obviously I’m going to be geeking out to see ‘Lord of the Rings’ things.”
Mislinski says he expects this journey to change the way in which he views the world, people, and even himself. “I don’t think it’s possible to leave your surroundings, get dropped off in completely unfamiliar territory and come back the same,” he said. “I don’t think it’s possible quite frankly.”
When people take a trip to another country they imagine a nice hotel stay. Mislinski, who has degrees in business administration, marketing management, and entrepreneurship, will be backpacking across New Zealand.
Rather than staying at a 5-star hotel, Mislinski will be traveling on foot across a country that is comprised of two islands. The only period that he will be off his feet will be the 14-hour trip by plane to New Zealand and the ferry that will carry him between the north and south islands.
Mislinski said he has mapped out each location and has calculated travel time in an effort to manage his time. If everything goes according to plan, he should be gone for about 37 days.
Sharing his experiences with friends and family is something that Mislinski will miss while he is out of the country. “The accessibility of people, just the people you know,” he said of what he will miss out on.
Mislinski is more focused on the physicality of the trip; to prepare, Mislinski does weight training to keep in shape. For distance, he does interval training and steady training both on a treadmill and outside. He also wears an elevation training mask set to 15,000ft while wearing a 25lb weight vest to get used to carrying something while walking.
Trips to the other side of the world are expensive, and Mislinski has been working odd jobs to make this trip a reality. He has recently signed on as an Uber driver and started a smaller crowd-funding site on Indiegogo’s generosity page.
Ideally, Mislinski will leave Dec. 26, but with an unexpected airfare increases, he may have to search for more flexible dates.
“Life’s too short to live it with regrets” Mislinski said. He did give a word of warning, telling those interested in travel not to abandon any responsibilities they have. “But if there’s any way you can step away from [your responsibilities] for any amount of time,” Mislinski said, “and you want to go somewhere unique and you want to experience something, don’t hold back.”