Some blog posts just write themselves, but this one is struggling to take shape.
So I could tell you about the days and days of rain in a fruitless quest to spot a Kea (alpine parrot), or the 4-minute hot shower challenge; or how often I’ve lost track of when I last had a shower or washed my hair and it wonderfully doesn’t matter! Or about the stressful decisions I have to make about my last month or so in NZ, about whether it IS my last month in NZ, and the subsequent gaping questions about what to do with my life (as every ‘quit everything’ traveller has surely felt). It sounds like a wonderful problem to have, it is, I’m incredibly fortunate, but try telling that to the panicky feeling that my thoughts sometimes send radiating through my body! Then I realise they’re just thoughts, I have lots of ideas and options, and that stress just melts away, and I laugh out loud at how ridiculously ok everything will probably be, like it’s not possible for me to make ‘the wrong’ decision.
I could tell you about quirky New Zealand, how every time the map makes it look like the road carries on but you actually have to turn off to stay on the same road! How it constantly tricks you – the map looks empty and then you realise it’s bursting with things to do and you could spend a month in each place, and that’s before you meet the people and want to spend hours talking to them!
I could tell you about constantly keeping an eye on my budget: Two tanks of fuel in two days?! “What’s that done to the graph?…” 🙂
I could tell you about being excited to be around hippies again, another intentional community, some indescribably awesome girls I met there, swimming in Abel Tasman national park, a night dancing to a live local band at the Mussel Inn, followed by buying raw milk from a vending machine (Golden Bay’s “McDonalds”), chai tea, honey juggling, guitar playing and african drumming on a boat owned by Tom from Yorkshire who’s sailed round the world…
Or I could bring you back to the underlying point to my travels and this blog: depression and the voices that we believe inside our heads. It’s not something that just goes away but it CAN get a lot easier and it IS good to talk about it! The solitude I’ve had, whilst (crucially) reading a lot on the subject during these adventures, allows me to spend time watching my thoughts and noticing how much non-reality my mind creates. It hasn’t been remotely of a depressive nature lately because travel has been doing absolute wonders and often helped me to quieten all thoughts and just stay in the here and now, rain or shine.
I’d love to convey this feeling to you so you can benefit from my experience if you need to, but really it’s non-transferable, you have to go through a process yourself; I have to still work at this constantly. My mind’s voice tells me to make all my decisions based on the things it thinks the world expects of me. I’m meditating instead!