Seven or so years ago, I was at university and severely depressed. I could barely peel myself out of bed in the morning, I didn’t have the energy for anything. Going to the kitchen to make breakfast was like climbing a mountain, so most days I didn’t bother. It was easier to starve. Eventually, the hunger would become too painful and only then would I stumble to make a sandwich. I was completely unmotivated.
After weeks spent in rural towns, Dunedin came as a bit of a shock. It seems like most places on New Zealand’s South Island are barely big enough to qualify as towns, let alone cities. So coming into a big city like Dunedin is a bit of an eye-opener.
At night the stars no longer shine, the city lights too bright. The rolling green fields vanish, replaced with wooden houses on tidy streets. The buildings grow upwards, looming over you, covering the sky. For once you’re in a place where people out number the sheep.
You’re about to go travelling for the first time, but there’s a problem. You don’t know how to take a photograph! You got a book from the library, but upon inspection it had more words than pictures. Who can be bothered to read nowadays? If it’s not an easily digestible YouTube clip, then it’s useless.
Fortunately for you, I exist and I’ve decided to help you out in your conquest to take the most clichéd travel photo possible. So beautiful that you can literally put them on Facebook every 2 hours for all those people who don’t give a shit.
When you’re on the road for a while, travelling can start to become a chore. Eventually you need to stop for a breather, which is how we found ourselves lazing around in Hokitika on New Zealand’s west coast.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be much to Hokitika. It’s like many of the other west coast towns. A small downtown area with a sprinkling of hundred-year-old buildings and plenty of cafes and souvenir shops for tourists. Nothing amazing sticking out.
Why is it that if we live close to a major landmark, we never have the energy to go to it? It seems we’re all so lazy about exploring our local area, maybe because it holds no surprises for us.
Since we moved to Wellington in June, we’ve been living a 15 minute walk from Zealandia. Arguably New Zealand’s biggest eco-tourism attraction. With the nature reserve basically on our doorstep, we’ve always put off going. There was always something else further away we could do. Zealandia could wait. Continue reading Wellington Walks: Visiting Zealandia→
Over the last few years, Jamie and I have started a tradition. Each year, between Christmas and New Year we’ll head off on a trip somewhere for a few days.
This year we decided to head to the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island for a few days. We’re leaving the North Island soon and we’ve yet to travel up the east coast and knew this would be our only opportunity. We decided to spend a few nights of camping in Napier exploring the surrounding area. Then another few nights in what used to be Te Urewera National Park.
We spend our whole lives with a support group around us. For years our parents look after us, stepping in whenever we have a problem or need help.
Soon we gain friends to take over from our parents. If trouble pops up there’s always somebody to lean on. Somebody to listen, give advice, to help.
Traveling alone means giving up that support network. It means complete reliance on one person–yourself. Once you learn to depend on yourself you gain a deeper sense of who you are. You experience true independence, but taking those first steps can be hard. Continue reading Taking Your First Steps in Traveling Alone→