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.
Around a week ago now, our plane took off from Christchurch and we watched as New Zealand disappeared beneath our feet.
After our 11 months in New Zealand, it started to feel a lot like home. However, it seemed like we had explored it all and that it had no more secrets. Like an on old lover, we’d gone through the honeymoon phase and were now completely in the comfort phase. We’d stopped trying so hard to explore the country, preferring to spend our days sitting in our pjyamas with it, being lazy.
We learnt to love New Zealand in the end, but as so often happens we found ourselves falling into a dull routine. It was about the right time to head to Australia. I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to New Zealand, does it have any more to offer us? Maybe we’ll miss it in future on lonely nights. Homesick for a place that’s not even our home.
Now we find ourselves in Australia. A new place. A new home?
The Banks Peninsula is a small, hilly circle of land that juts out into the sea close to Christchurch. Due to the large amount of beautiful bays and little villages, the peninsula seems to be the perfect weekend getaway for Christchurchers. For the same reason, we thought it would be a great place to base ourselves in our last week in New Zealand.
It’s close to the city, I told myself while typing out an email to a HelpX host. We’ll be able to pop into Christchurch in the day or do some sightseeing on the peninsula. That’s what I thought.
Until we found ourselves sitting in The Bloody Legend looking up on a steep road heading right into the hills. Nothing on the website said anything about this.
To understand the problems of a hagwon, you must first understand the impossibility of teaching in one.
In a hagwon, the teachers wield less power than the children. When an especially bad child comes along they can make your life unbearable. These are more than just children, they’re the babies of Satan. The worst I ever taught was a girl named Serah.
Despite this blog having the name Anxious Travelers, you’ve probably noticed that recently there has been a lot more said about travel than anxiety. There’s a reason for this. For me, anxiety isn’t an ever present thing. It comes and goes. One day it’s on my shoulders, dragging me down. Then it’s gone for a while, waiting for the next moment to pounce.
When we arrived in New Zealand eight months ago, I was in one of my positive periods. Nothing in life bothered me, I was happy – or happy enough. Things were going great. We’d arrived in this new beautiful place, we had healthy bank accounts and everybody spoke English. Hallelujah!
As time has gone on, things have started to take a downturn.
It seems to be a general rule in life that if everything is going fine it’s only a matter of time until disaster strikes. How we deal with these disasters shows what type of person we truly are. Do we break instantly and fall apart? Or do we battle through? Overcoming these obstacles so we can go back to our happy lives. Continue reading The One Where our Car Broke Down on a Mountain→