Friday: Ten Things You Should Know About the Tongariro Crossing

There are specific portions of my time in New Zealand I hold above all the rest, which can only be described as “moments everyone should experience once in their lifetime.” Those moments include such things as skydiving, visiting Hobbiton, attending Sevens night, and going to Art Deco weekend in Napier. Now, added to that list, is the Tongariro Crossing, which I had the pleasure of completing two Mondays ago.

For those of you who don’t know, the Tongariro Crossing is a nineteen kilometer / twelve mile hike across a lot of mountain ranges, and it’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done.

IMG_3857

Continue reading

Monday: Hitchhiking, Motorcycles, and Rock Walls… oh my!

Remember when I first started this blog back in July and I did such a fabulous job keeping in line with my schedule of posting three times a week (with the rare exception of brief hiatuses due to lack of WiFi)? Yeah, apparently I gotta work on that, seeing as I’ve been back on the road for well over a week now and I haven’t posted once. Whoops.

To be fair, it’s not due to lack of things to write about. It’s cause I’ve been so damn busy, which has been, in and of itself, absolutely wonderful.

Anyway, I’ve been places and have stories to share. So, let’s get to it.

photo(10)

Continue reading

Wednesday: Taking the Fire Back.

This entry has been a long time coming. That’s the most I can say on the matter before I delve into the entirety of it.

I’ve had a poem stuck in my head having to do with all this. Lots of songs as well, but mainly a poem. One I wrote back when I was nineteen. It’s called “You Can’t Stop a Heart From Wanting What a Heart Wants” and it goes:

My heart can never stay still
for any longer than three breaths.
One,
two,
three.
I’m gone.

beach

Continue reading

Tuesday: A Week of Glorified Travel.

Hey. Remember when I said at the start of the year that I was gonna write more blog entries and be more involved with people about what I’ve been up to in New Zealand and be more responsible for what I write?

Hah. Hilarious, right?

To be fair, not much has happened this the start of the year. I mean, yes, things have happened. Relationships have changed. Friends have been gained and lost. Work’s been going on. I met two Hobbit actors. I caught up on The Walking Dead. I’m officially starting a podcast. Of course things have happened. But nothing to write home about, y’know? I just haven’t felt compelled to write a blog entry in a long while. (Well, except maybe about the Hobbit actors.)

To make up for my absence, I come bearing tales of new adventures and photographs galore! Let me tell you about the week Beckah came to visit!

IMG_3463

And this one crazy-awesome chick.

Continue reading

Thursday: The Start of Something New.

Two days ago I bid farewell to 2013, the fabulously amazing year that it was, and helped usher in 2014… Well, okay, that’s sort of a lie. I’m fairly certain I was passed out drunk when the new year rolled around and I missed out on the big moment. That’s what too many shots of vodka will do to you.

But the point I’m trying to make is that this was a big year. The biggest year of my life, in fact. It wasn’t an easy year though. Some of you might remember my struggles with anxiety back in April and May, which was a day-to-day battle that took a physical and mental toll on me and put me in the hospital at one point. But overlooking that two month hiccup, the rest of 2013 managed to be extraordinary.

I graduated from university with cum laude honors – something I would never have thought possible back in high school. I took second place in my first ever poetry slam, and then went on to take first twice in a row. I went to my first ever convention, LeakyCon, with one of my best friends on this planet, and met several amazing celebrities. I had an art showing for my photography. I finished both Capstones. I corresponded with William Kircher a bit. I wrote more articles online. Everything was coming up Julia.

But there was one other thing that happened this year. Now let me see, what could that have possibly been…

Oh right.

New Zealand.

IMG_0146

Continue reading

Sunday: Future.

Sometimes I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing with my life. I know what I want to do for a job, I know the type of people I want to surround myself with, and I know what makes me happy.

But sometimes life chucks curve balls at us. I thought I had my New Zealand plans down pat: travel with Kathleen, do some long term WWOOFing, and do a lot of camping. Cheryl often says that New Zealand likes to laugh at plans. We might have one thing in mind, and then an entirely different thing will occur. If someone had told me that, come three and a half months into my trip, I’d be living in Wellington in an apartment with a girl I met in Queenstown, working a door-to-door sales job for an animal charity, and on the potential, fingers-crossed verge of my first relationship in four years… well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have believed you. That’s life though. We can never fight those curve balls. Our unpreparedness is not going to save us from getting pelted.

So let’s embrace the changes, because sometimes they lead us down a whole other world of delicious possibilities.

1385489_754607544556474_1679127305_n

Fan Girl Friday: My New Zealand Reading List.

To say I love books is a bit of an understatement.

I was the kid who got in trouble for reading Clifford books in second grade instead of paying attention to Ms. Voltz. Who got her copy of To Kill a Mocking Bird taken away in Chemistry by Mrs. Daschel. Who always keeps a book in her purse, just in case of emergencies. Who was on the Battle of the Books team four years in a row when younger. Who participated in the Summer Reading Program until surpassing the age limit. Who owns over five hundred books. Who can’t walk into a library without leaving with five or more books. Whose airport ritual is to go to the tiny Powell’s Books in PDX and buy one book.

Okay, okay, you get the gist.

Anyway, I’ve been doing some reading since arriving in New Zealand, so I figured I’d just talk a little about all of the books I am reading / have read /plan on reading. Enjoy!

Continue reading

Monday: Working for the Weekend.

Gonna keep this entry short, simple, and to the point. I’m being lured by the siren song of my bed, and nothing sounds sweeter right now than a good ol’ fashioned full night’s rest. Mmmm, gotta love those seven to eight hours of unadulterated zzzzzz’s.

First and foremost, no, I am not dead. Despite the lack of writing that’s gone on here, I am pretty damn alive. Just been distracted as of late by the new job. I work Monday through Saturday, and considering I’m not home until ten o’clock most nights the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down and typing up a blog entry at the end of my day.

Basically my excuse is that I’m lazy – but what else is new?

Some actual proof that I am very much alive – and being social! Crazy!

Continue reading

Monday: Willy Loman Ain’t Got Nothing On Me.

This entry’s going to be short and sweet; a quick overview of my ever growing resume.

I alluded to having a job in my last entry, if you’ll so kindly remember. Yes, I am currently employed. After about a week of fretful job searching, two waitressing interviews that were a bust, and dozens upon dozens of CVs handed out to any work establishment willing to take one, fate finally smiled on me. I got called into the United Advertising Group (UAG) last Tuesday for an interview, which was followed by an observation day, and by Friday I was going through training.

For some reason or another, I’ve always been particularly lucky when it comes to the efforts of finding work. I never had any problem finding babysitting jobs in middle school and high school. The first real job I applied to as a camp counselor when I was eighteen went swimmingly. I was one person in four clusters of group interviews (group interviews are the worstbut still managed to get hired by SOU Conferences. I spent an entire day handing out job resumes during the summer of 2010, and come the following day I was employed with the Ashland Motel. I guess the universe understands my insistent need to not be broke. How kind of it.

So what do I do at my new job exactly?

I’m a door-to-door salesman.

1383343_10201470450618400_998094585_n

Just call me Willy Loman.

Continue reading

Fan Girl Friday: Julia Rants about Shrek The Musical.

I decided to bring FGF back, because they’re fun to write and they make me happy.

Let’s get the messy business out of the way first, shall we? I now have an apartment with Cheryl, as already mentioned in Monday’s entry, but now I also have a brand spanking new job (cue the standing ovation). I don’t want to write on it just yet though; not until I start next Monday. I will say that it’s a sales job and I get paid on a commission-type basis, but it’s more of a collecting-money-type deal than selling things. I’ll talk about it on a later date once I’ve, y’know, actually started.

So at first I thought I’d spend this Fan Girl Friday talking about my trip to Hobbiton with Kathleen some odd weeks back, seeing as I keep putting that one off, and then maybe I thought I would talk about all the books I’ve devoured in the last week (because the Wellington library is my best friend), but nah. Let’s talk about something not really relevant to my travels in New Zealand. Let’s talk about something virtually no one but myself cares about because, hey, I’m really good at ranting about my strange interests.

Let’s talk about Shrek.

photo1 Continue reading