All right, ladies and gents, dogs and frogs and bears and chickens and whatnots, this entry’s dedicated to covering the last month and a half of my travels. I take off in less than two days now, so being short on time means I gotta cover a lot more than I’d normally take on in an entry.
(Random sidenote: I may or may not have stayed up till 6:30am last night with James Whitehead watching old school Sesame Street clips and behind-the-scenes Muppet stuff, as well as The Great Muppet Caper and Little Shop of Horrors twice (once without commentary and once with). Please assume the jealousy stance to your leisure.)
All right. Forty-two hours left in the country. No time to waste. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get crack-a-lackin’.
Well, we’re near the end, folks. Eight more days till I catch my flight. To quote one Ms. Buffy Summers: “These endless days are finally ending in a blaze.” I realize I need to play catch up on here, and I’d really like to before I take off. I’m hoping there will be a slew of updates; WiFi pending, as always.
This blog entry focuses on the two weeks I spent in the Bay of Islands area over a month ago. I’ve been meaning to write it for ages, but found it was almost impossible whenever I’d sit down to type it out.
How can you even begin to put into words possibly the two best weeks you had out of an entire year-long trip?
So, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure, this blog’s been on a bit of a hiatus. However, this time it hasn’t been out of laziness. The exact opposite! I’ve made my way back up to Paihia, and life’s gotten pretty busy! Making lots of friends and doing a bit of adventuring! I’ll talk more about it in the next entry.
This entry, however, is gonna focus on everything that happened between leaving Tongariro and getting to Paihia. Not a ton has happened, but still enough to warrant sharing.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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!