Leaving on a Jetplane: Wishing New Zealand Farewell

It seems right to preface this entry, if anything to apologize for my, yet again, tardiness in updating.

I wrote this entry on the flight home from New Zealand. As of now, I’ve been home for a little over two weeks. For the most part, I’m fine. I’m happy to be home, amongst friends and family, and being back in Portland fills me with glee most days.

But there are days. The days I feared in the entry below. Where all I can feel is sadness and I can’t move from my couch. Days where I question what the hell I’m doing back in the States. Wondering why my feet are now stuck to the ground and unable to run.

Telling you all I’m going to take a break from my blog is laughable, really, cause the last half a year has been nothing but me taking breaks. But I’m hoping sometime in the next two weeks to get back on a schedule. I want to ponder the future of this blog – whether to keep using it as a diary of sorts, promote my writing on here, do fan girl entries, or, most likely, all of the above – and the schedule I’d like to stick to.

So expect more in the future.

But for now, here it is, at long last, my final New Zealand entry.

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Right now I am sitting in seat 53A of an airplane, situated in a window seat and staring out at the beautiful blood orange sunset while listening to “Suddenly Seymour” for my seventh time in a row. I am ignoring the two giggly girls to my right and less successfully ignoring the popping in my ears from the altitude. I am wearing a tank top because whenever I put my jacket on it becomes 100 degrees to my skin. I am wondering why they have not brought us food yet, as I am starving. I am pondering what Rick Moranis is doing with his life. I am ten hours away from home.

This is it. The denial of my departure is dead and gone. I’m no longer in New Zealand. I’m not even in Australia. I’m flying over an ocean that’s black as the evening sky, resisting the urge to stand up in the airplane aisle and scream at all of the flight attendants: “I MADE A MISTAKE. I SHOULD NOT BE HERE. WE HAVE TO GO BACK.”

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Sunday: Wrapping Up My Travels

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’.

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Tuesday: Oh Happy Day.

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Monday: I’ve Heard the Word Before.

There’s something to be said about home life.

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I find it hard to describe the simple happiness that comes along with having a home. A home of your own, that is. A home that you’re happy in. A home where you actually want to be. A home in a location that fits. A home that feels like a home.

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Friday: Revisiting Auckland & Napier On My Own.

It’s been two days since Kathleen took off, and so far I’m still in one piece. I haven’t managed to get hit by a car just yet (despite always forgetting they drive on the opposite side of the street here). I haven’t gotten robbed or mugged. I haven’t gotten dreadfully lost or missed a bus or checked out/in at the wrong time of a hostel. So far, I’ve been golden.

Lacking in conversation and camaraderie, sure, but hey, I haven’t accidentally killed myself, and that’s gotta count for something.

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Wednesday: One is the Loneliest Number…

When I asked Kathleen to come with me to New Zealand back in December, I don’t think I had any clue how well it would all work out. At the time, I knew two things: that I didn’t want to travel alone and that Kathleen was one of three or four friends I wouldn’t want to smother in their sleep after spending far too much time together. This was enough to conclude that she should probably come along with me, hence me extending an invitation after we saw The Hobbit.

Little did I know that we were a travel duo made in heaven. The two of us have balanced each other out beautifully this entire trip. Not to mention we’ve sort of turned into an old married couple. Not only did we reach the point of finishing each other’s sentences, we even began to say the exact same phrases/words at the exact same time with the exact same inflection. It was awesome and creepy all at once.

But just like I didn’t realize how amazingly we’d get on together during travel, I had absolutely no idea how devastating it’d be when the day came that she packed her bags and left this country.

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