Wednesday 24 May 2017

A constant state of flux

I've been travelling for two months and I haven't posted anything about my time yet despite saying, 'yes, of course I'll blog about my travels'. This is mainly because I didn't bring my laptop with me so that I could spend my time taking everything in instead of constantly sitting behind a screen. It was also partly because I didn't just want to bang loads of pictures up and talk about all the pretty places I've seen.

I've decided that when I write about my solo travel journey, I want to share my experiences, feelings, things that I've learnt as well as say 'hey, look at what I've seen'. So many travel posts make the world look great but you don't get the real feel for what's going on along the way. What it really feels like to put your life on hold back home and book a one way ticket to New Zealand with no real plan.

I meet backpackers regularly and the subjects we connect on the most are often about what's going on inside our heads rather than which amazing places we've ticked off our list. This has been the most wonderful part of travel so far and one of the main reasons I decided to go for it. Connections. A theme that I'm currently working through is one where these connections are always coming and going.

You can make meaningful friendships within days hours when you're on the move and then within an instant, you find yourself saying goodbye, lump in your throat, flutter in your chest... Everyone and everything is so transient and it makes you realise the impermanence of all things physical.

I think about my life back at home and remember how I was done with routine and 'regular' life. Craving instead, adventure and freedom. You don't realise until you're out here, how freedom to do what you want can actually be quite challenging. To allow yourself to 'shake up the snow globe and let the snowflakes fall where they may'. Credit to my yogi hero, Adriene Mishler for that gem. I get what it means now.

You get so comfortable with routine that when you give in to going with the flow, like really going with the flow, not knowing what each day is going to pan out like but to just allow yourself to see what unfolds, it's actually a little bit scary.

Where am I gonna go next? How long should I stay there? Should I go with him? Maybe I should do it by myself? I don't actually know what I should do. 

These are all thoughts and questions that go through every traveller's mind. This constant state of flux is both liberating and daunting. On one hand you're like 'yay, I can do anything I want!' but then on the other you're thinking, 'what the fuck am I gonna do now?'

Learning to accept what is and surrender to these feelings is the only thing you can do. Nothing is permanent and everything is subject to change. Whether you are travelling or not. Travelling shoves this notion right up in your face and you know what? It actually makes you better at dealing with change. You get used to it. You get to this point where you understand that you just have to take each moment in when you're in it and be grateful for every opportunity you're given and that way you'll stay grounded when your head and heart are all over the place.

I've only been here two months and I've made some truely meaningful friendships. Some for the purpose of that moment only and some that I will carry with me and pick up again at another point in my life. An amazing gift of travel is that you make friends all the time. The word 'stranger' is becoming less relevant to me. The word 'connection' more relevant. It sucks hugging people goodbye after you've had some great (and sometimes bad) experiences with them, but I'm glad to know now from experience that I'll make more incredible friends along the way. Connection is awesome.

Thank you to all my travel companions who have contributed to making my journey so epic thus far. If I have to go home tomorrow then I will always have fond memories of seeing a friend that I haven't seen in over a year, conversations about what really matters, guitars and gravelly voices, late night boat rides accompanied by the ethereal notes of a harp, sunset boat rides and a hike up Rangitoto Island in the pitch black, hot tubs... so many hot tubs, laughing because it's so fricking cold at night and there's nothing else you can do, feijoa cider and Old China ginger liquor, singing along to the radio and thinking I can actually sing, waving at other campervan passengers and getting super happy when they wave back, bubbles, crazy purple and orange sunsets, swimming in geothermal pools when it's pissing it down, dying when I'm trying to climb a mountain and being pissed off because my travel buddy has stormed off and left me, getting to said mountain and being like 'woah', realising you've been in the same place before at the same time as someone you've just met and then talking for four hours, food! So much good food... I could go on but my point is, making connections is ace and I look forward to meeting the people on my journey that I'm yet to meet.

Just love

Rina xoxo

P.S. Here are some really cool pictures of a few of the pretty places I've been.


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