maandag 12 mei 2014

New Zealand here we come!

Things have been rather hectic (and quite stressful) lately. Work-related circumstances sucked up almost all energy, leaving me grumpy and often not-so-much-fun to be around. But things happen for a reason and my boyfriend and I found possibilities to make a big dream come true: we'll be heading to New Zealand this july!

Yep, New of the hobbits, maoris, kiwis and thousands of sheep. Land of mountains and beaches and lakes and volcanos, all together on two relatively small islands. A perfect destination for two outdoorsy and adventurous types, if you ask me!

We've both been dreaming and talking about this for a very long time, and now the moment finally seems to be there. And you know what, I can't even explain how excited and thankful I am because of this forthcoming trip. Seriously, tears can spontaneously well up in my eyes if I think about it (yeah, I know...I'm way too sensitive :P).
It wasn't too long ago when traveling far away seemed like something out of my league. Even though I've always been quite curious and adventurous (as a little girl I even used to say I wanted to be a missionary developmental worker when I'd grow up!), there were many things I thought I would never be able to undertake anyway because, hell, I'm just a scared little chicken.

But somehow in the past couple of years it has miraculously become possible, both financially as well as practically and above all emotionally. Sure, we worked hard to make things possible...but still I feel so incredibly blessed, so thankful for how this has become real. I'm still scared and overly sensitive and just my plain old self, but I'm also brave and not alone. I have a boyfriend who supports me no matter what and always manages to make me giggle (and who has way more experience in traveling than I have!). I have parents and family and friends who encourage me and helped me getting this far. I have my lessons learned and skills obtained. Time for this little chicken to spread her wings!

Enough emotional babble...what's the plan? We will leave in july, after Blythecon EU (a yearly European Blythe fair where I'll be a stall holder. This year it's held in Amsterdam, of course I couldn't resist!). Because New Zealand is on the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite, so we will arrive in mid-winter. Which is just perfect, because New Zealand seems to be a perfect place to go skiing/snowboarding! We've signed up for a 4-day backcountry skiing course in which we will learn how to safely explore, well...the backcountry (everything outside the groomed slopes). After the course we hope to head out on our own, discovering the powder that New Zealand has to offer and practicing our skills. It will probably be quite a new experience, but I can't wait to be on the mountains again!

We will fly in to the backcountry (yeah, fly! With a helicopter! Can you imagine?!) from Wanaka (near Queenstown), which is probably the area where we will stay for the first couple of months as well. It's a good central point to visit different ski areas, plus Wanaka seems to be just an amazing place to be (check the picture below, it's on a beautiful lake!). 

We don't really have much plans yet regarding what we will do after winter. We will probably have to work at some point, which is totally fine. We have the time, our working-holiday visas will allow us to stay for a year. We hope to buy a van and turn it into a campervan, so we can easily move ourselves from one place to another...hopefully visiting many rock climbing areas. Yes, that's something else that you can do in New Zealand! Finally more outdoor climbing (why oh why were we born in a flat country?)!

So...I guess it's out in the open now :) Man, I feel like a spoilt girl. For how many people is traveling not just an unattainable luxury? I'm part of a minority, I belong to that small part of the world population with a crooked amount of funds and chances. Whatever I do, I'll try not to forget that. I will do my best to keep it real, to be an honest and respectful traveler, not purely hedonistically oriented, but open minded. Eager to learn, eager to contribute.
That's a promise I make!

(Ps. I also promise to spin New Zealand wool. And you know what, I even want to shear it myself..ha, let's see if we can make thát happen!)

Wool!!! Eh...I mean: sheep!

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