John Lennon once told Rolling Stone magazine that “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I tend to disagree with John. I love taking the time to plan my life. Do you have a desitation, more importantly how are you going to get there without a map? However, I believe those moments that happen sporadically, enrich our lives each and everday. Those are the moments that John was talking about.
The next portion of my adventure through the South Island takes me to the west coast. The rugged and wet (it receives 18 feet of rain per year) west coast has often been referred to as one of the top ten scenic drives in the world. After a wonderful night’s rest in my car, high up in a small mountain town, I made the choice to make the drive and take things slow and without a plan.
The coast was eerily similar to Big Sur and the Oregon coast in many spots. The drive was absolutely incredible, a small two lane highway hugging the wild Tasman sea on the right with the towering Southern Alps on the left. Along the coast there were also massive grazing land interwoven between sandy beaches and rugged hanging cliffs. All of this was highlighted by day after day of uncanny, sunny weather and blue skies.
I had the southern fiordlands with the legendary Milford Sound in my sights. That was my plan, my destination. After taking a stop in a small mining town I began to just relax a bit and let things happen. The next few days were incredible and were kicked off by the most amazing brewery tour I have ever taken (at the end of the tour we were instructed to sample as much beer as we could in the time alotted and to serve ourselves behind the bar.)
I met some travelers on the brewery tour and the next few days with them included glacier hikes, blowhole formations on the sea, Aussie fights, and a random bonfire on a mountain lake on the side of the highway (complete with smores and hot dogs of course.) All of this was capped off by a skydive high above the 12,000 + ft high Mt. Cook, the rest of the snow covered alps, and nine glaciers. The one day drive turned into several highly entertaining and action packed days. Not a bad detour from my plans.
We always seem to be on the move. It always seems if we have tunnel vision and we need to get there right here and now. What would happen if we took the blinders down and allowed life to happen to us? This keeps us from really experiencing some of the great sporadic moments that make us feel alive. I feel like the other side of the coin can be just as debilitating. Sometimes we find ourselves floating through our lives with no destination, reacting, instead of dictating our lives. This on the other hand keeps us from experiencing and expressing the amazing power that each and everyone of us possesses.
I strongly believe that the quality of our lives is determined by the quality of questions we ask ourselves. So… What is your destination? Have you constructed a map? Last of all, like John paraphrased, are you alright with taking a detour?