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Adventures in New Zealand Part 7

travel learn earn new zealand 6

After 46 days and 5300 kilometers (3,180 miles) my road trip through the land of Mordor has come to a close. Everything you have ever heard about the country is true. New Zealand is the land of boiling mud pots, elegant beaches, volcanoes, rolling green hills and towering, formidable mountains. It comes as no surprise that Peter Jackson chose to film the Lord of the Rings in his home country. The country left such an impression on me. There was only one thing missing Although I had a great time, I did not have a vast sense of adventure, the feeling of being lost in my seven weeks on the two islands.

In my last few days I took a ferry out of Auckland to Wahike Island. The tiny golden island was jammed packed with vineyards sitting atop hills encased by long stretches of white and blond sand beaches. Another beautiful part of New Zealand; surprise, surprise. 

I got lost on the bus system and chose to get off and just see where my feet would take me. As I strolled through the beautiful countryside while not a cloud appeared in the sky. I had absolutely no idea where I was going. I walked slowly, one foot in front of the other with a huge smile on my face. I very much welcomed the feeling of being lost. New Zealand, being a western country has great roads and tourist facilities, even the trails are all very clearly marked, it takes effort to get lost in the country. 

I walked for about an hour before stumbling upon a beautiful winery. After pleasing my palate with some excellent Cabernet and Syrah, I took a walk through the vineyard. I looked up. In front of me was a large green hill surrounded by a fence. The grass on the hill was vibrantly glowing and the cloudless blue sky made for an unbelievable contrast. There was nothing on the hill except for a lone tree. The tree was large and impressively vibrant. 

After the steep climb up the hill I found the tree had a little platform built on it, complete with an old wooden ladder. The view from the tree was extremely magical; the rolling vineyards surrounded by the emerald waters of the bay, which was peppered with white sail boats. All of this was complimented by the backdrop of the blue, sunny sky. 

It was the perfect place to sit and do absolutely nothing. I sat and my mind wrestled between the last four incredible months and mentally preparing myself for the next three years in Singapore. After a bit however, the noise in my head started to clear. I found myself just sitting there, in the space of absolutely nothing, letting myself get lost once more. 

A phrase that we all have often heard is, “you need to lose yourself to find yourself.” However, as I keep living, gaining more and more experience in this adventure we call “life,” I continuously find the implicate beauty in both. I have met so many people that say the reason they are traveling is to find themselves; we become scared of being lost. I would like to suggest however that we appreciate the feeling, the anxiety, the uneasiness. I have found it to be an utterly exciting feeling. It’s one of those feelings that make you feel really alive. 

Or maybe I’m just a weirdo.

Dr Matthew Horkey
Dr Matthew Horkey
Author | Speaker | Wine Enthusiast

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