Chapter 1: New Zealand (or how I got this idea…)

I have started to travel about three years ago. I have always been fascinated by it (I tried to be an Au Pair in Ireland, and even though I loved this green country with all its hills and the rough ocean, I got homesick and didn’t feel comfortable in the family). I loved my two short trips to London with my sister, we would go there by bus and ferry and stay in a cheap motel. When I was in school, I went to Italy for a week, but being a teenager and not feeling comfortable with others, I couldn’t really enjoy it (even though Juliet’s balcony in Verona is one memory I love). When I worked in my office job, I booked a cheap bus to the Atlantic Shore in France and slept in a tent for a week. Being surrounded by nature and the salty ocean air was very soothing to me, but here as well I just didn’t seem to fit in with the group. It sounds like quite a lot of travelling already, but it is quite easy to get around when you are in Europe and I never went anywhere longer than a week. I still want to go and travel extensively through Europe at some point, especially through my own home country, Germany.

Sunset at Coromandel Peninsula, 2013.
Sunset at Coromandel Peninsula, 2013.

The second time in my life that I finally stepped onto a plane was in 2013. Some people were extremely supportive, while other thought it was just pure craziness to quit my safe job (I had been working there for three years). But what has always been quite important to me is my own happiness. And believe me, I have been so desperate at times, so sad, so lost, that I knew I had to do something drastic, that I had to to put myself into a complete new environment where nobody already had an opinion about me and where I would have an opportunity to bloom.

Lake Pukaki, 2014.
Lake Pukaki, 2014.

Somehow, New Zealand had been on my mind for a long time already. My aunt was a flight attendant and when we were children, she would bring us stamps from exotic countries (I remember I especially loved a Panda one from Korea) and show us photos. I remember she showed us Uluru in Australia, but it never occurred to me that my feet might step onto this country someday as well. But then why New Zealand, not Australia? Honestly, I can’t really explain it. My sister and I have always been drawn to this country, it has beaches, mountains, green meadows, crystal clear rivers and these amazingly blue skies. And maybe it appealed to me because it was as far away as possible. And let’s be honest, New Zealand is a pretty safe country to travel on your own as a female.

My first try at surfing. Woohoo!
My first try at surfing. Woohoo!

This decision turned my whole life around, and it changed me and the way I see things and even seemingly simple daily life, like the way I wake up in the morning. But that is not to say that I have suddenly turned into a zen yoga goddess – I am still on my journey and sometimes still fighting demons, even though now I am trying to not fight them so much anymore, but to surrender. I have wanted to write a blog about travelling, but it always brings me back to how I changed as well and I don’t think I can keep those two things apart. But now, back to the story I started to tell. New Zealand (Chapter 1.2 will follow).

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