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The Wandering Dropout

After trying really hard to find something useful to be good at, it looks like my calling in life is to travel and eat

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New Zealand

What A Difference A Year Makes

A year ago, I was on the brink of my new life in New Zealand.

I was flying towards someone I’d fallen crazily in love with, despite (because of?) the ridiculous distance separating us.

It turned out that I was in love with a bit of a dream. An illusion. Something I’d convinced myself was real because I wanted to believe in it so badly. 

So what has changed in a year?

Well, now I’m in Colombia. I’m an English teacher. I have a life here, Colombian friends, a routine that includes hilarious zumba classes and almost-daily siestas in 42ºC heat.

Sometimes, I still miss my NZ boy. I miss the way he would look at me when he thought I wasn’t looking, how he loved to surprise me, and the life we settled into together.

Lying in the sunshine with bubble tea and salsa, wandering round food markets and working our way through the offerings, and popping out for last-minute hot toddies on cold Christchurch evenings, became the daily happinesses that I shared with him.

I miss what I thought we would become. Having someone to plan trips with, to dream about travelling the world in a ramshackle caravan (complete with scrappy dog) with, and to argue over India-vs-China with as if it was really going to happen.

But most of the time, I’m good without him. My future no longer revolves around someone who doesn’t really want to play a starring role in it.

And it’s terrifying, because I have to actually work out for myself what I want to do next. Where I want to be, how I want to support myself, and what kind of life I want to build up from here on.

But it’s so incredibly exhilarating, because it’s all down to me. 

Last September, I was running towards a guy, and towards a dream. It was amazing, I’ll never regret it, but it ended.

And then I had to rethink everything, because everything involved him. But now? Well, now I am free to wander, explore, and go wherever my restless feet take me.

I have no idea where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing come January 2017, but at least I know I’ll be doing it 100% for me.

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Throwback: Christchurch Botanic Gardens in Spring

The Botanic Gardens in Christchurch are world-renowned, and for good reason.

Since they were only a few minutes from my front door when I lived there, I headed over every couple of days to soak up some sunshine or enjoy a peaceful bit of time with my book or my bae. 

I loved how the gardens were bursting into life in an explosion of colour over the spring and summer that I spent exploring them.

So this post it just a bit of a throwback to that happy time – almost a year ago – with some pics of the gardens in spring-time:

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Karangahake Gorge: mines, railways and tunnels galore

Oh Karangahake, you’re bloody gorge-ous! 

Just at the bottom of the Coromandel peninsula by the wee town of Waihi – and excitingly near home of Lemon and Paeroa – lies one of my favourite discoveries of my entire North Island road trip: the incredible Karangahake Gorge. Continue reading “Karangahake Gorge: mines, railways and tunnels galore”

July 2015: Packed with Reunions

By some excellent stroke of luck July, the month before I jetted off on my who-knows-how-long-I’ll-be-gone trip to New Zealand, was packed with little reunions that I had to make very little effort to organise, giving me some great opportunities to see people I hadn’t managed to catch up with in years. Continue reading “July 2015: Packed with Reunions”

Hello Hobbiton!

So all the way back in January – it seems a lifetime ago now that I’m writing this in Colombia! – my Lord of the Rings (sorry.. I mean North Island..) tour continued with a wee trip to Hobbiton.

And it was magic. Continue reading “Hello Hobbiton!”

March 2015: Brasilian beaches and decision time

I finally decided for definite to quit the PhD after a perfect break from real life, where I had the chance to remember how great beach life is, in Florianopolis. Continue reading “March 2015: Brasilian beaches and decision time”

Te Ahumairangi Hill Lookout

Once of the best things about living (temporarily) in Wellington?

The fact that I was staying at the foot of Te Ahumairangi hill, one of the hills that make up the ‘green belt’ of this tiny city.

And trekking up to the top of it rewards you with this beautiful view of the harbour 🙂

Finding Mount Doom

Alternative title for less ‘Lord of the Rings’-obsessed people:

Taking on The Tongariro Crossing

Kicking off the LOTR themed part of my trip around the North Island, I decided with travel mates to face up to the very popular Tongariro Crossing: a 20-ish km hike that mostly just went up for about 10km, and then went back down for the remaining part.

The main, distinguishing feature of this hike? That you get to stroll RIGHT PAST MOUNT DOOM. You know, Mount Doom.. in whose fiery pits the one ring was forged.. Continue reading “Finding Mount Doom”

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