I’m scared of what’s behind, and what’s before…

Queen Charlotte Sounds

Queen Charlotte Sounds

Exactly one year ago, I landed for the first time in New Zealand. Saying time flies would be an understatement and saying how much I wish I had never left wouldn’t even start to cover it.

It was our dream, Emma and I… When it started, I’m not sure… She wanted to see the land of the Lord of the Rings and I wanted to see the Rugby World Cup in Kiwi land and we must have spent about 7 years rambling about it over and over, our conversations filled with ‘when we go to NZ, we have to…’. When she booked her ticket, for an entire month of holiday I jumped to the roof and booked exactly the same! Or so I thought… I ended up landing on the 8th of May 2012 and her the 10th … The first of many miscalculations of time zones…

We had initially set for September 2011 to be there, so I could see the world cup but we missed it by a short time, and I ended up crying my heart out on the other side of the Tasman sea when my amazing French team was robbed lost the finals… The All Blacks have NEVER been the same to me and not even mentionning all the silly jokes I heard when I landed there…

7 years I hadn’t seen my amazing American girl, and there she was, on the opposite side of George St that morning, around 6AM, as if it was just a normal thing and we were both 16 years old again…IMGP3121

The month we shared travelling NZ, it still gives me chills of happiness. It triggered my backpacking life for sure, I know if she hadn’t done with me all the first experiences of hostels, bus rides, little disasters and stress that goes with travelling I would never have found the strength to go on afterwards… Emma, she’ll make me believe in everything, unicorns, true love, she’ll make me laugh when I hurt, make me smile at dawn and get me to sing when we’re drenched in a storm in the middle of nowhere.

I think we both fell for the South Island as soon as we seen it from the boat that early morning coming from Wellington. Picton became our haven of peace and beauty, just us and our friendship so far from the rest of the world.

Of course there was hard times, when we just wanted to give it all up and run back to the comfort of our little lives but NZ, it’s inside of you before you even notice it and you’ll never have any choice but to love it from the core. We got stuck in the rain in Tangariro, I got bitten by a poisonous spider in Punakaiki and had to travel more than 200k before finding a nurse, I fell from a horse, we broke a laundry machine in a hostel in Queenstown and spent the whole night freezing outside trying to get our stuff to dry a little and not mentionning the creepy hostels we found along the road!

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier

But so many times, we found ourselves in absolute awe of what was around us: Wanaka, Queenstown, the Milford Sounds, sunset in Punakaiki, Picton and so much more. On our last day we could have dug a hole on the ground and bury ourselves for not only would we not see other for a great many years again, but NZ was to be left behind… I promessed her I’d go back there and do all the things we did not have a chance to do, and I did. When she left, I wished I would keep all that she was and all that I was when with her with me, and I think I did at first and probably my life in Perth I owe it to her, but it faded after some time and it’s just me and myself now…

We met a crazy german along the way, Oscar, he had been living in a tent for the past 7 months – and he is the only man I met who has ever encountered a wild kiwi -and he said to us ‘ NZ it is rainbow country’. And it is. The treasure it is everywhere.

Glenorchy

Glenorchy

Our next plan? Alaska, in four years time! In the meantime, I leave you with some pics…

Cheers!

M.

 

 

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