Where to Next?

Sunday, Apr. 25, 2010. 09:13 PM
Mangonui, Northland, New Zealand

Musical selection this evening: Massive Attack – Heligoland: 4-stars!

Too-much-on-my-mind-to-blog-about-syndrome is in full effect again. I can’t help but think that this could easily be avoided by regular writing, eh? But I haven’t felt like writing lately. Yes, part of it was laziness. I’ve been too busy living without being able to synthesize it into anything, and today my little bell sounded it’s little “Dink!” (I’m done.) I can process now.

I’ve been a little lost since Telah left in early February. Since I decided to voyage in spring 2008, a series of interrelated and loosely-plotted events have come to pass. Together with Jamey, Cara and Bonnie, I brainstormed the top places I wanted to visit, and we drew up an itinerary which began in India and arced it way down to New Zealand. Many things have altered the course, but in the the end I made it. The line is dotted at best, meaning many places in-between have been skipped, but roughly speaking, I’m done. Summer down here is officially over, and all is blooming and agitating in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m somewhat of a self-proclaimed winter-dodger, I’ve definitely seen enough eye-numbing beauty to consider myself lucky and then some, the occasional cold or wet episode gives me a chill, and so I start asking myself “What’s next?”

Thing is, I love it here. And I have until December (7+ months) till my visa expires. I have the privilege to legally work with my Working Holiday visa, which I’m ineligible to renew when I become 30 – tick tick tick – that’s in three and a half months!! Sounds like a reason to stay and live it up, I reckon! Same for Australia, the chance of a Working Holiday scheme will be finito for me in August. (Can I apply now and use it next year?)

Austraila?! Well, Kiwis will hate me for saying it, but New Zealand is a chip off the old Aussie block, geographically with obvious cultural influences as well, and even though I suspect I’m already in heaven, I might as well check out the huge continent next door while I”m here, no? It’s fun to compare and contrast similar but different places, and while I’ve never been too interested in Aus, how can it NOT be interesting? Two-thirds of its native flora and fauna are unique to the place, and there are more deadly varieties per capita than anywhere else. Say no more, I’m sold!

Other options include (relatively) nearby Indonesia and Bali, where a visa-easy month is always an option, but not long enough to really cross at length by island-hopping in that time (there are thousands which comprise the country.) With some difficulty a 3-month visa can be obtained (with sponsorship, which would also kill the travel-far-and-wide angle.) Southeast Asia and India continue to call me back, but I think Not Yet. Europe’s even calling me, (along with a possible job-opp in England, which I’d actually take at this point for the right chi-ching.) More specifically, I’ve also started looking into a Middle East into Eastern Europe bike tour, (which still sounds fun to me, believe it or not), but I think I’d fancy a touring partner for that. I’d love to visit friends in many Western European destinations as well… but I think not till spring 2011 at the earliest. I’ve practically decided to be in South America this time next year (inspired by the World Rainbow Gathering in Argentina), hopefully preceded by an epic road-trip with my bff Victor through Central and South America, which I eagerly await some commitment to plan for. And my friend Jade in NY asked if I’ll meet her in Costa Rica at some point this year, to which I replied “Definitely, hell yeah.”

There are also the ongoing lures of my beloveds back home to come back and play, the idea of passing my big 3-0 with my besties, and Burning Man, but I think, at least for now, that I’m going to spend at least a few more months here, if not the whole year, where life seems perfect, or until something else comes up. Yeah, it going to be winter, but summer’s also officially over and I’ve been swimming in the ocean, kayaking and snorkeling all week. Besides, I can work and snowboard at the same time in enough places (either volunteering, Wwoofing, or actually getting paid), so I’m sweet. And there are so many cool farms and eco-villages up in Northland (where the winter is minimal) that would be amazing places to hunker down and continue to learn about the good, natural life that I’m so obsessed with but have so little experience putting into practice.

Phew. Feels good to get that out and put the pieces out on the table. Thanks for letting me process with you. I like that there’s no shortage of options, and also that I’m fickle, which means that it’s all subject to change with any opportunity or idea that comes along. The one thing I’m certain of, which my bones wouldn’t lie to me about, is that I want to keep living through travel.

I haven’t really even gotten to the processing part of this yet, but I’m eager to write about what’s been going on with me, and how I feel about my experiences here. As usual, I feel like I’ve just started to see beneath the surface, and there’s sooo much deeper to go, not only in understanding the people, life and culture here, but in adopting my favorite aspects of it. I never expected to learn so much from Kiwis, but they’re an unusually special bunch. I love it. And lately I’ve never felt so American as at any point in my life. It’s not a bad thing, but definitely an eye-opener. More on that soon, I hope!

Back to reading and eventually wild dreaming, in my tent, to the sounds of the surf…


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