South Island, New Zealand
When I was younger, I would dream about road tripping in a van with my dog, just driving across the country. I would ponder the idea of traveling for months at a time and working within the communities I visited, before moving on to the next adventure.
I grew up in tightly knit family of seven. My dad built his own welding business from the age of 20, Eventually settling In Hawaii with my mother (his girl friend at the time) and having my four older brothers and I. He passed on to all of us the art of welding, and we flourish into the family business. My father always told us "it's better to be you're own boss and build you're own dream, than work for someone else building their dream". I like to think I took that to heart.
In this magical thing we call life, we all need to take our story in the palms of our own hands. For me it wasn't right away, I had to build my own independence and personal strength, and that took time. A few years ago I took a trip to New Zealand, I was going for 5 weeks to travel the country with my best friend. It was COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone and that's exactly why I knew I had to do it.
Taking chances allows for personal growth and conscious expansion. Eventually, leaving the safety of "the nest" to LIVE YOUR OWN STORY. Feel your soul coming to life because you decided to buy that ticket, or hop on the next train going somewhere out of town, hitch a ride to find out where you're going next. What ever it is that the universe is calling you to do, DO IT.
The deepest parts of who we are start to rise up as we discover ourselves and the power that lies within us. Truly discovering that we are in fact capable of unimaginable things. It takes diligence and determination, to persevere and believe, when others may doubt you. I highly recommend taking leaps of faith that makes your soul smile. Explore parts of yourself you have yet to meet, who knows what you might find... ;)
Truth be told...
It's not always easy. Taking the initiative to step out of your comfort zone and get real with life. In fact it can be extremely terrifying and gratifying all at the same time. New Zealand was exactly that for me. It was my first international trip and the first time leaving home by myself. I was definitely a bit nervous, but so very excited. I had been dreaming of this my whole life! With a little coxing from my best friend, who I was going to meet In Auckland, I bought a ticket and packed my bags. No real plan, other than to see as much as possible, meet people and have fun. Just like that, the journey of a lifetime had begun, and I had a feeling this was meant to be...
New Zealand is absolutely amazing, From the vast landscape to the friendly people. I instantly fell in LOVE with it and highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. Also, I encourage making your stay a mobile one with as much time as possible (but that's just me).
Like any new adventure, lots of "firsts" were about to take place. Just three days into my trip I sat down at a small folding table in a tent and got my very first tattoo. With no planning and only a necklace to go off of as far as a design, I placed a silver dollar sized "OM" symbol on my right wrist. CRAZY I KNOW, luckily I can tell you that years later I still love it. It reminds me of a time full of magic, sleeping under the stars and waking up with the sun, random life decisions and living on the whim of my shoes. Pure freedom!
- "OM" is a sacred sound and a spiritual symbol that signifies the essence of the ultimate reality or consciousness.
(Photo taken by MauiKao)
I thought it was quite fitting since It was LITERALLY the beginning of the rest of my life, and I had never felt more ALIVE! I am forever determined to live a fulfilling life with meaning, and make the world a better, BRIGHTER place for everyone.
This trip truly taught me that a piece of my soul craves adventuring outside of my comfort zone. Exploring places I have never been before, meeting people from all walks of life, learning and expanding my reality. Challenging myself and my mental & emotional expansion is something I find exhilarating! Part of the adventure is not always knowing where you're going. Trusting yourself and following your intuition, always using common sense of course.
I landed in Auckland and finally got out of the airport at 2am in a rainstorm. My flight was delayed and I got held up in agricultural inspection for a little mud on my sneakers... not so funny almost 3 hours later. FINALLY, I was reunited with my best friend and the adventure could truly begin. I squeezed myself and my bags into an overly stuffed car and we were OFF. Next stop was SPLORE, a 3 day festival just north of Auckland that I had signed up to volunteer at for free admission. IT WAS AMAZING, so much connection, love, laughter, and it was only the third day of my trip!
Splore ended and we decided to drive as far up north as we could. Coming down the other side of North Island, and driving down to Wellington, where we could then hop on the ferry to South Island. Spending the rest of our trip exploring the lower parts of New Zealand.
The next 5 weeks of our travels in this magical wonderland, were full of colorful places, music that rattled our brains and hikes into the clouds. Chasing day dreams through the sunshine as days turned into nights and shimmering darkness back into light. We slept under the stars, we stayed with friendly strangers, ran barefoot in the forest and on the beaches. We drank from the rivers and cooked over camp fires. Utterly committed to this adventure we were on, taking responsibility for the choices we made daily and being forever grateful for this life we are living. New Zealand changed my life, and I have vowed to return someday to bask in the sun of Ruby Bay and to sky dive over the Bay of Islands. (two things I was unable to do while I was traveling there). I still get emotional thinking back to my trip and all the amazing places and people I encountered, and buying that one ticket made it all possible.
So yes, STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Make this the year you say yes to the things that make your soul tingle. Take a chance, try something new, go somewhere you have never been, take up a new hobby. It may not always be easy but I promise it will be worth it. If it makes you happy DO IT. Be open to the universe and see where it takes you. YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED.
I am forever thankful for my journeys and commitment to spontaneous living, testing boundaries and exploring highs and lows. After all, if we stay in one place forever how can we expect to grow, to expand, to learn? This life is meant for so much more than working and sleeping. It's meant for reaching, discovering, embracing, collecting, exploring, changing, moving, finding a balance between the light and dark sides of ourselves. Living from the light but accepting our darkness, constantly defining our edges and discovering new limits.
Bellow is a list of some of the Amazing places I would recommend seeing in New Zealand. I hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed reminiscing!
A Little Hidden Beach - North Island, NZ
Tane Mahuta - "Lord of the Forest" the largest Kauri tree known to stand today. (about 2,000 years old)
- North Island, NZ
Boiling Mud Geyser - Rotorua, NZ
Hot Spring - Rotorua, NZ
Driving the Coast
Whangarei Falls - North Island, NZ
Lake Tekapo - South Island, NZ
Blue Lake (Tikitapu) - North Island, NZ
Descending on the Sand Dunes - North Island, NZ
The Most Beautiful Sunrise - South Island, NZ
Looking Down Over Christchurch - South Island, NZ
The Christ Church Botanical Gardens - South Island, NZ
Milford Sound - South Island, NZ
Making lunch out side our Honey B bed and breakfast - Whangarei, NZ