It’s been a while, for that I apologise. From everything I am learning, posts should be regular. In that area I haven’t done so well recently. Mentally things have been tough for me. Everyone goes through struggles and I truly believe everyone deserves time to themselves to sort it out in the way they need to. The past few weeks I have been hanging out for my time. I even booked time off 2 weeks ago. Sadly my colleague at work twisted his ankle and it swelled up three times its normal size. I know right! I thought exactly the same thing! “You inconsiderate bastard!”.
So I postponed my leave and set it for 2 weeks later. It seemed to take forever, but it did happen! Saturday morning I packed some basics, chucked a cotton stuffed mattress in the car and drove. I just wanted to get away. I set Kawhia as my destination, and I had visions and a romanticized idea of sleeping in the car by the beach, waking early, digging a pool in the sand where the thermal vents heat the water at low tide, and watch the sun rise from my own private hot pool.
I quite like long drives and although I was anxious, I was looking forward to an adventure. I forgot one vital part to an adventure. They are not automatically good or fun. Sometimes shit happens; it can come in the form of something happening to you or it can occur from within your own head. Sometimes when you’re lucky it’s both.
Of course that was me this weekend. I arrived in Kawhia and my heart sank. I can’t explain why; it just did. Something didn’t feel right. I decided to look for the beach and hoped things would start to feel better. It wasn’t hard to find; there are only a few roads in Kawhia and I knew the one I was looking for. After a 4 km drive to the end of Ocean Beach Road, it comes to a dead-end all shaded with trees; the only sign of civilisation, apart from the road and a fence, was the public toilets.
I climbed the sand dune and saw the beautiful beach spanning below me. It was windy, not the kind of weather to enjoy the beach. I sat there contemplating. I wasn’t any better. I was feeling really low and miserable. None of this fit the picture I had in my head. I turned back to the car and decided to open my Ingress app to explore the area. It didn’t take long to see the whole place. I couldn’t stay there. It just wasn’t feeling right. So after serious um-ing and ah-ing I set a new target. Raglan.
Things got better the moment I arrived in Raglan. The drive had been emotional, but I felt slightly better once I got there. I put aside my crappy head space, changed clothes and did what seemed best in this situation. Yup, I went to the pub! It was the best decision I made. It took an effort to force myself to be social as I wasn’t feeling the best, but i was determined. I put my game face on and went to the bar to order. A friendly conversation with the barmaid, with light-hearted banter, and I was feeling better while I waited for my burger and drank my beer.
From there it was smooth sailing. I watched the room fill with people and the noise of chatter got louder and more muffled as the accents and voices merged into a cacophony of sound. A couple sat at the table next to me and we shared a comment or two about food being delivered around us. So once I had eaten, I asked to join them and they were welcoming.
Steve and Inga were Americans from California. Steve had just retired from the Fire Department and they were touring New Zealand in a camper van. So far they had loved their journey; it was the honeymoon they had wanted, but didn’t have at the time. Now they were making the most of it. We spoke about our lives, philosophies and the things that mattered to us. I learned a lot about a different side to American life, and that as much of an influence they are on New Zealand, there are a lot of really good things we could learn from them. Sadly we seem to be mostly exposed to the Corporate, systemized way of their life and there is so much more we could grasp. I had a great evening and at the end wished Steve and Inga well on their adventure. They took the details of this Blog and hopefully will check in sometime.
I retired to my car for sleep around 10:30pm. I woke early and decided to switch on the Ingressapp to get some exercise and explore the area. It was an overcast morning, the pavement wet from slight rain during the night. A few people walked dogs or were running. The cafe’s were arranging furniture and preparing for the day. I found myself smiling and enjoying my surroundings. All the while processing the day before. I realised that, as much as it had been an emotional roller coaster for me, there were many things to learn and hopefully remember. Traveling, whether it be near or far is always an adventure. The important thing to realise, is that adventure doesn’t always mean fun, smiling and a perfect experience. Part of the adventure can be disappointing, sad or lonely. Although at first I started to worry I would not survive traveling alone; I proved to myself that I could recover from the not so good stuff and make the more fun stuff happen if I try.
The drive home was contemplative. I had new leather jandals from ‘Soul Shoes’ which I had wanted for ages. Now to break them in.
As you can tell this is not a review on anything I did that weekend. I promised I would tell you about my journey, which includes the ups and downs and this is what this particular post is about. I will go back to each of these places soon and let you know all about them, and this time I will take photo’s too. Would I go back to Kawhia? Hell yes, I would! Just because I didn’t feel it was right for me at the time doesn’t mean I will feel like that again. The mood you are in, and the expectations you can have, will always make a difference to how you feel when you get there. Next time I will expect differently and try again. Wish me luck!
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Have you got other travel experiences you want to share? Have you got suggestions for me? Or something you would like me to explore for you? Maybe you want to know more about my journey?
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