What a bizarre feeling it is, leaving a place that’s just started to feel like home. Pulling up the roots that you can tell have only just started to grow to once again push yourself out there, outside your comfort zone where feelings of fear and uncertainty dwell and highs are follows by lows that are followed by ups and downs and backs and forths and a full range emotions in between. Where life happens, magic happens; where one wants to be, in theory, but in practice it’s not always so simple.
”The trouble is, by risking nothing you risk everything.”
So I woke up in Christchurch, New Zealand, this morning, in a 10-bed dorm in a hostel that used to be a jail. What a way to start one’s travels, eh? Taking a shuttle to an old jailhouse after a delayed late night flight with just 1 % battery left and instructions on how to ‘break into prison’ cause there’s no one in the reception after 9 pm. What am I doing here?
With no plans for the day (or the coming 18 days for that matter), I felt hesitant to say the least to get up and going this morning. Where to go and what to do? What to eat? Who are all these people (where is Laure??), and where can I buy a sim card? I have no clue, and to be honest, I did not feel like finding out.
It took me a good hour to get myself out of bed. Back to traveling, back to hostels. I hardly ever say this, but today is a day that I felt like not getting out of bed. Figuring that it wouldn’t get any better by staying, though, I forced myself to get up, take a shower and get dressed. I had a quick look around the place and arrived at the reception.
Hi, how are you? Good, thanks, and you?
”So I only just arrived last night and I have no clue about anything.”
I took a seat. The girl behind the desk was super friendly and helpful. She walked me through most of the map and introduced me to all of my options – there’s quite a few! Head north, south, west; glaciers here, hot springs there; skydiving, rafting, whales and dolphins; art, culture, nightlife; rainforests, lakes, Fiordland… etc. It really depends on what you want to do.
I left the hostel 45 minutes later with a Lonely Planet, maps and brochures in my hand, feeling a lot more at peace, perhaps even a tiny bit excited.
Heading straight to the nearby café that the girl had recommended, I’m now sitting here with a flat white in my hands, thinking to myself that things are not so bad after all. A chalk board on top of the coffee machine states the question ”WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING?” in what I assume to be Maori. The answer?
”IT IS PEOPLE, IT IS PEOPLE, IT IS PEOPLE.”
People. What would we do without each other?!
I feel at home (I’m in a cafe!), and all is well. By the end of the day I’ll have a plan.
All is well.
Oh, the rollercoaster it is, this life!