I’m finding this Kiwi Experience adventure all a bit stressful and anxiety provoking. Always meeting new people, always having to join an already formed group, always getting onto a fully loaded bus of people who seem to know each other so well. My wrinkles are set deeper than all the others (under 25s are the norm here) and my shyness cuts deeper still.
However, everyday that I’ve had the fear of being alone, I’ve ended that same day with a brand new little group of smiley faces and shared stories. So, I’m forcing myself to carry on. Put that best foot forward and clamber onto that bus with my best smile strapped to my chops.
And when I think about it this past week has been amazing. I partied for three days with new friends under the shadow of a dormant volcano ringing in my 31st year with the familiar sounds of Dubfx ringing in my ears.
Went to see the Auckland bridge light up with a familiar face from back home, dug my own spa at a beach that naturally fills up with hot water because it’s right on top of the tectonic plates and I’ve been smashing my fears. I did a 35m vertical abseil into a cave, ziplined into complete darkness with the faint glimmer of glow worms as my only light, climbed 4m high waterfalls with no railings and tubed through ice cold water in the caverns of the Earth. I nearly cried doing it, twice, but I did it and it was epic!!
Went to say hi to Bilbo in the Shire and had a cheeky pint with Pippin in The Green Dragon, bathed in a creek as hot as bath water, witnessed mud so hot it was boiling, seen acidic lakes and alkaline ponds and a geyser spurting her stuff 15 foot into the air.
I’ve wandered around landscapes that may as well be alien planets, breathed in sulphuric air for 4 days, swam in ice cold lakes under mountainous backdrops, cuddled 14 cats during one drink of coffee and been dwarfed by ridiculously tall trees.
In one week!
This country is mental ❤