I’m pretty tired.
The last 24 hours have included penguins, couchsurfers, hitchhiking in the rain (perhaps we should have opted for something like car rental Auckland, but we were already soaked at this point anyway!), and an invitation to a free wine tasting near a small town named Clyde. My computer survived the rain (tip: put it in a plastic bag or two, then wrap in a super absorbent travel towel, then place in backpack), so I consider it all a success. That and it was freakin’ awesome.
I’ve had people tell me they find it hard to keep up with a blog. “I’ve missed so much!” “So just start from now, screw it, write about what you wanna write about,” I reply. And now here I am in New Zealand.
So I haven’t said anything about New Zealand. All you need to know is I’ve been a lost panda, and have now hitchhiked almost an entire loop of the South Island of New Zealand – from Christchurch, up around the top, passing through magnificent places like Fox Glacier, and back round again. And it’s been rad, albeit with some big ass speed bumps.
I’ve been contemplating why I’m travelling; why am I on the road when it seems that, while in first world countries, I seem to do exactly what I would at home? I seek work and run out of money and meet the same boring characters and it’s all rather monotonous. The only real difference, it seems, is that at home I have my close friends. Why am I on the road then?
Last night our couchsurfing host asked us just this; he was curious as to what it was that made travelers leave home. Why are we uncomfortable in stability? Neither Alex nor I had an answer. We simply knew it was what we must do.
I’ve lost my spark big time lately. I suppose it is why you have not heard from me. If you had, it would have been the ramblings of an unhappy being seeking the same old work, meeting very simple and same human beings. When I left home I supposed that I would connect with more people when amongst my own – travellers. I’ve since realized that true souls, and those I connect with, are just as difficult to find in any circle, in any location.
Despite all of this I haven’t hopped on a plane home. Why? There must be some spark left. So why do I travel?
Well, why would Jeremy climb 100 mountains? Why would Kylie pursue University in creative arts? Why would Jorg study philosophy? Hell, why would Caylan drop out? Why would Nicole practice yoga? Why would Katt tattoo? Why would Andrew make music? Why does anyone do anything?
A spark. However small the flame may become at times, it remains ignited. There is no rhyme or reason to our respective passions. They are simply that: passion.
So that’s why I travel. A switch in the worldly section of my brain has been switched to on, and it cannot be unflicked (though at times the light dims and the bulb needs to be changed). That’s it.
I share this for the following reason: I do not care what you do with your life. If cleaning toilets fulfils you, get on it! But if what you are doing is not what your spark drives you to, stop; stop now.
I left Canada with $6500 debt, and not one penny in the positive. And here I am, 8 months later, alive and well with $3500 debt. So stop bullshitting yourself with the old story that you can’t afford that thing you so badly want.
Go grab it.
PS Penguins. Crossing the street. Seriously awesome.
PPS For those of you who need a real live New Zealand guide or want to know some travel essentials for New Zealand, here you go. God knows I only write my tales and sometimes you need more.