I’ve been MIA. Sorry about that.
Last I wrote, I was in Wanaka before heading down to Queenstown for a few days for a friend’s birthday. I have a few posts from Queenstown coming.
Then I flew to Auckland to meet up with a friend- a travel buddy from the states! We traveled the north island for 2 weeks (recaps upcoming).
He left this past Sunday and that night I boarded an overnight bus to Wellington. Which, yes, I’ve been here before. But…
I only have 11 days left in New Zealand. In just under 2 weeks I’m flying up to Asia, specifically the Philippines. I booked my ticket just before I flew back to Auckland.
New Zealand has been incredible- I really love it. But, I’m getting a little stir crazy. I can typically travel for 6-8 weeks, then I need to stay in one location for a month or two. Since I came back in January, I haven’t had the opportunity to “settle” anywhere. I’ve been on the move pretty consistently. It’s been fantastic but I’m tired of moving around. So I had 2 options. I could chill out in New Zealand, stay in one spot for 2-3 months, find a job, then head to Europe to meet up with my family, or I could leave and chill out somewhere else. I chose the latter, and that somewhere else is a place I’ve never been and a place that is far cheaper than NZ.
As for the parts of NZ that I haven’t seen, I’m at the point where it doesn’t both me that I haven’t seen them. I am totally fine with where I’ve been and what I’ve seen here. If I continued to travel here, I would feel as if I’m doing it because I have to; as if I’m fulfilling someone else’s location check list. Traveling like that does not appeal to me; I do not want to go somewhere for the sake of going (learned that lesson in Brisbane). I want to go places that I’m truly interested in seeing, places I want to be. Right now, New Zealand is not it.
So, my current plan is spend the next 7 days in Wellington, for a total of 10 days, take the overnight bus back to Auckland, spend 3 nights on Waiheke (at Kina, my very favorite place in perhaps the whole world) then fly to Cebu in the Philippines. I will spend 10 weeks in the Philippines then fly to Romania for month before meeting up with my family in Prague.
The obvious questions is, Why come back to Wellington? With only 2 weeks left, why not go someplace new? There are 2 main reasons. 1) Comfort. I’ve been traveling non-stop for a while now and I wanted a place that felt comfortable, that I knew I would enjoy; a place where I wouldn’t have to worry about finding the closest supermarket, or WiFi access; a place that felt good to me. A place where I wouldn’t feel like I had to go out and see things because I’m there. Wellington fit all of that. I loved my time here in January. It’s the one place in NZ that I really felt I could live long term. 2) Gyms. I know I know. It sounds ridiculous. But really, working out keeps me sane. It makes me feel good. It relaxes and calms me. Since the masters games I’ve been working out sproadically. I’ve been active with hiking and biking, but I’ve been to a proper gym exactly twice. I haven’t done gymnastics since I competed in Dunedin. Wellington gives me both of these. I found a gym here that is $35/ week. Typically casual rates for gyms (day passes) are $15-$20 per visit. So $35 for a week (actually 8 days) is realtively cheap (annual memberships are much more reasonably priced). The gym is small but it has everything I need- a well equipped free weight area (with power racks! and bumper plates!), kettle bells, medicine balls, boxes for box jumps, an open workout area where I can do some circuits and stretch. Plus, gymnastics is here. It’s a decent gym and at $12 per practice, I can’t pass that up.
So Wellington it is! Now that I’m back here, I love it even more. The city is entirely walkable, it’s beautiful, especially by the harbor, it has character and charm and lots of coffee. So. Much. Coffee. I’ve been here only 4 days and I feel much more rested and relaxed. My days have consisted of walking, cooking, cafes, coffee, lifting, gymnastics, reading, writing and naps. Pretty ideal if you ask me.