Doomsday prep

I survived two days in Auckland…just. Turns out a cold coffee with ice in it is a ‘cold brew’ in Takapuna (North Auckland) but an iced Americano in Manakau (South Auckland). It’s the same damn city guys, can’t you at least agree on what to name your cold coffee?! I also nearly died because drivers there are just…well…I nearly died. The motorway is fine, people kind of know to look out for others (though with four crashes in the stretch of motorway that runs from one side of the city to the other might suggest otherwise), but outside of that it’s every man for himself. I nearly hit a kid too on a crossing who thought that instead of stopping to check the cars were far enough away to ACTUALLY stop, he just walks out without looking, on dusk, in dark clothes, on a wet road. I stopped.Thankfully.

So with my heart in my throat 90 per cent of the time I was there I’ve concluded I felt safer on the busy streets of South East Asia than I do in Auckland. None the less I am home safe, back in Tauranga, where the drivers are equally as bad but there are far fewer of them.

As I was driving between the two cities (it’s a three hour trip in average traffic) I went back through the Waikato (where I used to live). Man I miss it.

The Waikato is very foggy, most people hate that. I love it. There’s nothing cooler than living at the top of a hill looking down at all the fog sitting in the bottom of the valley. It’s mystical in the coolest of ways.

I’m not missing the cold though.

However, I do miss the fashion. I have no idea how people in Tauranga don’t freeze. No one wears coats?! This time of year in Hamilton I’d be in boots, a scarf, gloves, and a coat. Not here. I’d just look like a weirdo if I wore a scarf AND a coat. But I can’t feel my fingers so I think I might just have to be unfashionable and start rugging up and watch all these weirdos freeze.

The first frost of the year is here (for Tauranga anyway, the rest of the country south is probably already well used to these) and I had to get the ice off my windscreen before work.

The best part though? My car started. Dad was very convinced it wouldn’t once it started getting cold because the battery has a mind of its own. I am of the opinion it’s not a problem till it stops working all together. And on that day I will be late for work and probably be very upset and it will be all my own fault.

None the less, I am trying to prove that it will be fine and it will make it through.

I know it’s at least three years old since I haven’t bought a new one since I got the car…it really is on its last legs.

I have one week to go before my exam (I call it dooms day)…but I have passed all the assignments for that paper so far, so I have a small amount of hope that I may go down in a small blaze of fire rather than a large one.

Shrug.

I’m tired from my Auckland training and I’d love to say that I’m taking the afternoon off to chill out…but I’m not. I’m going to study my butt off to catch up after missing a lot of study time while away training.

One. More. Week.

Then I can crack open my lovely $45 bottle of wine I splashed out on and enjoy it while having a spa. It was going to be a bath, but I feel like I might want people to join me in this wine drinking and it’s a bit hard for them to all join in a bathtub.

Actually don’t try to imagine that.

So life is happening. People are happy, people are getting married, having babies, getting cool jobs. It’s happening. And I’m happy to be part of their stories. It’s fun. I even like crying babies now. Apparently I do have a maternal instinct. Not sure I want my own one any time soon. But you know, at least I like other peoples now.

And on that note I’m off to achieve at least something today from the office before I head off at lunch time to frolic about in the sun for approximately 5minutes before I find myself back inside, cowering from the cold, studying.

Yaaaay…

Over and out.

 

 

 

 

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Au revoir 2015!

Well, we’ve finally made it! The end of 2015 is finally here and what a year it has been. I was trying to avoid doing the whole ‘New Year, new me’ blog, but whatever, I couldn’t resist. I have no self control. In terms of writing anyway! I’m still a little buzzed on too much coffee from a road trip of 6.5hrs from Russell, Bay of Islands back to my home in Tauranga so this blog might come out in all sort of weirdness, but here goes!

2015 was one of the up and down years of my life. I’ve achieved things I never thought I would and I’ve seen both good and difficult changes in my life and myself as a person. I’ve travelled 9 countries, met people who took my breath away, hiked the alps, drank the best wine I’ve ever tasted in France, started learning French, changed careers, reconnected and built new friendships. Life is nothing like I imagined it would be but it never ceases to be incredible even during the struggles. If 2015 is anything to go by 2016 ought to be one hell of a ride!

I’ve picked up the rest of my stuff from Alex’s, I’ve met a few new people, accidentally taken things the wrong way, have concluded I suck at meeting new people and can’t communicate like a normal person…but in general, I have faith it’s all going to be alright!

On that note I think it’s time to write a good ol’ list of goals for this year! Yep, I actually have New Years resolutions this year!

  1. Run 5km at 5mins per km
  2. Achieve 30 pushups without feeling like I’m dying
  3. Work hard enough to earn commission from marketing jobs
  4. Obtain firearms licence
  5. Learn to dive
  6. Become 80 per cent fluent in French
  7. Volunteer twice a week
  8. Get involved in church
  9. Go on adventures

There’s not actually that many but they’re all harder than they might seem to achieve…for me anyway. So instead of adding more to the to do list I thought I’d also write a list of the ways I want to live my life this year…

  1. Take. Things. Slowly – relationships
  2. Don’t be afraid of something wonderful
  3. Don’t drag old hurts into new beginnings (yeah, that one’s not easy)
  4. Know what I want and stick to it
  5. Know what I don’t want and avoid it
  6. Never be afraid to take a step beyond the comfort zone
  7. Don’t hold back because of fear
  8. Friends first, men second
  9. Appreciate something in every day
  10. Don’t live life in order to keep up with or impress others
  11. Never apologise for being happy
  12. Avoid coffee…
  13. Stop planning, start living
  14. Be the best damn version of myself I can be

So there you have it folks!

I’m mad, utterly mad

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I stole this picture of my sisters instagram…mainly because I spilt a cup of coffee on my phone so it now refuses to upload photos I take. Whatever, that’s cool. I’ve spent the last few days in Hamilton looking after the little sis who’s had an operation (she’s fine, nothing major). It’s strange being, once again, back in the house I moved into a year ago. I can’t believe how much I’ve achieved in one year and how different things are now! I’ve been rather adamant about not being one of those people who come back from travelling and say ‘I’ve changed’. But I can’t help it. I’m different. I’m still every bit me but I’m the me I’ve ignored for a long time. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here, but before I came back and walked into what turned into a blind-siding flip of my life, there was this moment in France.

Tom had left to spend the afternoon at the pub and I’d opted to have a me day. I’d just finished watching the rugby and I went to do the dishes only to find the sink totally blocked. I’ve had a blocked sink while I’ve been flatting, a number of times, I should probably stop expecting food to fit down it… but every time I’d called someone to fix it. Not because I couldn’t fix it, but it was easier to just get someone to do it for me. But stuck in a house with no internet, no one around to bounce ideas off, nothing. I had nothing. I’ll admit it took me an hour to realise there was a part of the pipe under the sink I could unscrew to empty the blockage (into a bucket of course, I’m smart sometimes), but there was this strange sense of achievement as I watched the water empty out and my problem vanish. I did it all myself. I’d always been able to do it myself, I just never thought I could.

So I was standing in this little kitchen in a house in the middle of a quiet, well actually silent, street in the middle of a small North West town in France. I stood and I laughed and I laughed until I couldn’t stop. And I suddenly realised all the things I was worried about, all the things in life that stopped me chasing my dreams; none of it mattered. I was going to be just fine. I was fine on my own.

I don’t know why I had that moment, perhaps I subconsciously knew more about my unravelling life than I cared to admit, but from that moment I haven’t felt the fear I used to about my life.

There are a lot of things you learn travelling: how to get yourself un-lost with no help and no maps without the use of English, how to order food with a dietary requirement without using language…the list of stuff goes on. But there are these incredible moments like in Vietnam, I went out around 10pm in Hoi An, it’s a small beach town that’s insanely pretty, and I just wandered around. The street was lit with these large lanterns, people talked loudly, some rode around on bikes, floating candles shone in different colours across the canal. It was one of the moment beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Or when I was in Ho Chi Minh city and a group of girls took me around in the evening. There’s this big street just for people to hang out and walk up and down. Buildings tower over it with bright neon lights and offices lit up. People gather to sing and drink coffee and just be there. In a city full of rush and business they’re just there because they can be. And as I rode around on the back of their motorbikes in a monsoon shower I couldn’t help but realise just how incredible life is. For the first time in my life I stopped worrying about what the future might look like and I started loving my now. And I kept loving my now the whole way around the world.

I never want to lose that, the feeling of freedom and bliss that life is going to be just fine.

So the other night at 11pm I ran off to the beach just to talk and dance and run and do cartwheels (which I fail at). Because life is amazing and it’s so easy to get caught up in what we ‘should’ be or what it ‘should’ look like. I don’t want to lose the craziness or the spontaneous fun I had travelling just because I’m home. New Zealand is an incredible country and life should be lived in the same manner people travel in; just have fun. I’m young and even when I’m not, I’m still entitled to enjoy the little things in life, to embrace my crazy mad side. I’m mad, utterly mad.

And I love it.