As I sit in my usual coffee shop (it’s strange to think that I have a “usual” place in a foreign country), I must admit that I have fallen into a pattern. Patterns, while sometimes unavoidable or downright beneficial, are something that I had hoped to avoid on this trip. I was hoping to consistently have new experiences and meet new people, yet that has not been the case for the past few weeks. As I’m still jobless I will give myself some measure of grace on this, knowing that I should not drive to far off destinations for fear of wasting too much money on gas (though this will change when I have some form of income). I have had a few Skype interviews for jobs across the islands, and hopefully will hear back early next week about a position, yet for now I am stuck in my patterns of frequenting coffee shops for free Wi-Fi and spending countless hours reading or researching different topics.
Fortunately, this past week has offered me a slight amount of desperately needed variance in my usual routine. One of my old coworkers on the apple orchard also has an injury (we call ourselves the Crippled Crew), and was unable to work for a few days, so we decided we couldn’t waste the beautifully sunny day in a coffee shop. We headed out to do a few hikes about an hour and a half north of Hastings. Our goal was to conquer Shine Falls, and Bell Rock. Both hikes were extraordinary, and it felt amazing to get back out on the trails to test my knee (which proved to be quite capable and gave me no troubles!).
The simple act of getting outside the city has rejuvenated me. I haven’t realized how trapped I have felt here in my pattern of coffee and reading (usually a routine I would love, but too much of a good thing becomes unbearable).
The hike out to Shine Falls was empty of all but ourselves, and the birds until we were on our way back to the car. The trails here generally overestimate how long it will take someone to hike, so getting out there took us only about half the time that was estimated. The falls themselves are known to be the largest in the Hawke’s Bay area, rising 58 meters above the ice cold pool that they thunder into. My friend and I spent nearly an hour simply staring at the falls and discussing things of no particular consequence.
These types of moments are the ones that I came to New Zealand for. To share a conversation with a new friend, in a new place, astounded by the nature around me.
Bell Rock was equally as impressive, though took a bit longer. It was nearly an hour and a half of walking to get from one end of the trail to the other (though that is still not very long), and it was worth every step. The views from Bell Rock were incredible. The green hills and mountains stretched away to the distant horizon with hardly any evidence of humans to be seen. My hiking companion and I separated, each seeking out the peace of our own thoughts as we gazed out upon the land. As I sat alone on the edge of a cliff looking out over this vast expanse of land (yes mom, I promise I was relatively safe on the cliff), I could not help but be thoughtful.
I need moments like this. I thrive on them and I will fight to keep them. It’s time for me to leave Hawke’s Bay and seek out adventure after adventure.
At the end of this week, I will be leaving my current city in search of a new place. If I end up being offered one of the jobs I applied for, I will of course go there and seek out the spectacular places found in the area, both hidden and popular. If I am not offered a position, I believe my time in this area has ended regardless. My first post in this blog stated that sometimes one must just jump off the cliff into the unknown, knowing that it’s just as likely that one will hit rocks at the bottom as water. I believe it’s time for that terrifyingly joyful leap again. I’m ready to leave this area, though not without any small measure of sadness.
I leave dear friends and comfortable coffee shops behind, yet I am determined to leap once again into the unknown. I would prefer this to be with a job and a form of income, yet even without that I can feel that it’s time for me to leave here to search the places I have yet to go. This move also means that Nate (my traveling companion) and I will be splitting ways, and The Banana Van will be sold. There’s a lot of change in the near future for me, but I’m ready to face it.