I decided to go to New Zealand. I decided the cheapest and most experiential way to travel the country would be to bike it. Within a week my curious and eager self got a year long working holiday visa and booked a flight. I didn’t and still don’t have a plan of exactly where I am going to go, I don’t even really have a time frame; the freedom of a one way ticket. I do know that I’m flying into Auckland and want to end in Queensland, and right now I think that is all I need. It is so rare to ever have this amount of freedom; not committed to a lease, job or a relationship. That is what made me buy a ticket, the realization that I won’t have many chunks of time like this in my life. So off I go.
Me, Baby Blue (my bike), and my fly rod. A few other things like a tent a sleeping bag will also be making the cut, just barely. Once I set up my bike in Auckland I will be off. Biking alone all day, listening longingly to the voices of others in my podcasts and camping in my one woman tent. After a summer of being with people 24/7, great people, but still a constant noise of voices, after that I will be letting my ears filter the noises of silence and let my mind process just me. It will be a culture shock within its self, but what 20 year old couldn’t use some extreme amounts of self reflection.
It’s daunting to say it out loud. Just me and Baby Blue. It’s daunting to plan too far ahead. The unknown is scary, but that’s what makes it appealing; seeing yourself in the unknown is one of the few ways to really see yourself. One doesn’t have to go on a 14 hour flight to face this self, we all find our own journeys, mine just happens to be going very far away. In the “planning” stages of this trip I see a lot if alone time, I see a lot of time when it’ll just be me. Another perk of the unknown, to disguise the horribly terrifying scary aspect of the unknown, is not knowing the encounters I will have. This is the beauty of traveling alone, not that traveling with a dear friend would be bad but I have to focus on the positive perspectives here, the beauty is I am there to be talked to, there to meet new people. When I’m not on my bike or trying to pull in a trout then I have nothing else to do except learn from the strangers around me. It’s unique in this busy life to have a day when you don’t have to be anywhere. A day when you aren’t looking past the shaded faces of strangers. A day where there are endless minutes and hours to talk with strangers over coffee. To hear them. The golden rule, treat others the way you want to be treated, I will naively continue to hope that by following this rule the universe will some how greet me with the same.
When I was working at this over night camp this summer with no Internet and very few phone calls I realized the real world is over rated. That my cell phone and computer are my gateways into feeds of heart breaking headlines from around the world that leave me feeling hopeless. Hopelessness is hard to feel. So I’m going to run free until I see a way for me to help; to ignite some hope in others. For now, for me, that means biking and reverting back to simplicity of silence.