Friends, Family, it has been a hot second since I have sat down and tried to write an update on my travels through Middle Earth. And I still am sort of avoiding that as you will see shortly below...(wink) I think I have quickly realized that the effort required to post quick pics on Instagram is far less than the effort that is required to thoughtfully communicate the events going on in your life.
My random thought for this post:
Those double taps as I walk between class convince me that there is a friendship being maintained, but In reality I couldn't tell you what was going on in even a quarter of my "connections" lives. It is tempting to just take the easy route and share cool photos and quirky captions, but I am convinced now more than ever that social media is clouding my perceptions of what relationships should be. I don't want to feel like I have to live up to an image or expectation that I try and represent online, nor do I want to interact with the personas that others are eager to put on for the same reasons.
There was a time when I would have told you that I could just take a year and go travel the world solo, however my confidence in this is fading rapidly. I am in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and when I look back on my adventures here I don't think the experiences are what will come to mind first. When I think about my time in New Zealand I fully expect to remember the people I have met and the life stories that I have been a part of. It's great to go live an adventuresome life, but if you aren't doing that in community you are missing out on half of what creation is supposed to be.
March 31 - April 16 / April 21 - April 30
All that being said, the last month has been absolutely crazy. I started my travels out by meeting up with two friends, Michael & Victoria, in Queenstown. We looped around the Otago region hiking the Routeburn Track and visiting Milford Sound before we carried on up to Wanaka. From here we camped, climbed, and explored some of the less touristy areas of our trip. Unfortunately a short trip up to Mount Cook brought rain, which just a few days later would become snow! After a short visit to Sydney to hang out with the kangaroos, I was back to Auckland for some much need R&R (albeit for 4 days!).
Glenorchy, Lake Alta, and Mt. Roy
Soon enough I was on a plane to Christchurch where I would be meeting up with another familiar face, the one and only Hailey Kim! This trip covered a little bit more ground than the last, and we didn't waste any time setting off towards the west coast. Our route took us through the middle of Middle Earth, down the coast, and back up to stunning blue skies at Mt. Cook. Along the way we saw caves, beaches, glaciers, and plenty of waterfalls. The diversity of landscapes in such a short period of time was just incredible! My highlight from this trip was our stay on top of the Mueller Glacier, which at 3000ft of elevation was no easy task to hike up to!
Photos of the Mueller Hut, which sits atop the Mueller Glacier in Mt. Cook National Park
As soon as I started thinking about documenting all the stories in a blog I get a little overwhelmed, so I pulled out my camera and began filming. I know it is kind of cheating but I figured that a video would be able to capture my stories better than heartfelt writing. Now I was strongly urged by friends to hold off sharing this until my semester is totally complete, however I am compromising a bit. Because you went through the effort of actually visiting or opening the link to this post you can watch the video below, but please do not share it! I will likely post it in a month or two with some clips from trips yet to come.