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Published: April 25th 2007
Cross by Cathedral "I immediately regret this decision." ~ Ron Burgundy
By the cathedral in Cathedral Square, and by far my favorite shot in Christchurch!
"He insist we not fly, in case the Jews repeated their attack of 9/11." ~ Borat
"I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me, and alone;"
~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses"
Hey everyone, I'm back. Did you miss me?
It's true, it's true, I'm back in E-Town. Oh woe is me! I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Edmonton as I write this.
Originally, I was scheduled to come home on May 23rd, but it took a little reality check in New Zealand before I realized I should be moving my ticket up. New Zealand's an expensive country, and if I stayed there an extra month without working, well, I would be coming home flat broke. As it stands right now, I'm coming home with just a little less than I hoped. But that's the price you pay to go to Fiji, and it was a price worth paying!
So after landing in Christchurch
How Do You Feel About Global Warming?
Funny thing, the T-shirt called for, "Smoking keeps me thin and beautiful," but I changed it. Brilliant! Watch out - I could be ripping off material in a neighbourhood near you!
in the wee hours of April 22nd, I got to enjoy one last day in New Zealand before heading off on the 23rd (by the way, I included a bunch of Christchurch pictures for this blog, since I didn't post any on my last entry. Enjoy!). This is where the longest period of travelling I've ever done took place: From Christchurch I flew to Singapore (a 10-hour flight), arriving around 6:00 pm. They put me up in a fancy hotel where I got up at 4:45 am to get picked up at 5:20, so that I could get to the airport by 6:00 am. The office was adament about getting there by 6:00, even though my flight didn't leave until 9:45 that morning. So I've been up for 5 hours at this point, in case anyone's counting.
Anyway, from Singapore, I took off to Tokyo (6 hours), had a 1 hour layover, then flew from there to L.A. (a lucky 8 Â½-hour flight, thanks to heavy winds blowing in my favour), sat around for 3 hours, then took off to Vancouver (2 Â½ hours). Had a 2 hour layover there, then flew to Edmonton (another 1 Â½ hours). I
Some pics of Christchurch for you, both before and after Fiji. Enjoy!
landed on April 24th, around 9:40 pm, Edmonton time. From there I took a shuttle bus downtown and crashed at a hostel, but not until about 1:00 am (I was so tired I started feeling awake, if that makes any sense). So basically I figure I was up for about... about 33 hours, starting from waking up in Singapore. One 8-hour sleep later, and here I am mashing another blog together.
So why the hell am I home anyway? My ticket was good for another 6 months, and I could've easily picked up some work in NZ. Well, there's a couple of reasons for that. First of all, I saw a lot of New Zealand in two months, and second, as much as I would've loved to stay and work there, I wouldn't have been working towards
anything; I would've just been working to stay there. That's not what I had in mind when I left for this trip 6 short (but long) months ago.
I have to say, finishing this trip has left me going through a range of emotions. I'm a little depressed because, well... I'm home. I was really settling in nicely in New Zealand;
it's a country I could definitely live in. I'll have to look into residency and see if I have a chance. I love the laid-back lifestyle, the coziness of the cities, the amazing nature, and don't even get me started on the beer! There's gonna be some withdrawal symptoms, especially when I bring a glass of Molson Canadian to my lips (my apologies to Molson Canadian beer fans out there).
Also depressing is losing the thrill of being somewhere different. I love that! To go on a trip like this, then to go to back to what you've known your whole life and realize nothing's changed except maybe you... ugh.
On the other hand, there are reasons to be excited too. I do love Canada (really!) and I'm excited to start another phase of my life. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and the look on my parent's faces - especially Mom's - when they see me: I never told told them I was coming home!
By the way, here's a funny story for you: when I got into Edmonton last night, I saw my old boss at the airport. Hi Keith! I didn't want him
Bridge of Remembrance - Christchurch
Built to commemorate those who died in various wars. Nice!
to see me though, because if he did, he'd tell everybody else I used to work with, and it only takes one phone call home to ruin the surprise. Luckily, he walked right by me without noticing. Must be the short hair - phew!
So yes, the trip is over. But what a trip it was! I saw a lot and did a lot. What did 6 months of extensive backpacking teach me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing!
I'm kidding, of course. I learned a lot during this trip, about myself and about other cultures. I learned how to cook Thai food, that jamming a metal pole through your cheeks looks as painful as it sounds, that korean chopsticks are the Devil's tools, and how to spot a ladyboy - I hope!
There are other things too, of course. More important things. One thing in particular that I realized is that money really doesn't buy happiness. That may be difficult to believe, especially in a materialistic society like ours, but it's true. I've also gained a newfound appreciation for different cultures, and the many differences between them. I always get a high out of seeing how people live
Pretty awesome spot, right in the heart of Christchurch!
life in another country; sometimes I feel like I'm on another planet! Culture is definitely a key ingredient to what makes this world so interesting and unique.
But there's one thing above all else that I'd like to leave you with. One important piece of wisdom to impart on you, one little lesson to take to heart. It's the the secret of life and
the fountain of youth, if you ask me. Love life.
That's it - short and simple. Unless you believe in reincarnation and can remember all your past lives, you only have one life to live. Enjoy it!
Remember the good times, learn from the bad ones, and cherish it all, because it's the only one you will ever have. Don't waste your time doing what society expects you to do; do what your heart expects you to. Learn from everything, regret nothing
I've always said that when I'm lying on my deathbed, reflecting on my life, I don't want to be thinking about missed opportunities; things I've always wanted to do, but never got around to for one reason or another. I want to be able to say, "look at all the cool shit
King me! ... D'oh!
I did!!!" What do you want to say on yours?
Anyway, I'm going to try to post some various pictures during the next couple of weeks, maybe I'll make one of all Rob's best shots and get his commentary. I dunno, we'll see. Anyway, I may not be blogging for a while, but I certainly won't be a stranger to the Travelblog site, so be sure to drop me a line if you'd like. I'll be around, trying to figure out something else to write about. I'm enjoying it too much to stop now.
Ciao, Amigos! (Author's note: didn't get to surprise Mom as much as I would've liked; she pulled up to the house the same time I was walking up to it. But my dad & brother's faces: PRICELESS!)
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