We’ve left New Zealand. We’re feeling good about it too. This past year has been life altering beyond words and I believe we really won’t understand the full effect of how this year has changed us until we settle back home. Honestly though, we’re on the E of D-O-N-E. I just want a freaking place to keep my tooth brush for longer than a month, I really want my electric tooth brush back. We’re both ready to buy property and settle done a bit.
The past two months in New Zealand were unbelievable. The beginning of February brought us to a fabulous festival called Luminate. It was on top of a crystal mountain in the middle of nowhere, outside of Nelson, with about 2,000, earth loving, spiritually enlightened individuals. The festival was composed of both music and workshops and I was in workshop heaven. I went to everything I could from “Western vs. Alternative Medicine” to “Understanding our Chakras” to “Western A. Price Foundation”. A diet based on a dentist in the 1800 who travelled to many indigenous cultures the world over studying the relation between teeth and bone wellness and the foods they ate. Those who ate little to no grains, raw milk and high fat foods, had impeccable teeth. Those who ate a ‘western’ diet - many grains and little fat had terrible tooth condition and degeneration of the facial structure. “Rebirthing” was an intense breathing exercise that took me so deep that it was physically painful until you drop into full relaxation. Luminate was good for me as I worked on letting go of the fear I’ve been holding about returning home. After 8 days of some intense meditation, I feel more positive and excited about our future.
While at Luminate, Patrick, Rena, Ben and I ran a baked potato booth we were hired to manage. It was amazing because we could all go to the music and workshops we wanted. Also, the food booths were based around the main area of the festival, so the festival came to us. We met so many wonderful people. We all bartered potatoes for whatever we could; hair feathers, sage sticks, coffee, food and a pencil for an art project. The people were unreal and the workshops transformative.
One of my favourite parts of Luminate was Rena’s shell finally cracked and I got inside! I’ve had been spending a lot of time with my sister, about three months, and her shell was so hard. It really bothered me that our conversations were so surface, kayaking this, camping that, but finally I was able to talk to her on a much deeper level and it was brilliant. While in Calgary, I’m going to work on my brother but those twins are literally peas from the same pod!
We sold our van to Rena and hopped right from Luminate onto a plane and flew up to Auckland with two bikes in tow. We decided we would bike a bit of the North Island for three weeks. Our trip took us through a beautiful area called The Coromandel and boy-oh-boy it was mountainous. We climbed many 600-1000 foot mountains and covered over 1,000 kms, with our longest day over a 100 kms. Along the way we stayed with a few cycling host families that take in cycle tourists, three in total, the rest of it was camping. We had such a great time, especially because we really took our time. Stopping to go swimming, drink amazing coffee and beer or just stay where we were for another day if we enjoyed it. It was a real physical challenge but I just loved being on the bike. We experienced so much that we never could in our van, especially the various smells. The rain really sucked but its all apart of the adventure. Not so much the actual rain, but setting up and taking down camp in the rain and then everything being automatically wet. We both love touring and cannot wait for the next bike adventure. We want to explore France on bike. A food tour!
We spent our last few days in New Zealand with past wwoofing hosts, Steve and Lily. It was amazing for us because they are living the life that we are going to create for ourselves. They literally eat 100% from the farm except “beer and chips” and they make everything; cheese, cider, bread, everything pickled or fermented, jams, bacon, salami, and sausage. They are such an inspiration to us because they aren't afraid of making mistakes. They just do it. They don’t get caught up in all the theory of ‘how to’. I pruned all their orchard trees and Patrick helped with a bunch of electrical work. They’ve invited us back anytime as family which is incredibly special.
It was a perfect ending to a journey that took us to many places, both physically and emotionally. We’re coming home different people, richer in experience and more confident about what we want from life. We’re not sure what the next few months are going to bring for us, but all we know is that is going to be awesome and we really cannot wait!
We finish off our trip in the Cook Islands where we’ve rented a scooter and a small self contained beach villa. Paradise. I love the scooter as it gets us everywhere we need and its so fun! Its always a bit of an adjustment going to islands because the rules are always so slack. As long as people drive under 40 km/hr, helmets are not legal and no one wheres them. Our moms would be very mad at us! We’re cooking amazing food and drinking great wine. Of course we’ve adopted dogs and cats to our front door, but we just cannot help it. Right now, an orange kitty is purring on Patricks lap. A few minutes ago, Cookie, a beautiful puppy just left. We go to LA for 24 hours and we’re going to Hollywood! Cheesy, but we just want to see it. Then hello Calgary for two weeks and then back to Ontario to begin something new. Its so exciting.
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