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Published: August 23rd 2014
I've had a lot of people ask me why I picked New Zealand as the main destination on my year abroad. Didn't I know, they asked, that Australia is down there too and it sounds MUCH more fun? You must be a great diver? Surfer? I bet it's because you're one of the Lord Of The Whatyoumacallit fans! Or, (one of my favorites), You're going to find a Kiwi bloke for yourself! To which I thanked them kindly for the geography lesson, explained that I could easily die in one foot of water, answered affirmative to being a Tolkien reader though not a groupie, and to the last I said "wherever the wind takes me".
To be honest, I don't really know why I picked New Zealand. Something drew me here, like a hook in the gills and I thought why not? I'm not an adrenaline junky and I can't even snorkel without a life vest but I figured the universe would provide when I needed it to and for the rest, I could just have a beer in the bar and look on in wonder. Easy enough, right?
I've traveled quite a bit (at least it feels like I have) and always it's a focus on the external and the internal stuff comes by way of proximity, so to speak. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but I've found that it wears off after awhile and then you have to go searching for it again and rediscovery is just as hard the second time around. So this time I decided to make a change concerning what a year abroad means for me. I've never been a religious person, though in the recent years I've become more aware of a spiritual side I didn't know I had; and I'm hardly the person you'd come to for advice on the soul. Which makes me an amateur when it comes to Love. Now I'm not talking the cheap kind of love that's sold on plastic rings and latest-trend T shirts or the romantic kind that makes your heart twitterpated. I'm talking more about the universal Love. Some may call this God and others have different names for it, but for me Love is the word that embodies everything: mind, body, and spirit.
So I'm here in NZ in search of Love and I've chosen Rumi as my travel guide. Rumi was a Persian poet and mystic, famous the world over and translated into.... well into basically every possible language there is. So he isn't one of those dust collectors on the top shelf. His poetry talks about many things, mainly an innate longing to unite the spirit with the divine. Rumi believed that a man not aware of the Divine equated to an animal and awareness would make him divine. Seems like a pretty lofty goal for a spiritual gutter slug such as myself, but even those little slimy creatures deserve a chance. So I'm on my slow movement forward, evolving from my snail form into that of a divine human. Oh boy.
So that's how this blog is going to go. Part of it will be what I've done and where I've been in New Zealand and the other part will be a continuous story about my journey of Love. I hope you enjoy and I don't bore you to death, and if at all possible I hope you'll find Love in your life as well.
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