Pieces of: Queenstown…

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Queenstown is the backpacker capital of New Zealand. It’s got all of the hikes, water sports, the infamous bungy and of course the wild nightlife. It’s a perfectly fun place to visit…for a couple of days. This is where the strain of being on a guided tour kicked in. I’d based my whole South Island trip on research alone, with an allotted amount of time, before an already booked flight back to England, I’d made a, very unlike me, itinerary. The whole thing was based on the experiences of friends and countless hours of research, so of course Queenstown came out on top.

In the end I had four days there and not all that much to fill them with. The bungy jump had never really appealed to me, I love adrenaline but having to stare over the edge and then throw myself off of a very high platform did nothing at all for my excitement levels and everything for my anxiety. People who had done it gave very mixed reviews and I’d already done my lifelong bucket list goal in Wanaka (read all about my sky dive HERE) so in the end I passed on the whole bungy hype. I don’t regret it by the way, a lot of people have asked me that since.

Other than that there are smaller activities around, the luge gets a good write up, as does the jet boat and the parasailing but I was just over it by then. Overall I’d spent a lot of time, and funds, on activities in the previous stops and nothing in Queenstown really got the blood pumping. It is very touristy, too many people for such a small town. And whilst the atmosphere was thrilling, everyone was putting so much pressure on doing stuff that it sort of sucked the fun right out of it. Not to mention the prices of some of the stuff was just daft. So I did some treks, some sunbathing and some partying and called my time there ‘vacation mode’. I ate a lot of vegan cake and drank a lot of coffees too. It wasn’t a bad time at all, I made some mint memories with some good people but I just wished I’d planned more time in Wanaka and Abel Tasman.

If you are more of the thrill seeking, do absolutely everything possible, type then you will love Queenstown. It’s activity central and the nomads hostel there is a proper good hub for meeting people to do stuff with. Great for my fellow lone wolves out there who sometimes need to grab a group for those group only excursions. But I do feel I have to be honest and say it was by no means my favourite stop, not even close really.

Light and love, N x

Pieces of: Lake Mahinipua…

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N x 

Dear Wellington

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Dear Wellington,

It’s been eighty four days since I landed here. Eighty four days of floating around a winter dead city, drenched in rain and always occupied by a furious gale. I kill time on the same street, just one central road of many, I practically live there until I actually do. Cuba street is the heart of the city, the rusty magic in the otherwise characterless town. It’s loud and full but tries too hard and gets old quick. When I’m not hiding in mundane cafes to hide from the rain or working under the brutal dictatorship of my boss I’m chatting with free spirited souls in the hostel kitchen, sneaking in prohibited alcohol and hitting the night ignited city for a good time.

Memories are made and hours forgotten, sometimes my only reminder of my nights are the aching in my limbs from dancing too hard and my raspy voice from too much rum. We wake in the afternoon light and find food, laugh at the bits we remember and live in our youthfulness. We’re alive and free and I find my contentedness in the presence of these strangers. Sometimes I’ll stay home on weekend nights and stare at the blank pages of my journal willing my thoughts to figure themselves out into words so I can create something beautiful. This is only sometimes. Mostly I’m drunk.

It seems sometimes that I’ve turned myself off. I’ve quit my too full feelings and need to be alone but with these things I fear I’ve quit my creativity. When I’m inspired it’s a rush of hectic energy that I have no time to contain and save for later. When I am alone it’s usually to sleep or get “adult” things done. If I can be around people and vibe off their energy, talk about the world and idea’s, be crazy and adventurous and alive then that’s where I’ll be. So as empty as this account may seem, as self pitying in parts and not so culturally invigorated as a backpackers life should be, I realise I’m living my best life. Travelling and seeing things and meeting people is all I wanted for so long and now that I have it I only want more of the same, nothing more and that is such a fulfilling realisation. So, I’m sorry I haven’t updated this space, all I want is to fill it with the beauty of my life and share my story with you, my gratitude. But I’ve been too busy living my life to document it and I’m so sorry for that. I have a flat now, a settled (god forbid) few weeks to catch up and I intend to fill my free time grinding and starting something exciting here.

Sending love and blissful vibes,

N x

When I set off on that flight to Australia the people I would meet on my journey were the biggest of my worries. I’ve suffered from social anxiety since my early teens and making friends, even making eye contact with new people, completely terrifies me. Turns out this trip would change me forever, teach me that I wasn’t alone, that there were other lost souls seeking adventure and a sense of self. So that’s where this little segment of my blog comes into play. I want you guys to meet the people I got the absolute honour of meeting during my time in Australia. I want them to enlighten you, inspire you and make you fall in love with the world again, like they did me. You’re welcome!

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First and foremost let me introduce you to a woman who is now without a doubt one of my dearest friends: Bronte Frater. We met in a hostel in Coffs Harbour (which forever more will be known as one of the many places I found a home), struggling to get farm work in order to earn our second year visa. Bronte terrified me at first, so seemingly confident, a loud Scottish woman with the biggest of bubbly personalities. But after just fifteen minutes in her company I felt like we’d known each other for years. She was bright, honest and possibly the most refreshingly ‘herself’ person I’d ever met. She taught me so much in our days bobbing in the waves, being mermaids in the Coffs sun. We didn’t just talk boys and idle gossip (though there was plenty of that too) but we talked idea’s and emotions. I finally met someone who gets it, gets that emotion is power, knows what it feels like to live in your empathy and to always be vulnerable because of it. She’s one of the few magic makers in this world and anyone who gets the chance to meet her is a lucky one.

Spring _ Summer 15 Look Book

Name, age, spirit animal…Go!

Brontasuours, 19, mermaid!

How did you find yourself in Australia?

I was on the hunt for something new and far away, Oz.. felt like it would fit that.. also when my mum was my age this is where she found herself and the same for my grandparents so couldn’t let down the tradition of course.. you know out of respect and what not!

Favourite place in the world?

Favourite place in the world… so many!! I think.. I would have to say Dubrovnik.. we’ve got so many special family memories there!

Pick a cheesy travel quote (I know you have at least five memorised)

“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves”

Best part about travelling?

Best part of traveling.. all of it.. getting lost and making infinities in the simplicity of staring at the stars, getting scared, being Inspired. Learning something everyday.

Top three things/places on your bucket list?

Africa, Alaska, to become a mermaid.

Dream travel buddy or are you more of a lone wolf?

A bit of both I love being around people but I love my own company.

Favourite memory of Australia?

Favourite memory.. blommen hell which one! I reckon my skydive so far.. waking up, not planing on it due to fear then seeing someone that I met in Coffs Harbour at breakfast at the hostel at mission beach and then their holding my hand as I booked the skydive after she told me how amazing it was.. this women was 65 and finally having her gap year!

Advice to someone who wants to travel but always finds a reason not to?

There is never going to be a good/right time to travel. Just go, you need this. Everything you want is in a backpack and everything you need is in the world.

You’re on a long coastal road trip, your sunnies are on, the breeze is coming through the open windows, you got a beautiful view of endless ocean, what song is playing soundtrack to this momentous moment?

Lets go for… forever young.

Next Destination?

Let’s see what Italy has going on!! (This is the wrong answer, Bronte will indeed be coming to find me in New Zealand.)

Where to find more of Bronte:

Instagram

I hope you found this interesting and if you have any answers to any of these questions yourself, comment them below! Lets inspire our fellow nomads together, yeah?

N x

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23.01.2017

Last hugs, last Jetty trip, last supply coffee, last poolside chats, confusion at the airport, deep travel chats, a vague plane journey, the frightening reunion with the city, loud traffic, busy streets, skyscrapers, pollution, clouded skies, cement instead of sand, tarmac instead of ocean, reunions and surprise meetings with old new friends, drinks in secret bars, maze like laneways, rum, rain, exhaustion

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24.01.2017

Alone in the city, anxiety, yummy coffee from the quirkiest cafe’s, sitting by the river looking out to the skyline for the third time, feeling like a new person for the third time, uninspired by familiar store names, cute chats and photoshoots in the Botanical Gardens, skyline views from the top of the memorial building, the first lord of the fries in four months, drinks in overpriced hipster bars, honest chats in tipsy whispers, heavy emotions, stranger sadness.

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25.01.2017

More Coffee missions, acai bowls, bonding more with friends when you didn’t think it possible, art galleries, laughs, Hosier lane, buying new clothes and feeling like an alien, printing boarding passes for flights you don’t want to board, persistent anxiousness, getting ready in the air bnb with the girls, packing up the remainder of my belongings for the last time in Australia, ABC bar, $8 jugs of beer, more reunions, pure uncontainable happiness, selfies, lots of selfies, singing, dancing, a cheeky air grab or two, memorising my favourite smiles, walking the streets, bottle shop blues, too many bodies in our too small flat, crying…a lot, saying goodbye’s…

N x