Monday: A reflective day

Rotorua: A Quick Pit Stop (I’ll be staying one night here on the way back down the North Island when I head back to Wellington – the beginning and end of my kiwi adventure.

Rotorua is said to be the cultural and environmental capital ofNew  Zealand. It’s unique and noticeable scent is sulphur (aka the smell of rotten eggs) due to the Taupo volcanic zone. This zone heads towards White Island and causes the naturally occurring geysers and hot springs as, in effect, the earths crust is being stretched and pulled. 

The tension caused by this stretching is released in the form of the hot springs mentioned. In the 1980s residents used to dig up their back gardens to create their own hot pools and mud baths but then the geysers started drying up so the government told people they had to stop. Gradually, over time, these naturally occurring spectacles have come back to their former glory.

I’m now on the bus to Auckland. 

Back to the beginning, or where my adventure really started – although, for some reason, I don’t necessarily think of it this way. I’m not that excited to get back to Auckland, I mean, I spent roughly a week there before. 

Tomorrow I’m heading to the Bay of Islands. I’m excited but also my trip is going to be different from now on. Tomorrow there will be no one that I know on my bus (as far as I am aware). So it’s like starting again.

As previously mentioned, I was really grumpy on Saturday. I think it was a combination of being tired, run down and uncertain about how the rest of my journey, knowing that the majority of people sitting around me were coming to the end of their trip. 

Part of the reason I was looking forward to being back in Wellington was to say goodbye to my old roomie. We met randomly in Auckland and ended up living together in Wellington for two months, quite spontaneously. 

The background: Over the course of our friendship, we both admitted to being somewhat flaky at times, and prone to changing our minds about plans we’d loosely made. It was kind of a mutual understanding, so we largely did our own thing.

Before I left Wellington, we’d discussed meeting up in January or February – the only times I will be back there. However, we realised our paths would only cross once, in January. So we arranged to meet on this day, after the rugby 7s. 

We texted on the day, and she said she would let me know if they went out and I could maybe meet them. ‘Maybe?’ I thought. Well, it’s now or never. But I didn’t say this. I assumed she’d remembered this was the last time we would be in the same place. 

Sometimes I can be quite harsh and unforgiving. Particularly when I feel a bit hurt, which I felt because I didn’t really sense that she was keen to meet up. So I left it. I met my other friend.  

I posted a Snapchat of lake Taupo which I guess must have made my roomie realise I was gone because later that evening I got a message asking how long I was in Wellington for. It must have been fairly clear that actually, I was no longer in Wellington at all. I didn’t really know what to say – it was obvious I’d left.

So I said just the night, and she replied that she thought I was sticking around for a few days. Which I am, but not until after she leaves. She apologised. I started to feel as though I’d been harsh in not explicitly saying it was my only night in Wellington.  

I think I’m overthinking the situation. But the fact I’m writing about it on here at all is testament to the fact that it felt like a big deal at the time, because I actually don’t really write about my personal life or friends on here. I was reminded of something my mum says to me from time to time: life is like a bus, people hop on in different places and stay on for different lengths of times. 

Auckland: Affectionately known as the city of sails because one in five people here own a boat! (Bearing in mind there are 1.4 million people living here – it’s their largest city!).

Today is a public holiday… But only in Auckland – apparently they happen on a regional basis which I find slightly bizarre / puzzling!

Last night I was talking to a girl I met the very first night of my trip. We clicked instantly but I was getting on the bus the next day and she wasn’t. I was sad to say bye, but hopeful we would catch up at some point. Last night that happened! Our experiences have been different. 

In some respects, it hasn’t been how I thought it would. I have met lots of great people – it’s just been slightly  fragmented – and individuals rather than groups. When I look back, I think of the cool people I’ve met, all of things I’ve seen and done and how much braver I am now than when I got here.

Writing all of this today, on the day that I am retracing my steps back to Auckland but knowing that this is not the end is sort of surreal. It’s been a reflective day. And I’m sure there will be more of these to come.

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