I am starting with Day 10 – take a photo of something that brings you joy and share it🧡 New books to read spark so much joy for me And I have so enjoyed rediscovering my love of sketching in recent weeks.
Thankful for my life’s story so far and having had 30 days worth of travel memories to share in this space.
Thank you to those for joining me on my virtual wanderings down my travel memory lane. I am so grateful for your company.
Thank you to all those brave souls around the world who leave the comfort of their bubbles every day to carry out essential services and provide care for the sick and vulnerable. Your daily courage is such an inspiration.
Thankful for the courage that wells up within to face not knowing what tomorrow may bring.
So day 25 of this virtual wander down my travel memory lane.
From tomorrow, for the last 5 days of these wanderings I will be tackling the “big shaping” journeys of my life so far.
In light of that, I thought today would be a good opportunity to pause. Returning back to NZ for a retreat “travels with mom” reminisce. We stayed in the Valley Hut at Kōmanawa. A pure space if ever there was one.
Today these pics have helped me soak up that retreat “atmosphere” once again. In these last days of lockdown here in New Zealand and with it being Anzac Day too, there is much time for reflection.
Time for this quiet revolutionary to take stock, re-evaluate and keep dreaming. I still believe in magic…. the magic that makes hope float up.
That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up.
“Hope Floats” (1998) – Sandra Bullock as Birdee Pruitt
Today we are staying in the Tongariro National Park. This time to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing – a 19km ish hike through an old glacial valley and up the side of a volcano, along the craters at the top and down the other side.
I have completed the Crossing a number of times since I’ve been in New Zealand. Each time the mood of the mountain is different but each time magical in its own way.
These are pics from a particularly spectacular trip on a clear May day after some early snows.
More magic and another pure space to be so grateful for!
Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.
For today’s wandering we are back in beautiful Aotearoa/New Zealand remembering another “travels with mom” adventure in search of Middle Earth.
New Zealand’s North Island. State Highway 3 takes you through the King Country west of the Waikato River. The landscape here is mystical and intriguing – limestone and sandstone bluffs surrounded by ancient Podocarp forest.
Take State Highway 3 and wind your way through the Awakino gorge till you hit the west coast and its black sand beaches.
Stay at Struan Farm if you like a green country garden setting with the sheep wandering by.
And then definitely adventure into the hills near Piopio to find the Hairy Feet tour – a perfect Middle Earth location. On this farm they filmed part of the first Hobbit movie – An Unexpected Journey.
The day mom and I were there it was pouring rain. It was just us and the guide…. and it was magical. Not just because I am such a Middle Earth fan but also the karst landscape. I am a bit of a geology geek too!
Still on the same “travels with mom” adventure that brought us to Queenstown, New Zealand’s South Island.
We took a side trip – a bus ride from Queenstown to Fiordland National Park. Then onto a boat for an overnight stay on Milford Sound.
More of Middle Earth to discover. Here we glimpsed the River Anduin, the Dead Marshes and Fangorn Forest.
If I put my ecologist hat on for a moment. Here is a raw, pure Aotearoa/New Zealand environment. Magnificent in scale. Teeming with biodiversity. Truly showcasing the power and awesomeness of Mother Nature. A pure space.
A pure space – this paradox of serenity in harsh, isolated spaces keeps coming up for me as I wander these travel memories. Something that speaks to my soul, I suppose.
Today’s wander is remembering back to a cold, crisp January day when my darling cousin and I boarded a train bound for the nation’s capital, Washington DC. After arriving at Union Station we then clambered aboard an open top tourist bus and spent the day being extremely touristy. The open top bus was an interesting choice given the temperature that day. I was also reading Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol at the time which lent an interesting perspective to our wanderings.
Just so you don’t think I am completely one dimensional, today’s wandering is taking us away from Africa!
I was fortunate enough to spend some months in Philadelphia a few years ago. Time spent with very special family.
Such a different travel experience for this Southern Hemisphere girl. It started as I arrived with an incredible snowstorm that turned the world white. Completely ill equipped I still ventured out from my hotel room the next day to walk the snow still streets of Philly. I finished off that day’s adventure at the sports bar next to the hotel enjoying a philly cheesesteak sandwich and watching a Philadelphia Eagles game on the big screen.
Lots to see and do and, of course, so much significant history to soak up. I loved the vibe of Philly much more than any of the other US cities I have visited…. Home of The Roots, a long time favourite of mine.
The big snows came and went all the months of my stay. I got very good at snow angels and finally got a decent pair of boots for snow days.
I loved the glimpses of wildlife even in the suburbs – deer, owls, red cardinals and turkey vultures.