“…If you do follow your bliss and put yourself on the kind of track that has been there waiting for you all the while, waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss and they open the doors to you. I say follow your bliss and don’t be afraid and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
Of all of my adventures and misadventures in New Zealand perhaps my strangest is my 1.25 day stint as a dairy farmer. Two 4 am shifts, three milkings of 650 cows each, and god only knows how much cow poo. Now, most folks might have been put off by the prospect of working long before dawn and wading around in cow excrement all day. Not me. Continue reading
My New Zealand Christmas http://ow.ly/Gr9QN
After some extremely difficult bicycle treks, frightening weather conditions, and farming adventures I find myself in Takaka, a tiny town in Golden Bay. Just the name Golden Bay sounds like somewhere you’d like to settle in. Seep right into the white sand beaches like butter on a heap of mashed potatoes. Takaka is found near the west coast of New Zealand’s south island. It is about 105 km from Nelson. You have to go up and over the massive Takaka hill. I took the bus on the rainy and cold day of my arrival and I am extremely grateful now to be writing about the loveliness of Takaka instead of a harrowing trip on the wet, winding highway over the hill.
My Thanksgiving abroad went by unnoticed on the organic farm where I am living and working for a week. Of course, it was already Friday in New Zealand when everyone back in the U.S. began celebrating in grateful gluttony. But the big event on the farm was Mork’s execution. Continue reading
Rotorua is known for mountain biking, but the thermal city is an amazing place for any cyclist to explore #nzmustdo http://ow.ly/E1dQe
Bike loaded to ride the west coast
My second attempt to leave Raglan, New Zealand was in the pouring rain. I decided to bicycle 44 km on Highway 23 to Hamilton to stay with a friend while I reconfigured my route for the next few weeks. A small, skeptical crowd gathered in front of the backpacker’s hostel, smoking hand rolled cigarettes and watching me load up my touring bike. I’m pretty sure bets were placed on whether I would actually leave this time. Continue reading
Longing for one more day in Whitianga
The morning of my most difficult ride so far on my New Zealand bicycle tour began with a pancake breakfast in the sun-soaked kitchen of my hosts. Their household was lit up with excitement over their five year old boy’s birthday party which included a pirate pinata and imminent stomach aches brought on by a chocolate king fish-shaped cake slathered in more chocolate and peppered with candies (or lollies as the Kiwis say.) I was already feeling sick with dread over my impending ride across the Coromandel Peninsula from Whitianga to Coromandel town. Continue reading
Four more days until I leave for New Zealand! Last minute panic has certainly set in. I haven’t just been sitting around doing nothing. I’ve actually been riding my bike like crazy.
Fully loaded bike ready to hit the Katy Trail!
Nearly fully loaded touring bike
Today I rode 50 miles on with my touring bike, Xena, loaded to about 90% capacity. It was tough, but I’m figuring out how to evenly distribute weight and making decisions on what can be left behind. I’m staying at my parents’ home just outside of Kansas City, MO where I spend my days exploring cycling trails in the area, working on my new website, and stressing over what to pack for New Zealand. I’m also getting a chance to really catch up with my family before spending such a long time on the other side of the world. Continue reading
The past few weeks have been filled with “lasts.” Last happy hour with friends, last dinner with roommates, last breakfast taco in Austin (oh the humanity!), last bike ride with my biking buddies, last day of work, last night sleeping in my bed, last time to hold my dog before she goes to live with my brother (that was really the toughest one).
My sweet Lola girl