Lost In The Middle Of Everywhere

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I have been enjoying my time in New Zealand for about a month now and I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. I feel like I have done so much and yet nothing at all. I am so pleased to be planning my mid-semester break and making sure I spend my weekends exploring more of New Zealand. One tip I was given when I first arrived was to make sure I do not stay in Auckland. While Auckland is beautiful and never gets old, New Zealand has so much more to offer. With that being said, I have dedicated time to planning little weekend excursions. From going to see a rugby game to taking a bus a couple hours out to find another beautiful beach. I even had the opportunity to take a full two days to walk the Coast-to-Coast pathway. It began in the city centre at Waitemata Harbour and finishes at Manukau Harbour. The entire trip, no stopping, takes about four to five hours. But I decided to make it a two-day trip so that I could explore the local businesses and enjoy the scenery (including summiting Mount Eden)! I have also learned to use multiple forms of transportation. I have mastered the bus system and starting to understand the train/ferry system.

The one thing that I have found to be my favorite thing throughout my mini adventures is… getting lost! My first long walk out, I started to get incredibly worried. I was about 2 hours (on foot) away from the city, my phone was at 5%, and I had no idea where to go or how to use public transportation. I was getting quite anxious and was about to have a full breakdown. I was also very hungry, so I decided to stop at a nearby restaurant to get some food and find out how to get home. The people there were so nice about my foolishness and gave me a variety of ways to get home. My first instinct was the path that would get me home the fastest because my phone was dying, so I got on the first bus and was happy with my decision. Well… my inexperienced self ended up getting on the wrong bus. After looking at my phone for .2 seconds, I saw that I was not going in the right direction. I got off the bus, quickly checked my apple maps, and headed to what I thought was the right way. I decided to try my hand at walking the rest of the way back so I didn’t waste more money on buses that were not takin game home. Though I was hesitant with this decision, as I knew my phone would not last the hour and a half walk back, I continued on my trek. While I was walking, I was able to get a look at the towns and small shops on the side of the road. I found a cozy tea shop where I now go to have some tea and read a new book from their bookshelves. I tried a new kind of dessert (that kind of looked like a macaroon but was not) and it was absolutely delicious. And I found a nice library that I have not yet gone to but am so looking forward to going back. About an hour into my walk back, I saw the sky tower, my north star. I then knew where to walk towards, and my stress levels decreased by about 68%. When I finally got home, my phone was at was dead but it did not matter in the slightest. I was filled with joy from my unexpected journey and discoveries.

Since then, I have gotten lost a couple more time. However instead of worrying, I take it as an opportunity to explore the area on my way home. I will say it was also very nice to not be using or relying on my phone. I was able to be in the moment and it pushed me to talk to people. Moral of the story: don’t be terrified of getting lost because usually that is when you’ll find your favorite places, meet new people, and learn your way around the area. With this advice, I also, of course, urge you to always be safe when roaming the streets alone. My adventures now consist of a charged phone (with data off so that I am not tempted to be on it) and a companion to get lost with me.

This coming weekend, I am headed down south of the northern island with some friends. I can’t wait to inevitably get lost.