Something I have come to accept about travelling a lot and living away from home, is missing some of the big days. Sometimes the big days you will regret missing; spending time with loved ones as they laugh, joke and poke fun at your expense. Other times you will not regret, such as when the same loved ones passive-aggressively ‘discuss’ your cousin’s new boyfriend whom the entire family outright loathes and are anxiously waiting for him to get caught growing weed in his garage.
Summer Christmas’ are the best!
These holidays I spent away from New Zealand and my family. I was fortunate enough though to have some great friends who invited me along to enjoy their family time, so I spent my days in a pleasant haze of hot sun, cold cider and being ordered to the table for another meal while still full from the last one.
Now that the holidays, along with the-year-that-shall-not-be-named, are behind us, I have started seriously looking at 2017 and filling some of the blanks. The realisation has hit me that I have a little over 11 weeks until I will be on the road again. In typical fashion, I will write off 70% of that to procrastination and a further 10% to panic induced denial. That leaves me with around 16 days to actually do something. Not much time at all, but I will worry about it later.
While I’m not really the sort of person to make New Years Resolutions, here’s a few things I hope to tick off:
- Lie on the ground and stare at the northern lights. Take bad photos.
- Dive between tectonic plates while not thinking about earthquakes.
- Chase a dragon. Maybe fight it with a sword.
- Shred some powder, without breaking legs. Land a sick trick in the park and have people high five me.
- See the worlds highest mountain. Say to a local “We have one just like it back home”.
- Surf, dive and snowboard the year away.
The rough outline will go something like this:
April 1st I fly to Iceland and hopefully catch up with friends flying in from various parts of the world to join me as I chase the northern lights, dive between tectonic plates, and learn what Hangikjöt and Hrútspungar taste like. Smoked lamb sounds pretty good, and I’m sure ram’s balls can’t be too disgusting. I’ve probably eaten worse things without knowing it.
Sydney has become my home. It will be hard to leave.
I have a wedding to attend at the end of April, so I’ll fill in some time by visiting Berlin. I casually mentioned this to a few friends and every one of them told me how amazing it was, so now I’m committed. I’ve wanted to go for a while for various reasons and not entirely because I once had a crush on a girl from Berlin and I’m hoping she’ll be working at the airport as I arrive and still remember me after all this time.
The end of April will be spent at a wedding in France at a chateau; how splendidly romantic. And it couldn’t be between two nicer people. They have kindly told me I am welcome to turn up in the nicest clean clothes I have in my pack and to bring along a date, if I can find such a person between Iceland and Paris. Little do they know, there’s a good chance I may arrive alone wearing ripped jeans and a dirty, stretched out t-shirt. Anything better than that and I’ll be winning.
Once I have seen them safely on their way to marital bliss, I will head off to surf, dive and hunt dragons around Indonesia. I was originally going to do a four day boat trip from Lombok to Flores, then I read an article about someone who did this and ran into a bit of trouble when a storm hit in the middle of the night, the boat sank and they were stranded on one of the two islands inhabited by giant lizards that will quite happily eat someone.
I think I’ll fly.
Once my visa runs out, I’m going to Vietnam for a wander through and to soak up some warmth before a couple of months of snowboarding in Queenstown, New Zealand.
I have a new lady in my life. She’s 159cms, medium flex and an all mountainer. She won me over when I heard she was called an Arbor Whiskey. Now I need to wait for some pow so I can get back to shredding the gnar. Do kids still say shredding the gnar. What do I care? Kids don’t know anything important.
Assuming I haven’t broken myself trying to show off, we will see where the world takes me. I can feel Nepal calling to me, perhaps a stop off in Sri Lanka for some surf and sun, and to thaw out the last of a New Zealand winter. I want to walk the Annapurna Circuit, so this year may be a good year to do it.
Of course, I am looking forward to sharing all of this with you as I continue through this crazy, mixed up world, so keep following along, subscribe to receive email updates at the bottom of the page and follow me on social media.
If you are wandering around the world and we might be in the same place at the same time, let me know! I love meeting up with fellow travellers.
Keep in touch and Happy New Year to you all.