Come with me, a 23 year old from New Hampshire, on my exploration of self and New Zealand.
First of all let me apologize for being completely absent for the last, well, ever. So let me start catching you up. Good thing I wrote things down as they happened because I’ll be honest, after my last month my memory has been a little blurry. I’ll sit here with my little notes and relive everything now.
Let’s talk about Fiji.
Day 1- Arrived in Nadi and got to the hostel. Went out for a little dance which inloved this guy to come up and start slapping my legs. Not the kind of partner dancing that I was used to, but of course I was open to it.
Day 2- all 5 of us packed into a little car with all of our bags on search of our little transfer boat. When I say packed, I mean packed.
It was great, had to walk through thigh deep water with our bags over our heads. Get on the boat and there is clearly too much weight on the boat.I’m sitting up on the bow and the waves are breaking over it. A boat came by and picked up two people to try to relieve the boat. Well the engine got wet which resulted in us going nowhere. If you’re going to be stranded on a boat for 4 hours you better hope it’s in a place like Fiji.Not quite what we expected but made the best of it swimming and getting sun. Chelsea and I and our wonderful driver, I still have his damn ringtone stuck in my head.
The new boat finally arrived fully stocked with beer and tuna for us. If I had pictures of Tam attempting to eat these sandwiches on the boat I would die but I don’t. I have never seen anyone struggle with two pieces of bread as hard as this girl did. I laughed the entire time. First intro to Fiji Bitter was a great one.
Anyway we arrived and were greeted with a wonderful Bula song and an adorable puppy. I wanted to bring him home with me.
The rest of the day was spent sitting on the beach, swimming in the turquoise water and exploring our new paradise. That evening we made a great entrance as the American girls by breaking one of the hammocks. Note to everyone: 4 people cannot lay in a hammock at once, no matter how small you are. Tam and I found one of our own, looked up at the Southern sky and while the other girls talked about religion we took the more exciting topics.
This was the village we stayed in. This was our shower…
Day 3- Let me start this out by saying this was the best day of my life. The other girls concluded that they think they were safe to say that they agreed.
Woke up early and read in the hammock. Decided that we would make coconut jewelry so walked around the island with our new Fijian friend Sefa to hunt for coconuts. He was absolutely hilarious. Found an American football that he introduced us to as Milson, Wilson’s brother (from castaway, Castaway island is the next island over) he got stuck to a tree, like literally stuck, I had to free him. Found a coconut filled with hermit crabs which was pretty great. He also told me that at sunset that night he and I would get married. Casual. Took a little break from walking to take a dip while Sefa took a little nap in the shade. Got back to the village and started making jewelry. Our little friend Bill was there to help us.
We worked hard for a while but it was tough work so the guys took over. Sefa set to work on my ring. We set to work on our tans and seeing fish.
Jordan and I went snorkeling and I have to admit, it was 10 million times more amazing than the Great Barrier Reef. The fish were so colorful and there were TONS of them. A little beach full of Fijians came up to Calleigh and us as told us to get in so obviously without much thought we jumped right in. The didn’t speak English but we learned that we were hunting sea grapes (seaweed). It was awesome, ate them right out of the waitui (aka saltwater). Got back a while later and ran to sunset beach to catch the sunset. (shocker, sunset beach for the sunset?! I know, I know)
Went back to the lagoon had dinner, started drinking and played some trivia. Went outside for the bonfire and it was announced. “Attention everyone, we have a wedding” Sefa had spent 8 hours carving my gorgeous detailed ring and it happened. I got married on Mana Island in Fiji. Might have been partially alcohol induced but it happened. I do have a video which I will upload for you.
Jumped right in the water before we started taking wedding photos. That is my lovely husband and I. Here are Tam, myself, Jordan and Calleigh all wearing necklaces made by our respective groom/groomsmen.
After taking pictures (more of which can be viewed on facebook) we had a kava wedding ceremony to make it official. Sent Calleigh off to bed then went to bed ourselves.
Day 4- Woke up to start my first day as a married woman and on the way to breakfast I ran into Sefa while he was getting ready to go diving. We all sat around and read, soaking up the sun and our not so great decisions from the night before. Our boat came at about 2 to bring us to our next island.
Mana was the most incredible place that I have ever been. The village was amazing. Little kids with runny noses running around, the friendliest people that I have ever met. It was the hardest place to leave by far.
So here it is, my last day in Dunedin. I can’t believe that it has come so quickly. Thinking back to when I was leaving Auckland I was thrilled to get out of there, I couldn’t leave fast enough. I couldn’t have a more different reaction leaving here. It’s due in part to the great atmosphere that Dunners has but more to do with the people. When I came here I moved in with 3 complete strangers. Now as I’m leaving I am parting ways with 3 sisters. Kolbrun, Sani and Rachel are three people that I know will be in my life forever. We are such a force when we’re together. It’s incredible. So now I’m just going to throw some of my favorite pictures of us up here.
This was our very first weekend together. If only we had known what the future held for us. So many good memories. Fantastic Four.
Got along without you before I met you can’t get along without you now.
Here is my Cairns post… You will learn about the biggest day of my life here. It’s worth the read.
Day 4 : Woke up at 3:30 AM to catch my flight to Cairns. I don’t think that I even went to sleep I was too excited. Arrived there at about 9:30 AM and checked into the new hostel which was absolutely amazing. Such a relaxed atmosphere and the heat! Ah it was amazing to feel warmth again. Walked around the city/town and did some exploring. Also did some quality boat stalking.
Such a cute little place, I could totally live there. Went back and sat in the sun for a while then prepared for Mad Monday pub crawl. Cut up some t-shirts and went out for a night on the town. The pictures aren’t great so I’m not going to force you to look at them.
Day 5: After getting a few hours sleep I woke up early and saw the sun rise on my way to the warfs. I call this picture ‘good morning cairns’
Why was I there so early you might ask? Well to dive on the Great Barrier Reef of course! It just so happened that a girl from my hostel Jo (from England) was on the same trip that I was so that was perfect. Saw so many cool things. I watched an octopus for literally 20 minutes, hung out with a teen-sea turtle. I don’t actually know how old it was but it had the attitude of a teen. It was turtly awesome. Saw another turtle, a sting ray, some giant clams, a sweet blue star fish and heaps of other fish. All in all it was more than awesome. Had some good laughs with Jo and enjoyed the sun and sea.
Here we are, just relaxing in the sun. My pink sunglasses broke which is devastating but I got some nice matte black ones. I like them and I feel like I’m mourning the pink ones.
Yep, that’s the reef. Pretty nice isn’t it? That night at the hostel I spotted a guy wearing a Radford Alumni shirt. How freaking crazy! 2 Radford Graduates meeting in Cairns, Australia! Small world for real.
Day 6: Ryan arrived! I showed him around to repay the favor. Went back to the hostel for a little bit and chatted with my new French friend Remi while laying in the hammock. It’s official, every place needs to have a hammock or two. They are so amazing. Anyway, after hammocking I went out.
Everyone told me that I was going to come to this side of the world and fall in love and never come back. I told everyone that they were crazy and that would never happen. I have to eat my words. I have met the love of my life not in New Zealand but in Cairns, Australia. His name is Harvey and he is the sweetest, kindest guy that I have ever cuddled with. I never wanted to let him go. This is our engagement picture.
After a while Ryan got jealous and told me that we had to go. I was ripped away from Harvey and forced to lay out in the sun with a handsome med student, I don’t know what I was thinking.
That night we participated in goldfish racing at the Woolshed. Pretty damn entertaining I must say. A nice Danish raft instructor kept me entertained with crazy stories for the evening. I had to leave at 4 the next morning so we decided to just stay up all night. For those of you that know me you will know how impressive this is that I was able to stay awake.
Day 7: Flew back to Sydney and had a 7 hour layover there so went back down to the harbor and watched my favorite performers again and did some shopping. Flew to Christchurch at night. Spent the night in the airport. I would make such a good homeless person, I can sleep anywhere. Woke up and came back to Dunners early the next morning. It was weird, as I was arriving at the flat I thought to myself ahh it’s good to be home. Cue in tomorrows blog post and the tears.
Australia was amazing. I love my life.
Okay so I really need to get these posts out here soon or else I’m going to overload you with tons of them. Here is my Sydney, Australia post…
Sat next to a nice American boy, Ryan, on the plane and went to dinner with him when we arrived in Sydney. We were the only white people in a packed Korean restaurant. Absolutely delicious though. Tried some Drunk Rice and other things. Went out for a brew after and called it a fairly early night. We had adventuring to do!
Walked around the city with Ryan. Favorite thing ever? Danced with a little old man to the sounds of some great street performers. Waiting to get the pictures from him but I’m pretty sure that they should be sent to halmark. Went to the harbor and saw the opera house. So much smaller in person!
Took a ferry to Manly beach in the afternoon and enjoyed watching surfers and the sun set. Went for a little adventure and found a local beach. Climbed on some rocks and just explored. I found this spider. I really hope that it is a super deadly one because I took a picture and lived. I think it’s Charlotte.
That evening we went down to the harbor to see Vivid, a really cool light art show. Almost 100 installations, projections onto the Opera House were crazy.
I’ll be honest, I love this picture. Sometimes my little pink camera does me proud. Anyway, carrying on…
Day 2: Ryan set off to Melbourne therefore I actually studied. Went to the Queens Botanical Gardens for a few hours and sat out in the warm sun then went down to Circular Quay and watched the street performers for a while.
In total I think I watch this man for about 12 hours. I went back every day. He was amazing.
DId some shopping and got some nice things. I know that you could care less about what I bought so I’m not going to bother.
So much to say about this. Let me first say that the performers were talented as so I watched. Smart of them to dress up like this because kids made their parents sit there as well. The best part is this couple. Nope, their not part of the group. In fact, they just got married and decided to take wedding photos with them. Asians.
So yeah, Sydney was nice. I realized again that I’m not a city girl. It all looks the same to me. Day 4 I headed off to Cairns. [see blog post that I will complete tomorrow]
Caution: If easily made jealous do not continue reading
Here is a little peak at the next month of my life.
June 7-11: Sydney, Australia
June 11-14: Cairns, Australia
June 15-20: Dunedin
June 21: Auckland, NZ
June 22: Nadi, Fiji
June 23-25: Mana, Fiji
June 25-27: Beachcombers, Fiji
June 28- July 4: Queenstown, NZ
July 5: back to the 603!
That’s right, extended my stay so that I could get some quality time with my love, the snow. I can’t handle that much sun and sand without balancing it with snow! Ha. Sorry, now I’m just being cruel. I am so excited. Like literally freaking out about it. My epinephrine levels are through the roof.
Everwood (via julie911)
So the performance is over and now I feel like I have nothing to live for. Just kidding. I will stay alive. It was amazing though, I hate that it’s done.
Cara (also from NH), Isabel and I with our mokos (facial tattoos). I really think it suits me. Hopefully this is not the last time I have one.
This picture makes me laugh, I don’t really know why but it does.
My fans came (Sani, Kolbrun, Rachel and Esira). It was so nice to have them there supporting me. I have no idea why I look like a little midget in this picture. Maybe because I am. I don’t know. I know there is a better picture out there, just waiting for someone to upload it. caugh* Isabel caugh*
We all went out after and had a wonderful bonding session over scrubbing permanent marker off of each other’s faces and some drinks. We came to the unanimous conclusion that we should have all started hanging out together months ago. Such great people.
I wish that I could stay here and just do kapa haka for the rest of my life. It is definitely making its way up to the top of my style of dance favorites list. You have to use so many different emotions and skills. Such a challenge but so amazing. I could literally go on about it for days but I’ll spare you.
It takes forever for videos to upload with this internet so the rest of them will be up soon. Hope you enjoy!
Yes I am alive, my liver would rather me not be but let’s not worry too much about that. I’m only young once.
So last weekend in short- Norwegian National Day, dance dares, soccer coaches, cookies, vodka and a lot of dancing. That’s all I have to say about that.
This Thursday Kolbrun, Hilde and I went to The Black Seeds concert. It was absolutely amazing. I love them. I grooved the entire time. Something about live music, I just adore it. Combine that love with amazing music and you get my Thursday night. Magical. I also love the venue, same place that I saw Six60. Small little place, intimate and just pretty much perfect.
I blogged one of their songs earlier. I strongly urge you to listen to it.
Friday Rachel and I did this.
Yep, a farming contest. Okay, no, we did not compete in it. We just watched it. Which is almost even weirder to me. Let me explain this little event to you. There were 7 competitors who showed us (and the judges) their skills in sheep sheering, first aid, chopping wood, doing ultra-sounds on sheep, fixing machinery, milking cows and some other things. It was literally the weirdest thing that I have ever seen.
Farming. Farmers. Apparently it is all very impressive and exciting here. It’s all that I have been thinking about recently. No really, I’m serious.
Friday night I went to a latin dance night with Kolbrun. It was crazy. She gave me some impromptu lessons while we were there and I have to admit. I wasn’t half bad. I don’t really know if ballroom is really my style but at least now I can say that I’ve tried. They invited me back next week as well so that should be a grand time.
Last night was supposed to be my night off to just relax but Kolbrun and I got suckered into going out again. It was an interesting night to say the least. As you all know I’m a very safe, responsible girl so don’t worry, I maintained that for the most part. I am really going to miss these girls and the life I have had here. I am just trying to live every day to the fullest (as we all should anyway). It’s weird to know that your time in a place that you have fallen in love with is numbered. I don’t want to think about it anymore.
Tuesday is my Kapa Haka performance. I am more than ready to get on a stage. Hopefully I can con someone into videoing it for me because I know that all of you would be so thrilled to watch it. I’ll see what I can do.