Good Road trip, California for the summer

Trip Start Sep 05, 2006
1
53
90
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Round 1 of this trip is comming to a close. I will be in the USA for the summer spending some quality time with my family and getting ready for round 2. This will come as a shock to many of you, I know I left the states saying "ah, I may never come back." Well, I am comming back...for at least a while. Since I've arrived in New Zealand, I've been at work. I've worked in an ecology lab disecting thistle seeds for 10-11 hours a day, 6 days a week. I caught a nice break when Jenny again came to my rescue and figured out how to get me the job working at a field station at Cass. That was wonderful, and I ended up spending over three weeks working up there...but still working. The other day I tried to remember the last time I had a day off, not working and it had been at least four weeks. At the same time, I've been having an incredibly difficult time adjusting to a reality that I seemed unable or unwilling to face when Kristina and I left each other. Kristina began dealing with our "split up" much sooner than I did, and for whatever reason I remained unable or unwilling to deal with this reality until very recently. The result has been that she has been able to get herself to a place now where she has done some moving on. Its good and natural, and an absolute essential thing to be able to do that moving on. Since this didnt become a reality for me until much more recently, I have not done any moving on. It left me in a bit of a rut, working from dark to dark in the lab, thinking about this all the time. You get that kind of burning feeling in your stomach thinking about it, and I never left myself any outlets to deal with it.

I've made this decision to come back to California for the summer for a number of reasons, but I've also realized that I needed to make the decision independant of Kristina, and do it for all my own reasons. I have such a wonderful little family, and at this point in my life I have more freedom to choose where I am and what Im doing than ever. Its the best chance to spend some real time with my loving family that I may have for a long time so Im going to take advantage of the opportunity now. I thought it would be great to come to NZ and set up a temporary life for myself so that I can continue traveling, but for me thats not the right reason to go to a country, and to live in a country. I was so blindfolded by the drive to work, make money so that I can leave again, that I almost never let myself enjoy the AMAZING south Island. If Im going to be working a ton, why choose to do it where I have no connections, no friends, no family, and no life to tend to? It was my mindset which tainted my experience here.

I have had some small highlights here and there. I've had the chance to do a couple really long runs, 40 kilometer long runs in an insuferably diverse and beutiful landscape, and just recently I took myself and my big blue van on a little tour of the northern part of the south island. I had to move out of my flat over two weeks ago, which was a huge logistical pain on its own, and actually become a homeless person. Luckily, I am the proud owner of the big blue van, and it became my home. As the job came to a close at the field station, I grew excited by the idea of living in my van. I biffed my mattress in the back, thats a queen size matress, and it fit perfectly behind the couch which currently doubles as the living room/backseat. Some of the other folks I worked with at Cass made me a homeless man's box of food with all our leftover food complete with a healthy supply of PB and J which keeps us Americans alive in times like these.

Roadtripping is a great way to see the South island, and lots of peole do it in just the style I did. A beat up old van with some modest furnishings goes a long way. Old diesel vans like ours sound off all over the south Island, and I feelt immediately at home. Luckily the old radio was just up and running and I pounded the Cure, Bob Dylan, and the return of the Jedi sountrack, on cassette tape of course. I didnt have a lot of time to spare, so when I got to a place I wanted to see, I usually started running. Some of the forrests I visited were such incredible places to run with plants dripping off each other and hanging from one place to another. I did have some minor hickups with the van one morning when I tried to get it to start. I ended up tracking down a farmer who was comming down the hill from a pig hunt with his gun, and the huge dead pick dragging behind him. I didnt even know how to access the engine in my old van. He popped the seats back took a quick look around and said, ahh, radiator is completely dry, you've got no oil...typical Yank huh? Guilty as charged. He was actually a very very nice guy to have helped me out the way he did, got me on my way and I made sure to keep oil and water in the old van from then on. It was rejuvinating to do the trip I did, and I am so happy to have gotten a small taste of what this incredibly country has to offer.

I have one more day here in New Zealand, then I head home. Its been a wonderful adventure for the past 9 months, but dont worry its not over. Round 2 is comming and it will surely bring yet a whole world into the light for me.

I hope to see many of you soon!
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Comments

kaysum
kaysum on

???
Hey Herbs,
So I don't know if I can e-mail you directly, but I was a little uhm what would you say, put off by your posting. if you could e-mail me (kaykamienski@gmail.com) or something, I'd like to talk to you on why you think going to another country to work to travel is a tainted mind set and a complete waste? I'm just curious since that was my year last year...

hancocjb
hancocjb on

Re: ???
Read my email. This journal is describing MY experience, and is not projecting anything on anyone else's experience. I think you've misread some things, because I'm clearly talking about myself here. Our feelings are subjective to ourselves, we each have different reactions to our experiences because of our wildly varying personalities and personal histories.

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