25 years of life, just like that. Boof – gone. Lately I have been overwhelmed, not by lack of opportunities, but by an incomprehensible number of amazing opportunities and interesting doors, all winking and me and vying for my attention.
For me birthdays are a time to reflect on the previous year and look forwards to the next year with some sort of direction, ideas or things to pursue. This past year is almost like the culmination of 3 years of wandering. From one thing to the next, studying, adventuring, travelling, moving, making new friends. Alot of discontinuity and uncertainty of what the future holded.
I have made an art of cramming experiences into life, which also makes for some manic stressed times and difficult transition periods.
I trekked through leech-infested jungles in the monsoon rain in Northern Laos, sung a duet with the lamas wife in the Nepali Himalaya and did the NOLS instructors course in New Zealand, among many other things:
Some things I got upto during the past year…
Hut wardening in Mount Cook.
Camped under a starry sky beneath Mt Cook on the way over the Ball Pass.
Stood at the top of the Copland Pass, gazing towards the West Coast and turned around and admired the views of Mt Cook to the East.
Admired the view from Mt Rolleston.
Traversed the Arthur Range in the Kahurangi National Park.
went for a week-long tramp in Nelson Lakes National Park,
Spent a few months walking in the Nepali Himalaya.
Did some relief teaching in the eastern Bay of Plenty and in Tapawera.
Trekked through leech-infested jungles in the monsoon rains in Laos and Thailand with a group of NZ teenagers.
Camped in a swamp and hunkered during stormy weather for 19 days in the Victoria Forest Park during the NOLS instructors course.
Ate chocolate mud cake for breakfast on my 25th birthday, during a 26 day tramping trip with a group of American university students.
Went pack rafting for the first time.
Went car-camping in Totoranui.
Got squashed on an airport travellator with my feet in the air while the airport security cracked up laughing.
Didn’t shower for over 70 days straight. Had $6 left in my bank account. Visited 5 doctors.
Went on an 8 night solo tramp and didn’t see another human the entire time.
Celebrated New Year 2069 in the Himalaya.
Danced around a kitchen singing into a wooden spoon with the lamas wife.
Celebrated my first proper thanksgiving.
Wore a buffband for over 300 days of the year.
Stalked fresh snowleopard poo and footprints.
Slept under rocks, on couches, under the stars, in friends spare rooms, in caravans, hostels.
Hitch-hiked rides with over 20 friendly strangers.
Learnt to make pizza, enchiladas and chocolate mudcake – in the wilderness.
Signed my first full-time, permanent job contract.