After the semi-disaster / mental breakdown over how expensive everything was in Te Anau, I was faced with a tough decision: If i continued to stay in Te Anau (as was my original plan), I wouldn’t have enough money to continue on my travels through the remainder of New Zealand. I could leave Te Anau, and go to Invercargill, as was my plan. But continuing on the road put me at a deeper loss: I couldn’t afford the petrol to go further south, let alone the hostel costs. But I was practically broke already; my choices seemed few, and my fate grim.
But everything always happens for a reason.
This is a story about this phrase, and how it guided me back to Wanaka.
I was feeling extraordinarily apathetic in the morning. I mean more so than normal. The thoughts and demons I expressed above had been haunting me all night, as had this giant Polish bear of a man who snored like a sailor after a three week bender. After a slow morning which saw me check out probably half an hour after I supposed to, and a late morning foray into the Fiordland National Park I covered in my earlier entry, I parked in front of wifi hotspot, and mulled my future.
I’m not sure who told me everything happens for a reason.
I’m not sure when I started to believe it.
But for some time now, it’s kind of been my mantra.
This one phrase, is more religious to me than any form of faith. I think because it’s so deeply true, so natural and organic. Whenever I find myself at the back end of some emotional pain, or whether I’m lost or confused, I tell myself this phrase afterwards, because I know it’s going to come good.
Maybe it’s silly of me. Immature or just as much nonsense as someone who insists that God put them on the path that led them to any point in their life. All I know is that, when I think back on where I am now, and how I got there, all I can say with unequivocal belief, is that I never would’ve made it, if certain ‘bad’ things in my life hadn’t happened to me.
If I had never gone to Te Anau, and I hadn’t started feeling like a complete failure after my first day there, I wouldn’t of messaged Christine for advice, and after talking to her, I never would’ve had the idea to adjust my travel plans, cut short my road trip, and alter my route. An idea I then sough validation from by talking to my parents over Skype.
You know, I didn’t even realise how much I had missed them. Seeing my mum, and listening to her contemplate my plight as if it were her own; to see my dad walk in, beaming and declare in his (very) Aussie accent: “G’Day MATE.”
It made so much sense; I loved (see: LOVED) Wanaka the first time round, and by returning there for one or two nights, rather than continuing onto Invercargill and Dunedin, I could save petrol, claim I was basically on my way back to Christchurch, and see another beautiful part of NZ before I call it day. Basically, end my day on a high note.
So it was, that I got myself a little coffee, wound down my windows, and sped down the highway back towards the lakeside town in the mountains.
My first day back in Wanaka was spent with a smile all over my face; I spent the day doing exactly what I wanted to do: sweet bugger all.
I made my lazily, and slowly, down to the cafe by the lakeside, where they served Supreme Coffee beans. I ordered my usual mocha (large) and I think I got a pumpkin roll as well. I pulled out the old laptop, connected to the Spark Wifi box, and basically wrote away all the demons and ghost that had been following me. I researched recent competitions for short stories back home and in NZ, and tried to see if I had any material that fit the criteria, as well as working on my newest ideas.
I don’t consider myself much of a short story specialist. Sure, I love writing short stories, and I definitely appreciate the form; my main coursework was focused on short story writing. However, I’ve always preferred longer form fiction. I like reading epic fantasy, and the genre translates better into novels and trilogies rather than shorter fiction.
This is how I spent most of my day.
The following day, after barely sleeping due to the same rockstar snorer I had the night before. I was out of the hostel early, my bags packed and the car ready to go. After a quick coffee at my new favourite cafe, and an brief foray out of town towards Mt Aspiring National Park. I went for a walk around Lake Wanaka.
As I was walking, a fellow ran off the path, and onto the beach, where he climbed onto a rock, and looked towards the mountains. I hurriedly snapped his photo:
After my walk, I got myself one more coffee for the road, and started on my way home. Christchurch was 5 and a half hours away, and I aimed to get there for about 5.30 pm.
The drive took me on scenic drives through Lindis Pass, and along Lake Pukaki, where I was able to look upon a clear Aoraki one more time.
I’m now back in Christchurch, preparing for the next stage of my travels. It’s a really exciting time, and I’m filled with renewed energy and excitement. I was able to actually save myself a bit of cash by coming home a little sooner, which might never had happened if I’d continued on my travels like I planned, without talking to Christine or mum. I was able to make it back in time to watch Christine play touch, and we’ve spent the weekend exercising, playing basketball, and making Halloween-themed cupcakes.
All of which would never have happened if my foray into Te Anau hadn’t been a disaster.
I never would’ve even been in NZ if it hadn’t been for something that felt at the time like a world-ending disaster in my personal life.
I never would’ve seen the things I’ve seen.
I might never have even solo-travelled.
I never would’ve met Christine.
I wouldn’t be right here, right now, as happy as I am. That’s a fact. And I owe it all to shit-storm whirlwinds of emotional upheaval and chaos. Because, the universe is funny like that. Despite everything that happens to you, despite how everything might feel right now… in the end, you always end up exactly where you need to be. At exactly the right time in your life.
That’s all for now.