Leaving New Zealand: Constant Travel is Hard

It’s hard to summarise my thoughts on leaving New Zealand. I’ve pondered over it for months but it’s such a mixed bag of emotions that I find it hard to articulate. I had such a positive outlook at this grand adventure when I first started that ending it on such a low mood was really something unexpected for me.

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On the Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown with Mt Cook in the background. I managed to reach the Ben Lomond Saddle at 1326m high after 4 hours of walking. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the summit which my legs are probably eternally grateful for…it was a hard climb šŸ˜¦

My 6 months in New Zealand was a really big learning experience for me. My years of travelling alone did come in useful but there were so many other factors that I did not expect. Towards the end of my time there, I thought I would be relieved to be leaving but as my last few days slowly lumbered past, reality struck me that my departure would be final and done with. That’s when my emotions played hard with me and went on a major roller coaster ride.

There were times when regret would overwhelm me. Regrets that I was missing out on places yet to be seen, activities yet still to be done. There were so many more places and things that I did not get to do when I was there. Having regrets made me feel sad to be leaving with all the unfulfilled options, sad to leave all the friends that I’ve made here, sad that all that’s left are the wonderful memories that I’ve created.

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My attempt at sandboarding! I went down twice and gave up after that. I actually wanted to chicken out after my first one but I made it down again after some friendly persuasion. But I survived!

Yet among the regrets and sadness, I couldn’t help but feel happy and relieved to be going home too. Relieved that the end is near, that I would finally be home. It was difficult being away, being away from my family and friends. Sure, I can easily make friends wherever I went but having family and friends who have known you for years are different from friends that you encounter when you travel. Saying goodbye to friends that I made while travelling was so constant that I craved that connection the most when I was travelling alone.

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From the top of the Grampians in Nelson. This was my favourite track to walk up since it started from the end of the street.

Towards the end, I grew tired of travelling, I got to the point that I was travelling for the sake of travelling. I was trying to explore as much as I could because that was what I was supposed to do but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I couldn’t explore as much as I wanted due to my limited funds and remaining time.

As you can imagine, I was not totally happy and that was when I decided it was time to shorten my trip and return home. Thinking back, being away was hard but constantly travelling was harder on me. I would have been able to cope better if I had a fixed base rather than constantly changing locations every few days or weeks. It was tiring for me to do it, physically and mentally. It was still an enriching experience for me, one that I would not hesitate to recommend to any other person though.

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Vantage point from the top of Queenstown Hill

Sorry for all the sad times about New Zealand though, I will try to put up some of my happier times soon. šŸ™‚

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