There were clear signs on the plane that I was heading towards the end of the world — for starters, while I was wearing multiple layers of pants and sweaters, the blanket pulled up to my chin and a beanie covering my ears, all the Kiwis on board were casually wearing shorts and jandals – if they were wearing shoes at all!
And of course then there‘s the fact that I just can‘t travel without a bit of drama. In this particular case I‘d forgotten to unblock my debit card and was stuck at the airport. Yet another time I had to be rescued by one of my friends.
It‘s been four years since I‘ve last been here and five since I left after having lived here for a year. So, to say that I was nervous is a bit of an understatement. I don‘t actually know why I keep bugging myself with What-Ifs. What if no one remembers me? What if we don‘t get on anymore? What if I can no longer find my way around? What if I’d just stayed in Honduras? Life was good there, why did I leave anyway!
I should have learned by now that things always turn out fine. Stuck at the airport? Annie‘s coming straight away to pick me up! Rainy winter weather? Sun‘s just waiting to rise! Hungry? There‘s crumpets and toast waiting in the kitchen at home! Note to self: Don‘t be so scared!
Anyway, so I‘ve been having an amazing time back in my beautiful New Zealand. All my fears and doubts left me when my friend Charlie picked me up for a road trip on monday morning that took us to her family‘s batch in Rotorua. On our way we stopped at the waitome glowworm caves which were simply stunning. Now, there is something that just has to be said. Obviously, everybody is thinking it, I‘m going to get it off my chest: Glowworms stink! Not in the literal sense (although I didn‘t get close enough to tell), but doesn‘t it bother anyone that they only glow, so they can lure their prey into the light? And by the way their prey? Totally their own parents! Yup, that‘s right, glowworms don‘t stay cute and glowy their whole lives, they turn into disgusting flies that then get eaten by their babies! How very metaphorical! I, for my part, feel a bit betrayed. See, my life‘s belief was built on this poem that goes,
I wish I were a glowworm.
A glowworm‘s life is never glum.
‘cause how can you be grumpy
when the sun shines out your bum?
That is just so hypocritical – I am sure those bastards are extremely homophobic and racist as well!
Moving on! We did a lot of driving around the North Island. Went to see Mount Doom – but more importantly, we got to see snow! We were going to build a snowman, because Charlie was really excited about the snow and I‘m obsessed with Frozen, but all we managed was an evil looking glowworm (it was hard sticking the face on)! One of the highlights was of course Hobbiton that has really transformed in the past couple of years. And I‘d know, it was my third time! It has a really hobbity feeling to it. I am so getting married there someday (granted I get either super rich or manage to get myself a super rich boyfriend… or just a boyfriend)!
I think I like the hobbits so much, because I feel so small sometimes – and I like being small. I like routine, I like staying in places, I like normal life, I like not being noticed. But then hobbits are brave enough to go out into the world despite their own better judgement.
One of the most intense moments was this one night where we went to some hot pools and watched the stars. I know watching the stars is a cliché and we all know how gorgeous they are and blah blah blah. But have you ever seen the Milky Way? You see all that blurry stuff up in the sky and realize that‘s thousands of galaxies and stars and we can barely get a glimpse of that. And it made me feel the size of a baby hobbit, thinking that in total we don‘t really matter. In the end we‘re just a blurry spot on somebody‘s night sky. And what else is there for us to do than to be happy!