I’ve been waiting to make this post for a few months now. Today is THE DAY that TEN YEARS AGO I landed in New Zealand for a 7 week adventure that would change my life forever. My mom had bought me a journal (I assume my mom bought it for me, like she bought everything for me when I was 17 and jobless) so that I could record everything that happened and share it with the kind friends and family and sponsored this trip. Because you can’t LiveJournal from remote camps in NZ. I’d love to share with everybody this whole trip, as best as I can remember it, because I didn’t have this blog back then. I did do a massive roundup, complete with apt Coldplay lyrics in my LJ in August of 2005, but to share it would be just too embarrassing, for now. I’m already showing you my journal in my terrible handwriting in my overexcited, utterly afraid of swearing even in a personal fucking journal tone of voice. So what brought me to New Zealand? In probably October 2004, my high school hosted a little assembly for AFS. Being very intrigued in Travel, and fresh off The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I took a catalog home and SOMEHOW convinced my parents that I should go on this Summer trip way far away before my senior year. Whaaa? I landed in Los Angeles on June 29 I think, had a fun day in Hollywood, then boarded a plan on June 30 (which is today, when I’m writing this), and crossed the dateline. I probably wasn’t ever technically physically in July 1, 2005. (You get that full day back when you go back east. Oh boy do you get it back). I met like 16 other kids, pretty much all from the states (one from Mexico), and we became friends. We stayed at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre (which I guess it’s not called anymore) right outside of Taupo, which has a big ole lake, and has a tiny volcanic mountain range! When we were being driven there, I took this picture, and I was like “WHOAW CHECK OUT THOSE MOUNTAINS” but the bigger surprise was that we’d be within spitting distance (figure of speech) everyday for 3 weeksCheck it out, it’s Mt Doom. And I got to see it EVERYDAYYYY. I was (and still am) a *massive* fan of the Lord of the Rings film franchise (The Hobbit can suck it). These photos are from my first days at OPC (as it’s known). I should mention that I didn’t know I still had all these photos, at least not hi res (what passes for hi res from the old digital camera I had), until very recently. I found them all in an external hard drive. Some of them are not bad, right? I ran them through Lightroom to give them a little kick. The first week was just jam packed with stuff, I am now remembering. White water rafting, mountain climbing in Mt Doom National Park, fly foxing (like ziplining). These photos are really out of order, and I could not possibly care enough to try to put them in order, and I don’t have Ctrl+F for my journal and it’s so inscrutable, I’m not sure if everything is really all there.
The second week had even more amazing radical adventures, such as hiking to the top of a volcano (and sleeping there) high ropes courses, bungee jumping?! Doing an overnight at a Marae and learning about Maori culture.. So much stuff, for next Thursday.