New Zealand may be famous for its silver ferns, but we found gold ones.
On our way to hang with twelve dancing princesses in the Hunua Ranges. ;)
Auckland has really grown on us over the last 8 months--it's got some great things going for it (including the best dumplings I have eaten, ever). We've met some wonderful people here, had some great experiences, and have really only scratched the surface of what this city has to offer.
But, we have some news: Josh got offered a job in Christchurch. In April we'll be moving to South Island, and we expect to stay there for another year. It's a little bittersweet for us--the bitter being more time away from everyone we love back home; the sweet, a 16+ hour road trip through the New Zealand countryside, and a chance to experience life on both islands. Even though we'll still be in the same country, the move feels just as big as when we came here for the first time. We're really excited, but as often happens with big changes, that excitement is flavored with a touch of nostalgia and fear of the unknown. Who knows what's next in this adventure? Come what may, we can't wait to tell you all about it!
We've been lucky to live within steps of a nature reserve. (Granted that does mean extra mosquitoes when hanging out on the porch at night, but nothing is perfect.) Beaches come with so much work (getting sand out of your clothes, constant sunscreen application, burning anyway) that as much as I love and appreciate all the beautiful beaches, nothing can beat the cool shade of a dense forest. Needless to say, having one right outside my door has been my own little version of heaven. In moments when I've felt stressed, overwhelmed, cynical, or any other choice sentiment from the emotional grab bag of adult life, these woods have been a balm to my wounded sense of wonder. I love the hypnotic, mythical bird songs, the helicopter-like flutter of wings flapping at high speed overhead, and even the relentless buzz of what must be a million cicadas. And I love all the damp, earthy smells that change with the seasons. On one walk, right around Christmas, I swear I could smell cinnamon, and then later on, ginger. I rounded a corner on the path and found this:
I had no idea what ginger and ninjas had to do with each other (aside from being famously Asian) until I found this article from the Wanganui Chronicle:
What a delicious problem. I'd be happy to take some of that extra ginger off their hands--you know, to help the cause.
Another day I took a different turn on my hike and the woods opened up into this flowery clearing.
Suddenly I looked up and found myself face to face with this beauty. In that moment I would not have been surprised if a pegasus had swept me up and sequestered me off to some enchanted castle where I would sleep for 100 years and...you see where this is going.
In that moment it felt like magic had not abandoned me. As we get older I think we need those moments more than ever.
So thanks, woods. You've been good to me.
Like our photos?
You can thank the talented
Josh Salim for taking most of them. Check out his other work at joshsalim.weebly.com
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