Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance. The cloud clears as you enter it … I have learned this.” ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night
Wellington, New Zealand is the southernmost capital city in the world. We are a long way from home. New Zealand is similar in size to the UK, but only has a population of about 4.4 million, compared to 64 million in the UK. Approximately one third of the country is protected national park.
We have landed but feel like the cloud hasn’t quite cleared …
- We are driving on the left side of the road, and bumping into everyone on the sidewalk as we hazily stumble learning to pass on the left.
- Locals talk about the southerly wind coming which means a biting, cold wind. We are so used to southerly as synonyms with warmth but of course south of New Zealand is Antartica where 90% of all fresh water ice on earth resides.
- The North Star has been replaced by the Southern Cross in the night sky and the moon appears to be upside down.
- Spring is bursting all around us and yet in America we would be celebrating Thanksgiving one week from today.
- New Zealand is the first country in the world to see each new day.
Of course it is all a matter of perspective. We are only disoriented because we are used to a completely different orientation and that is the gift of travel.
Only two percent of Americans that travel internationally, will travel to New Zealand/Australia this year. For us, that means there is a story to tell about this far off place we have landed.
As soon as “the cloud clears” the story begins …
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