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 a 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 Antarctica where 90% of all freshwater 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- The North Star has been replaced by the Southern Cross in the night sky and the moon appears to be upside down.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 …