November 24th

Ahh, the glory of a full zero day to myself in a great setting. I seriously sat on the couch the whole day and was wonderful. After the last 20 days of hiking an average of 19mi/30km, it was great to hardly move at all and just rest. The timing couldn’t have worked out any better as I had pretty strong menstrual cramps and was pretty drained by that. So glad I didn’t have to walk through that! I got a ton done that’s built up over the last three weeks and feel so much lighter and reenergized for this next chunk of the North Island.

How I spent my day:)

I did have the space all to myself today, and it was nice to “cave” for a day with all the people I’ve been around. THANK YOU again to Claire for such a wonderful space! I think I just needed a day to reset as I feel like all the interactions were starting to wear me down. When I get a moment to step back and look at this experience, I do realize how, although it may not be my preferred experience to have such little solitude, it is unique and I am experiencing the whole of New Zealand, not just the tracks. I have hopes ahead of more space between towns and camping in the wilderness (just three nights thus far in somewhat solitude). Now that I’m realizing how the lack of solitude has impacted my lens on things, I’m going to work on being more conscious of that so it doesn’t have such an influence over my mood or reflection of the day. I have found that I do enjoy the days quite a bit, but I write the journal at the end of a day, often around many people, and in an artificial setting next to a road and/or a bunch of caravans. I need to separate that feeling from how the actual day was when I reflect, so I’m going to work on that.

My wonderful view for the day!

This post is going to be released on Thanksgiving Day back in the US. I haven’t had a chance to fully thank everyone for their support and kind comments when there was some backlash from my opinions of some aspects of this “hike.” You all are doing this with me and many of you have hiked with me from the beginning. I know there are some newbies out there along for the first time that may not know me the way other longtime readers do. I’ve developed a comfort in talking as if you all know me and my humor. Sometimes things may come off differently to those just meeting me than those that have known me for years and the evolution that’s occurred over this journey. It’s great to know you’re all out there and so supportive and that I do have quite the community to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. THANK YOU!!!

A good chunk of my day was spent calling and Skyping many of my family and friends. It was great to get that time and have the wi-fi to make it happen. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is that, although I have phone service all the time, due to the phone plan and costs of data, I have had much less contact with those back home than I’m used to. It’s been limited to towns where I can be on wifi and they can too. I know to some this may seem very petty, but I’m used to at least a 10min call or Skype a day with my twin sister and nephews. It’s fun to check in and hear the little things that happen daily. It was good to be able to do that today.

Other things I did today was laundry, prep for the upcoming sections, some online yearly trainings I need to do for work (substitute teaching), clearing out my email inbox (yay!), and just general surfing the internet and catching up on things. The most disappointing part of the day is that NZ blocks all the ways anyone would have of watching american television, NOOOOO! I’m three weeks behind on Survivor and two weeks on Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. I was really looking forward to watching all those and couldn’t, but it did force me to check things off the to-do list that I’d been avoiding for quite awhile and I got more rest. No worries, I have my ways of watching these shows and should be able to see them in a week or two once I can get my hands on them. They aren’t going anywhere:) Ok, Happy Thanksgiving everyone and eat a ton of turkey for me!!!



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