“The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.” – Thomas A. Edison
My travel down under to New Zealand was already planned at the beginning of this year for two purposes. First, I always wanted to go somewhere new other than Australia (which I frequently visit) and New Zealand caught my interest after browsing some online articles about it as well as seeing pictures of Auckland City from shared posts of my Facebook friends. Second, to think deeply about my life and to make some decisions related to my career path. I wanted to do this in a place where I can be mostly alone and nobody knew me. I was seeking absolute solitude-away from the hustle and bustle of city life-in order for me to concentrate on making some crucial decisions. Besides these, I heard many second-hand stories about New Zealand being a very beautiful country blessed with stunning landscapes.
I had to find out all about this firsthand.
After four, cold June days of moving around and enjoying Wellington, the windy capital of New Zealand, I travelled by plane south to Queenstown. I was already enchanted with Queenstown even before our plane touched down! Looking outside my seat window, the view of snow-capped mountains surrounding the airport down below greeted the people. A lot of the passengers, upon getting off the plane, started taking pictures of the breathtaking mountain scenery. I did the same, all the while inhaling the crisp, clean cool air.
I knew nobody when I arrived in the resort town. I stayed in one of the friendly hostels of the area. Though a complete stranger in this town, I quickly made a few friends with some fellow hostel mates and even had selfies with some of the friendly local store workers.
For the next four days, I explored Queenstown and visited some of its tourist attractions like the wooded areas of the gold mining place of Arrowtown. It was here while sitting on a riverbed rock that I formulated some life decisions. I signed up the next day for a beginner course on snow-skiing at the Cardrona Alpine resort. Skiing was excruciatingly hard for me, but I still enjoyed the short course. It was also my first time to see and feel snow on the palm of my hands. I was exhilarated about it and why not? Tropical people like myself always dreamed of experiencing snow at least once in our lifetime, even if just for a day. My last tour day was spent on a cruise tour of the magnificent Milford Sound fiord, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. Mere words cannot describe the unfathomable beauty of this iconic attraction and I felt at peace with everything for that certain moment.
On my last day in Queenstown, I looked out of the glass window of the airport. The wide mountain landscapes outside were beckoning and I thought to myself that I would return here some day. Hopefully, with some companions by then.
Words & Photos by Gio Diaz