After living in Auckland for around 8 months I decided to step back and see what I have learnt before heading off. It’s always hard to stick yourself in a place when deep down you don’t want to. But financial issues etc will always trump and you just have to make the best of where you are.
I am not ready to settle down…
Even though I already knew this; nothing could have confirmed it more than being stuck in one place for over 6 months. After a long stint of travelling, you start to crave a base. Buying your own coffee mug, having your own room. Cooking up whatever you want. Buying bits and bobs to decorate the place.
But after the first few weeks of playing house, the want for that life quickly subsided. I needed to move and get out immediately. Which wasn’t possible at that point.
I know the urge to “settle down” is only temporary. Sometimes it’s nice to have a little base for a month or two, but 8 months really took the biscuit. Maybe it was that I didn’t want to settle down in Auckland, or I just didn’t want it at all. I think it’s the latter.
City life is detrimental to my mental health
I have always been one to love both sides of the coin. I love the hustle and bustle of city life. The 24 hour convenience stores and late night openings of every single bar and restaurant. But there is something which always pulls me back to the countryside. The beach side towns. Waking up and looking out onto the ocean. Swimming in the warm waters whenever I felt like it. I love it.
I had this realisation when we went to Piha for Christmas. Camping near the beach. The fresh air Mountainsides covered in greens and browns. Walking around bare foot and just feeling a million miles away from civilisation. I felt alive. I felt liberated and free. I quickly learnt that I could never live in a city again. There is no culture or calming way of life in a concrete jungle.
Being creative was tough. Nothing around me inspired my work. Writing my book sometimes felt like an uphill struggle which I couldn’t win.
You can’t live without friends
I have pretty much spent the last 7 months without friends. I have met people briefly. But no friendships really blossomed. Scott was all I had. We lived in a house with the most anti social people you could ever meet. They all lived in their rooms. Very little contact.
I had also started to work from home and as any freelancer will tell you, the loneliness can be crippling. I went to blogger events and met some amazing people, but strong friendships were never really made.
We didn’t stay in a hostel so meeting people was much harder. It just confirmed what I always knew; People make a place.
Makes you appreciate travel more
The excitement I feel for getting back on the road is overwhelming. We took trips to Queenstown, Taupo etc but it didn’t feel like travel anymore. I wanted to ditch the house, grab our packs and just wander! I haven’t been this excited about travel since I first left England in 2013 to leave for Australia!
What have been some of the personal things you have learnt whilst on the road, or even living somewhere? Let me know in the comments!