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This is Bella. She is an old dog with a remarkable story. In fact, she has achieved, what many people have failed to achieve! Let me tell you her story:
Bella is an outside – dog and besides that, a good guard dog. One day, her owners went out and left her chained up. This is when it happened… No one knows, how it happened…
When the owners came back to the house, Bella wouldn’t jump up to greet them, like she normally would. In fact, she just sat there not being able to move. Even when they let her off the chain, she couldn’t move. The reason for this is, that she popped her back out and got paralyzed in her back legs. No one knows why. It must have been a rapid movement and the chain holding her back.
Either way, the odds didn’t look good for Bella and the vets advised to put her down. But neither the owners, nor Bella herself just wanted to give up. So, they put her in a pool to train her legs day by day and Bella fought and fought and fought, until one day, she was able to move her legs again. The unbelievable had happened.
Now, she is fully able to walk and run again. It might look a bit funny, but that doesn’t bother the dog at all. She is the happiest dog, I’ve ever seen. You can see her smiling and if you talk to her, she will talk back. An extraordinary character, that many humans should all take as a role model.
“It’s too hard” or “it’s impossible” are common excuses, but examples like the story of Bella prove that absolutely NOTHING is impossible!! Buy that plane ticket, that takes you into the unknown. Let go of that person, that brings you down. Start learning, what you always wanted to learn. It’s only a small step, leading to the biggest step towards actual “life”. We were not meant to stay in our bubbles. Take chances, get out of your bubble and break free!
Why don’t we all go out there and start living? Why don’t we all find our purpose to live? Working every single day until we die is not living! Where are your dreams? Where are the changes? Where is the willpower? Where is life?? Never stop believing in yourself! Never stop dreaming! Start living!
You can do anything you want if you really want it! There is always a way! 💕
P.S.: A quick update on my life: While I was invited to a birthday party and met up with a friend, that I met a year ago in Australia, I realised, how small the world actually is. It also gave me faith, that I actually might meet all those lovely, that I’ve met in Australia and New Zealand, somewhere else in the world again. The world is small! :))
But again, a massive “thank you” to my girl Esmee and her family, for sending me this awesome early Christmas present!! It made me extremely happy!! 😊😙
Since I have recently lost all my money, I had nothing else to do than working my a** off. Why? Because no one told me, you had to pay for “road user charges” here in New Zealand. I already thought, it can’t be right, when I saw the cheap diesel prices… What am I talking about? Well, all diesel cars have to get a specific license and pay for their kilometres in advance, while petrol cars have to pay a lot more at the service station. Since I had no idea, that I had to get that license, until now, I had to pay for 7000ks that I was over already, plus another 3000 to keep driving for a little while. That was 620$ and thereby all the money, I had. The payment of my first job is already overdue. Hopefully, it comes in soon..
The bloody time change also killed me a little because I basically start work at four in the morning now..
Anyway since, my week was pretty similar to last week and the only “new” thing was, that I got to meet all the neighbours, here are some stereotypical expectations, that others and I had before I started my backpacking adventure and their harsh reality! How unexpected!
1. Expectation: You’ll spend a lot of time carrying your backpack around. Before I spend my travels, I often heard, that people thought, I would walk around in the desert carrying my backpack around with no other soul around. But come on! Backpacking doesn’t automatically mean, you end up as a nomad in the Sahara desert. In reality, backpackers usually always only carry a small daypack around, leaving the backpack in the car or hostel. Unlesd you have to take on half a daytrip with your backpack to get from your hostel to the train station, looking like a humpback whale: Your backpack on your back, your dayback at the front, another bag full of food in your hand and your phone with Google Maps open in your other hand.
2. Expectation: You will lose weight from all the walking. The above expectation is the reason, why people think, you might lose weight. I thought, I would lose weight, too. But not only because of the walking, but also because I wouldn’t be able to afford food, since food would probably turn into a luxury. However, in reality, you realize quickly, that fast food and instant noodles seem to be a lot cheaper than healthy food and is actually affordable. Usually not being able to carry dairy and vegetables around with you, you soon end up in an instant – noodle – addiction. Dangerous trap.
3. Expectation: You’ll have a lot of time for yourself. We have all imagined this scenario before. Sitting on a cliffs edge all by yourself, enjoying nature and thinking about life. But that’s all half the truth. In reality, you end up spending a lot more time around others than you asked for. In fact, there is always someone around you. Wether it is your hostel – roommates, other campers or a tourist, that is trying to enjoy the same scenario, you thought you had claimed for yourself. Even, when you stay away from tourist hotspots. You barely have time on your own… oh, this includes privacy. I don’t know, what privacy is anymore.
4. Expectation: You’ll figure out what you wanna do in life. “I’ll just take a gap year after school, so there is enough time for me to figure out, what I want to do in life.” You all know, what I’m talking about and you all know, that it’s a pure lie. In reality, you learn things about yourself, that you didn’t know before, which raises more questions than answers. In the end, we have more doubt, than we had before.
5. Expectation: Backpacking is a holiday. I always hear, that people envy my life. They tell me, that they wish, they could just take a two year holiday. Okay, first of all: you can! There is no excuse. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can do anything, you want, if you really want it! But to be honest, backpacking is great, but certainly NOT a holiday. There is a huge difference between vacation and travelling! In reality, we end up losing a lot of nerves organizing our life. While you don’t have to worry about anything on your vacation. You have to worry about everything during your travels. Whether it is the insurance, the accommodation or the job. Travels are not financed by mum and dad (usually). In order to be able to backpack for two years, a lot of effort is required!
Of course, these points are all based on my opinion and experiences. Don’t take it too serious!
Hey guys, what’s up?!
Well, this blog post is not gonna be, what you’d normally expect. I won’t give you a weekly summary this time. Simply, because nothing happened. I was busy applying for jobs and watching the amount of money in my bank account disappear more and more. It was all worth it, though! I didn’t get a job… BUT… I got two!! That’s right! Two jobs! The first job is on a dairy farm and only for two weeks, starting on Monday.
The second job is on a dairy farm, as well, starting straight after I finish the first job. This job is a long-term position, though. So yeah, I’m gonna be working for a while. I’m still trying to keep this blog as interesting as possible but!
While I had to spend my days looking for campgrounds, which are not closed, due to muddy sites, jumpstarting my car, because I spent all day charging my devices on the car battery and figuring out, how to get food, without spending money on it, I actually had time to work on something else. I’ve got a special announcement!! But first… let me get into this blog post. Many people think travelling teaches you a lot of valuable stuff. I’m not denying it, I just want to point out, that travelling also teaches you a bunch of other stuff, which is basically useless! 😀
Here we go! Here are 5 things, I’ve learnt while travelling:
1. My sense of direction shouldn’t be allowed on the street! People, who met me, might have noticed, that my sense of direction is basically … non-existing! I’m not even joking! Even back in my hometown, I had to use GPS, although I had been living there for 18 years!
Owning my own car and being depended on directions made me realize, that it’s worse than I thought! Even, if I’ve driven roads a million times and I basically just have to follow signs to get to the next destination, I would still get lost! That’s why I ALWAYS use google maps, no matter what.
To be honest, that’s not much of a big help either. That’s why I often find myself in private properties, construction zones or in front of a gate about to board a ferry! 😛 I’m not even kidding, I’m hopeless!
2. I’ve learnt how to defend myself with all sorts of objects! Since I’m mainly travelling on my own, people are often worried about my safety. And I don’t mean family. I mean people, that I’ve just met. Those people are more worried about me than I am about myself!
That’s how I often end up in little “boot camps”, where my “instructors”, aka. random strangers, show me how to use random objects against all those thieves and other criminals, that I have to keep up with every night. (I’m kidding!)
Ranging from a fire distinguisher to deodorant; I’m fully prepared now. Which is not a bad thing at all, if I think about it! Someone even gave me a pepper spray once. That stuff is actually illegal, but hey, it was good for the moment.
3. Instant Noodles cannot be classed as food! People might now, that I can’t cook. And by that I mean, I can’t cook at all. I’ve managed to burn a heat-up microwave dish in the microwave once! And I was just following the instructions!
Anyway, being a traveller, you have to learn, what sort of food you can/can’t take with you. If you don’t own a fridge/cooler you shouldn’t be taking dairy, meat, vegetables etc. Of course, you can, but it usually doesn’t last long.
As a person, that can’t cook, I don’t have to worry about all that anyway. My dinner just consists of “Instant Noodles”… Day by day.. it’s quick and easy, but I’ve soon learned, that it cannot be classed as real food. I don’t know what sort of chemicals are in there, but, it doesn’t satisfy, it usually tastes like plastic (don’t ask me, why I know how plastic tastes :D) and it for sure isn’t healthy. Unfortunately, I haven’t found another option for me yet. Any suggestions?! 😀
4. You can fall asleep at the most awkward places! From sleeping on a ship to sleeping in the back seats of your car, I’ve had it all. While travelling, I’ve learnt, that your standards get pretty low and you’re basically happy with whatever sleeping option comes up.
Travelling is exhausting! Sometimes, I don’t even care, where I’m gonna sleep. If I’m tired, I can fall asleep anywhere! Let me give you an example: the car I had in Australia, had a bed in the back, that needed to be made every single night. In the beginning, I was happy to have a bed, no matter, how much effort I had to put in it. But in the end, I didn’t care anymore and just decided to sleep in the driver’s seat. I think I’ve been doing that for a month straight! 😀
5. You learn, how to live with the minimum! I’ve just realized, that I don’t need much to survive. I’ve definitely become less materialistic. Ironically, I actually feel better having fewer belongings. I enjoy getting rid of stuff! That, of course, means you can lose less and less gets stolen!
The only disadvantage is, that I keep getting rid of more and more clothes, usually not buying any new ones. I wear clothes with holes and have to find a washing machine every 10 days. Yes, I’m basically confirming the backpacker – stereotype, but I don’t really care! 😀
I hope, the one or the other has learned similar things and can relate! I’m always happy about your feedback!! 🙂
I started writing it last week! It’s gonna be a lot of work, but I hope to be finishing everything before my birthday! I’m an ambitious person. Whenever I start something, I’ll finish it for sure! It’s gonna be a travel book … in a way.. and in a way it’s not!
Be patient, be excited!
I know, that I am! 😀
The weather over here is super annoying, man!! Climbing up a hill to get a good view, just to realize that the view is blocked by multiple clouds is annoying too!! Yep, the odds are currently not in my favour!
The mountain I climbed up is “Mt Taranaki/Egmont”. It is the most perfectly shaped volcano you’ll come across here in New Zealand and besides that, it resembles “Mt Fuji” in Japan quite a lot. It’s massive!! You stand at its base and you just see this monster right in front of you! Photos for sure don’t do justice! And I did not even see the whole thing yet! 😀
It’s snow-covered as well, which makes it even more beautiful!! So I tried the whole day to find a spot, that gives you a good view, but failed bitterly. I drove halfway around the whole National Park, hoping that the cloud that blocked the view would either move or not surround the whole tip! Unfortunately, the cloud decided to mate with other clouds, while I drove around, covering even more of the mountain. Thanks, Karma -,-
By the way, I decided to start my own project, called “Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong”. I’m trying to reach out to people, to help them build up confidence and to overcome emotional struggles… It’s a project and worth a try. If it fails, I can at least say, I tried! I hope, I can help though! Check it out: (I had to lower the video quality a lot in order to be able to upload it at all.. I’m sorry, but unlimited high-speed wifi is rare in a backpackers world.. )
I even met a guy that was living exactly according to my philosophy of life! He is an Aussie who recently lost his wife… But instead of sitting back home grieving every day, he came out here, doing what no one expected him to do! He came out here, hired a van and now travels around all by himself! He did exactly what scared him the most at that exact moment: Letting go and starting all over.. he dared himself and proved everyone, who didn’t expect him to just leave, wrong! You go, mister!! Be an individual and only listen to yourself!! That’s the go!!
That was not the only person that proved, what I’m always talking about, is true. There are people out there with a heart of gold, helping you no matter what. I wanted to pay for my parking ticket and inserted my card. Somehow, it got stuck and I couldn’t get it out .. Luckily, the lady behind me jumped in! And guess what?? She paid the parking ticket for me, cause I didn’t have cash and she didn’t want my card stuck in there again!! I didn’t ask for it or anything! I would have just parked somewhere else.. That kind of people is what the world needs! ❤
All that happened while I was literally waiting for better weather!! I’ve spent two and a half days waiting for the clouds to clear to get a good view of “Mt Taranaki”. I was so close to just giving up and moving on, but I decided to wait. I parked my car and just waited and waited and waited… And finally, the clouds cleared and the sun came out!! The best view you could ask for!! It was unbelievable!! It’s about 2500m high!! Never give up, guys! Patience is the key!!
I also needed a lot of patience while backing up about 20m.. downhill and around a corner… I actually wanted to explore the white cliffs, but little did I know, the walkway is closed until the end of September, due to lambing. Yep, sometimes it helps to do your research before heading out for a 60k detour. Why did I have to back up, you might wanna know?! Well, I didn’t pay attention to the massive sign, telling me I had reached the walkway. I kept driving and had two choices: ending up on the beach or ending up on private property… Too bad you couldn’t turn around… Hence, I had to back up all the way… Got all the attention, that I didn’t want…again. Pay attention, kids! Not only in school, but also on the road! 😀
The weather didn’t stop messing with me, so I ended up spending a full day driving! I planned on seeing “Cape Egmont”: a lighthouse with dominating views of “Mt Taranaki” in the background. But guess what: There was no view! Once again .. 🙁
And I was extremely tired. Don’t ask me why, but I didn’t end up getting much sleep since I had a little tsunami – anxiety – panic – attack. What the hell am I talking about?! I discovered a few years ago, that the open water freaks me out. It’s probably even a phobia, I don’t know. Anyway, I was camping right next to the beach, which is actually amazing, don’t get me wrong! But somehow the whole situation got a little too scary for me and I suddenly started fearing a tsunami… to be fair, it’s not unlikely to happen over here, but I don’t know why it popped into my head right when I was about to sleep. There was even a video about Tsunamis randomly appearing on my phone straight after! THAT brought the thing to a whole new level! I actually started panicking a little and ended up not getting any sleep at all 😀 Yeah, I’ve had some weird anxieties recently. I don’t know, what’s wrong with me! At least, there’s proof that travelling makes you get to know yourself better after all. I didn’t know that the ocean freaked me out that much until I tried diving and snorkelling!
However, we haven’t heard of my good old friend Karma recently, have we?! Don’t worry she wasn’t far! I finally got a good night’s sleep and got ready for the day, when I suddenly noticed a little piece of paper on the driver’s window… What could that be?? Guess what it said: “Back tyre flat”… It was the right rear tyre… Again!! Those of you, who followed me throughout my Australia – adventures might have noticed that I never had any flat tyre other than the right rear one… twice.Haven’t got a logical explanation for that yet, but I will work on it 😀
Anyway, since I haven’t had this car for long, I had noooo clue where all the gear was.. I’ve been told it was there somewhere, but not exactly where. Great… I had 40 minutes left till checkout. I had no other choice than grabbing every single piece out of my car. Of course, I drew some attention on me. But this time, I was quite glad about it! Two guys came to help! Just to let you know: I don’t take it for granted, that people just come over and help!! They did not even just offer it, they just did it!!
We soon figured out, how to get the spare tyre off, which was a pain in the arse!! Unfortunately, I was missing a proper wheel spanner and neither of the guys had one. Therefore, one of them decided to drive into town and get me one! I had to trust him in that moment, giving him cash and seeing him driving off with it. But I’ve learnt, that at one point you just figure out who is trustworthy and who isn’t!
Time went past and the other guy and I were slightly concerned about him not turning up anymore. But he did! He even paid the difference and believe it or not: he offered me a job!!! As soon as I’m back in Taranaki, I can contact him and he will organize me a 6-week job, more or less well paid!! (No, I’m still not used to NZ – wages, after having worked in Australia!) How crazy is that?! That again shows that you meet people when you expect it the least! And of course, that there are people out there with a heart of gold!! ❤
The whole thing took way longer than the supposed check out time, but the lady at the reception just waved me through! They could have charged me for another night! 🙂 So I drove on and ended up in Napier. There was not really much time to explore left, so I decided to settle for the day.
I couldn’t quite believe my ears though, when the lady at the reception of the new caravan park asked me, whether it wasn’t a bit cold for camping… Uhm… yes!! It does get super cold at night!! But NO, I kinda haven’t got another option. This is the cheapest… Of course, I’d love to be in a warm and cosy room instead. That’s the life of a homeless person by choice 😉
What is even worse than the cold is the constant investment of money into your “home”. Especially, when it ends up to be more than expe…ed.. I mean, a lot more. I thought of spending 30, maybe 50 bucks to get that tyre fixed, that’s it… but instead… I ended up spending 500$!!! Gone! Just like that!! And you know why?? Someone messed up my car and put 3 different types of tyres on there.. apparently.. and one of them was worn out because the wheels weren’t aligned at all. According to the mechanic, what I was driving was illegal and if the police had stopped me, they would have taken the car off the road.. I don’t know whether it was really necessary to get 3 new tyres, but anyhow, I got 3 new tyres and a wheel alignment.. 500 bucks… I got it for a lot cheaper though! Normally the tyres are 175$ each and I got them for 105$ each! It helps, when you look like you’re about to cry, because you just realised that you spent almost all of your travel savings and you’re pretty much broke.
I could definitely feel the difference while driving, though. And apparently I will save a lot more on fuel now. What confuses me a little is, that the last mechanic that serviced my car, didn’t mention anything of the above… hmm..
As soon as that was all sorted, I could finally explore the area. And you won’t believe it, but a mysterious natural phenomen accured, which is not to be missed… th sun was out!! 😛
So I hiked up “Te Mata Peak” in the TukiTuki Valley. A 5.5k hike with the worst track-signage I’ve ever seen! I think, I’ve changed track accidentally about a million times! The views were sooo worth it, though! I’ve never seen valley – views like that before! Absolutely breathtaking!!
It was super windy but, which made the way back scary as! You basically had to walk on the outer rim of a hill. A windy, narrow track leads you along massive rocks on the one side and the hill on the other… Yes, the wind makes you lose your balance every now and then.. That was the scariest hike, I’ve ever undertaken! But you always gotta dare yourself, hey?! Of course, you had to share the track with other hikers and even cyclists! At some point, a guy, running like a bear was chasing him, past me, while I was trying really hard not to stumble 😀 I don’t know what the hell that guy was doing, but he made me feel like the most unfit person on planet earth!
I gotta correct myself: the worst signed track is the “Otatara Pã Loop”! First of all, a Pã is a formerly in use Maori defense base. Practically, a massive hill, with their living base in the middle of the crater, well protected. It was quite intersting to learn about it, but since there is not much of it left, I soon found the new inhabitants, the sheep, much more interesting! The lambs were sooo cute!
Anyway, as I mentioned before, the signage was bad!! It was supposed to be a loop, but at some point, the track just ended at a random street and you were left alone with your own fate… I had to use “Google Maps”, cause I had no bloody clue where I could possibly be… Took me 45 minutes to find back to my car.. What the heck?!
But I gotta give credit to the Kiwi’s this time, before I finish the blog post! If you wanna get fuel over here, you basically just drop your car off and get it refilled and washed, while you can use the bathroom or buy groceries or just wait in line! I don’t know why, but it’s super cute! Might be because the demand for fuel is lower. While in Australia, everyone is running to the same service station because it’s the last for the next 300ks, people in New Zeland can easily grab fuel wherever, whenever they want. Running out of fuel is quite unlikely! 😀
I’m sorry that this blog might be less exciting than usual. But it has a more personal note instead. Hope you don’t mind! I can release a second post this week, commenting on anything you want! Just leave a comment with any ideas, please 🙂