12th of April 2017
Ok guys, expect a long but fruitful article. Lots of learnings, reflections and hopefully valuable stuff I’d like to share with you …for free… 😉
The article will handle my time in New Zealand, presenting it in a chronological way. I will add some general reflections every now and then to loosen the reading.
I will initiate this post with a finding. Sometimes you are blind for the things you are looking for. Answers you have once found but had been forgotten again.
While preparing another CV to one of the head hunters, I realized that quote on my CV that I have been using for years. In fact, I had forgotten about it.
“It’s not that freedom makes people happy, it simply defines them as human beings.”
From my point of understanding, this sentence implies that freedom is not only a central prerequisite for happiness, but it is the core of our human existence. Freedom means self-determination in terms of our thoughts, our mind-set as well as our acts and deeds. One should do whatever he/she wishes to do. Become clear about your dreams and follow them to ensure happiness. Further, I see in the quote that people are deemed to be happy if they experience freedom. We, the people living in countries, where freedom is given to everyone, happiness should ensue. But too often, it is our own limited mind-set preventing us from maximising our happiness. A mind-set domesticated by the people surrounding and influencing us in the past and today. Work on your mind-set by enjoying the freedom given to you and doing what YOU want to do. Every day . Happiness will ensue.
What are your thoughts on that? Post them below.
The trip on the south island of New Zealand – how freedom creates happiness
Ok, let’s move on to the travel happenings. I arrived at the Apollo motor-home rental station in Christchurch in the morning to drop the keys for the giant motor-home. In order to pick up the rental car at Avis, I had to take a cab to the airport terminal. Ten minutes on the taxi, charged with NZ$ 25, which is about 18 €. Not quite the budget friendly option… A Toyota Auris Hatch GSX should become my home for the next two weeks. It was equipped with lots of accessories. Different ones than on the motor-home but still nice. Haha. That night, I stayed in the Hostel All Star Inn on Bealey. This was like $ 38 which is about 25 €. In comparison, the last camp site I stayed overnight was 15 €, but I had to bring my own bed. Actually, I would have prefered to stay at a nice camp-site at a hill next to the sea. However, if you don’t plan enough you sometimes reach a closed gate that can only be opened with a code, given to you when you book online beforehand. Haha.
Locked out from the camp-site:
I bought some groceries. That experience stopped me from any laughing. 2 peppers, NZ$ 5.50 which is about 3.85 €.
The next morning, I left the hostel without breakfast. While heading eastwards, there was this feeling of freedom created again within. After California, I realized once more, driving a car is freedom to me. My feeling of happiness increased. I had no idea what to expect of the day. The weather was bad. Clouds stuck in the hills.
I made my way to Banks Peninsula to a beautiful town called Akaroa. It was influenced by the French. Therefore it’s gotten some flair. 🙂
…on the way to Akaroa:
Looking into the Camper Mate App to find a nice camp site, one site attracted my attention. NZ$ 12 a night, well equipped with toilets, hot showers and washing machine, directly next to the beach. Let’s do that! When I arrived there, the site was kind of soaked in water. Just the areas with sand were free of small lakes created by rain. I checked out the site to find a good spot to place the car. Camping dinner. Some laundry by machine for NZ$ 2. I decided not to put up the tent, as it’s expected to be a wet at night and the staking to hold the tent on the ground would not really do its work on loose, sandy ground. So I prepared the car for sleeping. Flipping down the rear seat backrest, placing my camping mat and blowing up my camper pillow.
That evening, I met Mark from Germany. We talked for a while. …I removed the clean laundry to put it into the drier… Mark quit his job as a purchaser to become a wood worker after his trip. What a change! For now, he’s traveling New Zealand for three month. …Going to bed in the car surprised me. This Toyota Auris allows to stretch my legs completely. Indeed, it is much more convenient than expected. Good job, Japanese developers!
This is how camping life looks like. Living cheap, but tripple the price as in South America. Cereals in the morning. The peanut butter handy. 🙂
Living in the car. 🙂
Leaving the coast camp site:
Heading south-west the next day, I reached Geraldine. Close by I met Adnré. He was walking along the road and smiled at me while I was passing him on the car. We went for a hike after I had spotted the camp site close to Geraldine. After some supermarket dinner, we played the guitar at night. Evan, a Camper nomad from California, who has lived in his camper in New Zealand for more than seven years now, joined us.
The next morning, I hopped on the car early to drive to Lake Tekapo. What a beautiful place! I spent some time in the Hot Springs to come down and recover from all that long distance country road motor-home and car driving. Afterwards, I headed further to Mount Cook. What a beautiful scenery! This country starts to amaze me…
On the way to Mount Cook:
Having it fresh without side dish – caught wild 😉
[Way back from Mount Cook the next morning – same road]
Brrr. That was a cold night close to Mount Cook. Just three degrees in the morning wilderness. I remember that I added my summer sleeping bag to the standard sleeping bag I brought from California. Applying the onion tactics to stay warm made me survive. 😉 Also I covered my head with my green-orange winter hat. It was not really warm but I did not freeze. Still sad: My body will not let me enjoy this trip as I would like to. I love to hike and I would have loved to get as close to Mount Cook as possible. But I still feel pain in my knees and foot joint since the flight from Lima to San Francisco. Recently, also pain in my hand joints and elbow joints arose more often. I move like a 80 year old again… 🙁 I do not understand why, yet. Good to have a car to be mobile. No worries. OK, let’s drive to Queenstown. There, I’m going to stay in a hostel. Sleeping in the car is possible but not the most convenient option. Especially in the light of my body’s condition. As of Ester, I was lucky to get the last dorm bed in town under NZ$ 40/night – booked at lunch time the same day. That night, again, I suffered fucking pain in my foot joint and knees. Sucks!
At night at Mount Cook camp-site some bigger bird visited the car roof.
Next morning: Bad weather in Queenstown. Not worth doing any adventures. My body seems anything else but interested in sports and action activities, however my mind is starving for action. Rather another pain day. So, let’s see what the road can offer. Let’s head south already. I think, I can make it to Milford Sound in one day. …Driving, enjoying the landscape… Yes, I did it. Not with worries not with hurries. More like saving some of this expensive gas and applying my fuel saving skills which I acquired some years ago, when making it from Augsburg to Venice and return with one gas filling, crossing the Alps. Back then 1,350 km easily over the mountains with one diesel tank. 600 km remaining distance was indicated back home, 3.2 l/100km. In New Zealand, on petrol, I made it with 5.4 litres which is quite ok in this 1.8 l, 140 horse power Japanese runner on hills. The road to Milford Sound goes about 90 km through the countryside. No villages, no civilication. The road was just build to reach that fjord. I arrived at Milford Sound at 3.12 p.m., asking if they have any boat tickets for today. I had no idea. The lady said, “Oh yeah! Boarding for the last ride today has started already. The last boat today leaves in three minutes at 3.15 p.m. Wanna pay credit?” Lucky me. Haha. That’s wild. The trip on the boat was quite nice, it took two hours. The views were absolutely stunning. (Title picture)
On the way from Queensland to Milford Sound…
Getting closer to Milford Sound:
The place of beauty – Milford Sound:
An overnight stay was not possible at Milford Sound. So I had to drive back to Te Anau, which I passed before. I disregarded to sleep in the car to do good to my body and get a real bed at a motel. Good night. Sleeping well.
Another day on the road followed. Heading along the scenic route on Clifton Blackmount Road to Invercargill and further south to Bluff. Final station for today: Free campsite in Fortrose.
That’s what you get when you do the early bird 🙂
Absolutely fresh and good in taste:
Free camp site next to the sea:
Some guitar playing at the seaside:
Coastline in the south:
The following day, I arrived in Dunedin. A really nice city centre in Victorian style. Lovely places to hang out. Checked-in the hostel On Top Backpackers. It’s very close to the city centre and clean. Quite recommendable. I hang out at Morning Maggie Café and later at Laneway Café Bar Tapas. Sitting in front of the fireplace on the couch writing on the blog. Amazing atmosphere in town. Don’t miss that place if you travel the South Island.
Great motto in Dunedin 🙂
The next morning, I still avoided lots of walking and went to another coffee place to hang out and do some writing. After the cafe had closed, I went to Vault 21 to have a decent glas of New Zealand white wine and I did some more writing. Some commonly known social networking platform matched for an evening out with a nice girl from Spain.
I left Dunedin and drove in the direction of Wanaka. They have some nice lake views there. I camped at the riverside in the tent that night. Again, brrr, pretty chilli at four degrees Celsius. No showers, two waterless toilets, but still paying NZ$ 10. Crazy. They soak out the money from your pocket here.
At the camp-site:
It’s the 24th of April. Early morning, after getting out of the cosy sleeping bag into this cold environment, I made my way to Franz-Josef Glacier. This included some five km of walking. Happy me, no nasty pain in my junctions that day. Yeah, I’m back to life! Feels so great and free. Up at the glacier viewpoint, I met a guy from Denmark who was at the Glacier for the first time twelve years ago. It has massively decreased since then, he explained. In fact, the Glacier is pretty far away from the viewpoint today.
The climate allows farn to grow:
Back on the road, Greymouth should be my next stop. As of the walk at the glacier, I decided to stay at a hostel to get some good rest and allow my joints to recover. And also, to take a shower. 😉 Feeling fresh, I went to the dining room to check on some e-mails. Well, I could not do too much progress on that, since a good conversation with a cute girl from the Netherlands started. Bregje told me she’s studying Bio-Medicine and she’s now doing a term abroad in Melbourne. She has travelled some places in New Zealand with some friends. Her friends had to go back to Melbourne already, but she wanted to travel more around. She told some stories about her first hitch hike experiences in New Zealand. It turned out we both want to head northbound. I quite liked her, so I offered her a ride to visit the Pancake Rocks the next day.
Life is amazing. Every day.
I had lots of time to think and reflect while riding the car recently. The following day caused a facebook post: “Life is amazing. Every day.”
There are these days that make you feel like you are just in the right place. We experience these days way too rarely, I think. Lucky me, here in New Zealand these days pass my way more often recently, which I am very thankful for. All these days you can be who you are and live in good company.
The day started with a good breakfast. Bregje and I shared the food we had left. Not taking too long for the breakfast because the Pancake Rocks were waiting to be explored.
So we jumped on the car to drive northwards on the west coast. A good conversation was mixed with stunning views. Then, we stopped at some nice locations and later the Pancake Rocks appeared in front of us. We enjoyed the beautiful views. Suddenly some guys said to us: “Look, on the water, some seals!” Our eyes were too dump to spot them. Haha.
On the way north:
What our eyes could not manage at the Pancake Rocks was easy for them little further north at Cape Foulwind. A guy that I had talked to, recommended to go there. And it was great! First, we took the wrong way, going down to the beach. Haha. However… there they were, very close, some young seals swimming around and lying on the rocks. Awesome and wild!
Seals in the Background 🙂 …unfortunately, I didn’t carry a tele lens. 😉
We went up to the official lookout point.
Well, since the conversation was very comfortable, I asked Bregje where her final destination for today was. She said, she booked a hostel in Motueka and that she wanted to see Abel Tasman National Park tomorrow. Actually, I had no idea about these places. Being flexible, free and wild I said, “Let’s do the trip to Motueka together.” We had lunch somewhere aside the road and ate what we had left after breakfast… We identified that the mixture of Nutella and peanut butter on the bread creates a good Snickers taste. Haha.
Our trip led us to a beautiful view point with 360 degrees sight into the beautiful land somewhere close to Tapawera. We enjoyed the view and took some pictures.
We headed further to Motueka, where I was lucky to get a dorm bed. Was I lucky…? Haha, no, it’s low season, Easter is over. Mostly there’s space available. We went to the supermarket to get some stuff and cooked some nice pasta with fresh vegetables and some perfectly fitting crab fish. 😉 A nice day went to an end slowly…
The next day I woke up and had some cereals for breakfast. Some ideas came up about what I wanted to do that day. Yes, obviously driving in the car again. Music. Views. Freedom. 🙂 I hit the curvy road northbound to the Golden Bay.
In the evening, Bregje and I met again for some beers in a local pub. She invited me for some sightseeing in Melbourne, where I should fly to in a few weeks.
Freedom, take it, feel it, it’s yours already.
Ok, guys, this is a long article. Let’s loosen it with some general reflections:
The number of times when I’m just feeling like “Wohooo, this is so amazing!” are increasing constantly. Why is that? I think, it is because I do what I want and I behave the way I want. I’m free. I increase my feeling of freedom by deciding to be free and by following my instinct. Not too much thinking. Just acting. Not too much planning. Just following ideas. Since ideas are more easy to change than a plan. Having a plan that might change means that you have to deal with interdependencies. Interdependencies within the elements of the plan lead to more complex changes. It’s getting complicated. It’s soaking your energy. On the other side, an idea is marked by flexibility. It’s generally creative and innovative. And, importantly, it already expresses what you want, a purpose and meaning.
How do I personally increase the feeling of freedom? As said, I love car driving but also listening to music. (One of the reasons I worked in sales before.) Sitting in the car and having the asphalt in front of you. Different shapes of bends. The green environment around you, landscapes changing often and making the ride a trip of great visual diversity. Yes, a round trip through New Zealand’s south island made me say quite often “What the f**k, how beautiful is that view?!” After getting comfortably used to this right driven Toyota Auris GRX in a left side driving world, my brain starts to think randomly while driving on the road. Thinking about “Why am I here? What is my purpose of existance? What do I want to achieve? What makes me happy?” Music played a great role since it is helping to intense emotions and to listen to my heart. It inspires. I may share the music that inspires me most little bit further below. The mix of older music and newer interprets brings the following to my mind:
Older music: It reminds me about my youth and about what I wanted when I was younger. It tells me where I’m coming from and what my roots are. It reminds me also about achievements and future life decisions that I made earlier in my life. It’s the basis.
Newer music: This is the innovative part. I chose interprets who have great voices and who use the guitar. I feel most emotions from the sound. This music allows to develop and brand new desires into my brain. Following desires and thoughts that feel good. Thoughts like creating and growing a value providing business. Thoughts about identifying the right people I want to share my time with. Thoughts about who I really am and with what character inside I feel most comfortable. And I learned, it is not about who I want to become. No, it is much easier saying, but more difficult to answer for yourself. It’s just about: How I can be externally who I am inside already.
Let’s have a look at the question once more: “Why are you here?” This question is connected to the question, I asked you earlier on this blog: “What do you dream about?” However looking at “Why are you here?”, we are even more on the meta level and a more general view. Let’s take the next step and read the question like: “Why am I here?”
Since this approach is partly taken from a different source, I may recommend the very book at this point that was given to me by a wise women on my home leaving party. “The Why Café“, written by John Strelecky (German: Das Café am Rande der Welt). It’s bringing up some central questions by using nice short stories and examples in a novel style. I normally hate novels. This book is great! The book creates an outstanding comfort. It helps identifying a more happy way of being by doing what we really want. We live in this commercialised world of today that influences our mind intentionally for the purpose of others, rather than focusing on our own inner purpose. Focusing on yourself is key.
If you ask yourself now, what is the purpose of existence of axelgoeswild and what does he dream about, I have to tell you: It’s written down for myself to reflect upon it in some months again… An answer here would not help you to identify your own personal purpose and dreams. Do the work for yourself, think, identify and write it down.
At this point, a quote that might inspire you:
“Do Not Follow Where The Path May Lead. Go Instead Where There Is No Path And Leave A Trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
As written some lines above, music plays an important part in my life. It just creates a good mood and frees your mind. Music is all about the mixture, I think. I absolutely enjoy the diversity. Getting inspiration, rhythm and the feeling from different genres, artists and ages. I want to share my artist list with you. And yes, it includes some old mainstream bands and singers. Haha.
Boy & Bear
Lord Of The Rings Soundtrack
Of Monsters And Men
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
The Gaslight Anthem
The Slow Show
The smell of nature is amazing! So fresh. So free. So original.
I’m going to be a different person. Yes, I’m going to be the person I am deep inside. With all these uncountable new experiences.
Since New Zealand, I feel like getting tired of travelling. I thought. But then I realised it’s not so much the travelling and being away from a place of home. It is to a certain extent the thinking and preparing, if one wishes the “planning”, of the trip. It’s the development of ideas and the transformation of them into a plan for the next days that makes you tired. There is no daily rhythm, nothing grows into a relaxing habit. I love to plan. Still today. But I realised, by being forced as of tiredness, that not everything requires planning in order to make a reasonable progress. To me, for now, it’s enough to just have ideas of what I could do and then decide very spontaneously what is cool to bring into reality. This applies for places to sleep and locations to visit. I haven’t booked a place in advance for days. I just go there, taking the risk of not finding a place to sleep. After all, one must still realize, the concept of having only ideas is not as promising in a way that you get the most sightseeing out of New Zealand. Meaning, you will not get to see all the nice places that you assume are interesting to you. But instead you find places that you would never thought you will find interesting. Places, the easy peasy flow will bring to you. As of reduced planning and stress, the very experience is more intense and more long-lasting. Don’t look back to the things you didn’t do but realise the beauty of all these unexpected experiences that you made spontaneously. And, apply the Pareto Principle, by achieving 80 % of the result with 20 % of the effort. Wow, life becomes so relaxed and still very fruitful. Be free, don’t limit yourself by a fixed and perfectly worked out plan.
From Nelson to Athurs Pass and to Christchurch
In Nelson there is not so much going on. It’s a nice town though. I sat in a place to do some writing and walked around the city center for a while.
I stayed overnight at a camp-site at Nelson Lakes National Park. Dinner time:
The next morning:
Following the recommendations of a friend who grew up in New Zealand, I did the Arthurs Pass, coming from Nelson. Nice place. …I had to make my way back to Christchurch slowly.
The following day, I drove from the village Arthurs Pass to Christchurch. I passed by a place called Castle Hill. There, I met two girls taking innovative photos. It turned out that one of them, Rachel, is an Instagram blogger from Sydney. (See here amazing travel pictures with beautiful hidden and mostly unknown places here: www.instagram.com/rachxomin) We talked while hiking back to the car park for some 15 minutes. Quite likely, I would not write about this short but nice encounter. However, it should turn out that Rachel is going to be of great and outstandingly friendly support. Something, we European can learn from… Read more in the following Australian posts.
Thanks, Rachel, for this shot:
Back in Christchurch, I did some little walking through the city combined with tome writing and blogging.
A massive earth quake hit Christchurch in February 2011. 185 people died. But the town has the right attitued to deal with it. Street art:
The next day, Juan from Panama and I met up for a Skype call. I was lucky to meet him at Bocas del Torro, Panama a few month ago. Juan provided interesting feedback and that he really enjoys the way my thoughts and pictures about happiness are shared. I may cite him: “Alex, it’s so amazing!” He continued that he thinks, the people are getting inspired by that. “Just opening Instagram in the morning and seeing this face full of smile, fun, action and happiness gives motivation to the people”, he argues. “That is value to the people – for free. Learning about this world roundtrip experience. This life and the thoughts of it.” …Thanks Juan, for holding up this mirror, appreciated a lot!
I’m really starting to think about writing a book or an article. About the purpose of existence, dreams, the egoistic focus on yourself by being selfless at the same time. About how to become who you really are. About freedom and happiness. Writing from the viewpoint of a world traveller [About the guy]. Inspired by so many different cultures and people, I was lucky to have met on the way. In the layout of an illustrated book explaining and underlining the thoughts with my photographs [Art Gallery]. What do you think, would you read it? Give me your feedback, I’d appreciate it a lot! Comments possible at the bottom. 🙂
I was lucky to meet Sophia and Josua at the Christchurch free walking tour.
Some buildings were imoroved with earth quake safe systems – impressive!
The results of the earth quake – an UNESCO world herirage site:
One chair for each persone who did not survieve the earth quake in a certain building:
Beautiful New Regent Street:
Sophia and Josua are two nice siblings from Nürnberg, Germany. Jusua is doing work and travel in New Zealand whereby his older sister is visiting him for several weeks to travel with him. At night, we went out for some beers at New Regent Street. We had the same taste of beer. Germans gathering. 🙂 And the conversation kept going well. We talked about finding the right way to succeed in life and finding the right job which one is dedicated for. A job that makes one happy. Not that easy for most of the people, we figured. But, how do we identify what we want to do in life? Sounds easy but it’s not always: I think it is important to listen to your inner dreams and listen to your heart and emotions. But do not forget to validate these feelings with your intelligent mind. Some people find their dedication very early, as Sophia did. She is working in a job with a social background. Trying out jobs that you think are interesting will help you to identify your dedication. And you will learn to trust your feelings. The practical experience one makes, often is the only and the most reliable way learning about yourself and what you find joy in. Talking to people about a job, this can’t do more than creating an interest for that job. After you have identified interesting jobs, choose options that bring you closer to your vision, your purpose of existence and dreams. The experience of doing the job will finally confirm if you really like it – or not!
Thanks to the two of you for the great conversation! I learned a lot from you. I’m always happy to continue our conversation somewhere in the world! 🙂
At this very position I would like to outline some of the quotes Richard Branson put together.
“In Order To Carry A Positive Action We Must Develop Here A Positive Vision.”– Dalai Lama
“The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe In The Beauty Of Their Dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“The Biggest Adventure You Can Ever Take Is To Live The Life Of Your Dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey
“Positive feelings come from being honest about yourself and accepting your personality, and physical characteristics, warts and all; and, from belonging to a family that accepts you without question.” – Willard Scott
“I Think Anything Is Possible If You Have The Mindset And The Will And Desire To Do It And Put The Time In. – Roger Clemens”
“If you want to be a rebel, be kind.” – Pancho Ramos Stierle
“20 Years From Now You Will Be More Disappointed By The Things That You Didn’t Do Than By The Ones You Did Do. So Throw Off The Bowlines. Sail Away From The Safe Harbor. Catch The Trade Winds In Your Sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
From New Zealand to Australia and final reflections
In the morning, I was writing on the blog again. Then, I jumped on the car to enjoy some music and countryside around Christchurch one last time. I stopped on the coast not too far south of the city at Sumner Scarborough Clock Tower where I played the guitar at the beach. Some people stopped by to listen for a while.
My way continued to the airport. Getting back into the jet setter life and heading to Sydney with Emirates in the A380-800. Laying back into my leather seat and enjoying the flight.
I developed a very positive feeling towards flying and being at an airport. I’m not nervous any longer at all. It feels like great comfort hanging out at an airport and being on an airplane. Especially when it’s an Emirates flight. 😉
Getting food and watching the movie Assassins Creed (I used to play the video games a lot), I had an interesting feeling. The first time since January 2016, I would have loved to share the sofa with someone lovely, watching a good movie and having some pizza together. I feel comfortable on the plane and I’m absolutely looking forward to Sydney and Australia. Again, having no expectations. However, I have all these descriptions of friends in mind who have been to Sydney and this beautiful continent Australia before. I would love to get the view of the Opera of which I once had a puzzle hanging up in my youth room. Let’s get this Australian experience going. Yeah, kickin’ it off!
What I learned in New Zealand
Always know who you are and be yourself. Show to the people around you the excitement in you for the things that you really love. Be aware, excitement is only present when you talk about things making your eyes wide open, even a little wet. I’m talking about these convincing eyes, coming from the positive emotions you connect to the things you really love. No matter what it is, it is quite likely your dream that you are talking about. Then, you will smile automatically towards the people. Know what you want, what is your dream, and tell it to the people. Your true excitement will excite other people around you. They will follow your words and their eyes will turn into the ones of that six year old child seeing the Christmas tree with all the presents underneath.
My mind, your mind, our mind is free. Free by definition under every circumstances. Our mind is the strongest force we have. If we know what is our purpose and what are our dreams, our mind can easily find the right way and answers in life. Define meaning for your existence and happiness will ensue.