Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm here, I'm alive

After some crazy moments and the longest traveling I've ever done in my life, I've finally made it to New Zealand. I've had a bunch of profound thoughts that I wanted to post here but I'd rather just let this be known on my first posting from New Zealand: I'm not doing this again anytime soon. And when I say this, I mean, moving out of my apartment, quiting my job, saying good bye to everyone and getting on a plane to a place I've never been not knowing when I'll be back. It was a bit stressful. But Now I'm here, and its finally starting to feel right. Internet access hasn't been as easy as I'd thought, so sorry it's taken me so long to get this to you all.
Ah! I don't even know where to start. So the whole flying experience was crazy. Longest time I've ever spent on a plane, and stood in lines. I'll just give you the run down. Tuesday night, flew from Seattle to LA. I needed to retrieve my pack from baggage claim in LA and re-check it into the international flight. But that flight was delayed and hour and it was 2.5 hours there. I only had an hour and a half until I had to be on my flight to Fiji from LA. Finally made it after some crazy line and a bit of hassle at the counter. Then the flight was 10.5 hours to Fiji, with hardly any sleep and a spilt cup of orange juice in my lap. Then I get to Nadi, Fiji and have to stand in line and wait around for 3 hours in the crazy heat. Then got on another flight to Auckland for 3.5 hours. I get to Auckland and had to stand in line after line. Issues with my visa, had to wait in an area for an hour. Then issues with my hiking boots. Yeah that's right, my hiking boots. Apparently they're not cool with dirty hiking boots. So I had to wait around while they sprayed those down. I thought that was pretty cool of them though. Seems like the Kiwi's know they have a super fragile island environment and don't want to mess it up any more. Anyways then the bus line, then when I finally got to a hostel and checked into my dorm room with 7 other people, it was Thursday at 5pm. I totally lost a day! I left Tuesday and now its Thursday! The craziest thing I've thought about. Did I travel in time? I was well aware that this would happen, but it was still a trip to go pun intended. I met some really cool people though. A bunch of the people I shared a room with, people I met on the lay over in Fiji. It was weird though, when we all checked in to our room, one of the guys got blood clots in his legs from sitting so much and the paramedics we called and they took him to the hospital. Apparently that can be deadly. For all that don't know, make sure you move around a lot on long flights.
I could bore you with more details of my time and some of the weird experience there. But to make a long story short. I spent a day in Auckland checking stuff out and seeing the city. Reminds me a lot of Vancouver. Instead of describing it to you. Check out some pictures.

Auckland was cool, but I was just getting some bad mojo there. Could be the fact that I was there to buy a vehicle and I heard from home that there are some major problems with the truck I was supposed to sell. Doesn't look like I'll be getting much money from it any more and in turn doesn't look like I'll be getting a vehicle anytime soon. But fortunately, Simone is here visiting some of her friends in Wellington (10 hour drive away) and they invited me down. So I booked myself a one way ticket and got out of Auckland. I instantly fell in love with Wellington. It's an awesome city. Full of life, beauty and culture. Simone and I spent the day walking around town and went to this park in the hills above Wellington. Check out the Pictures here:

Simone's friends are an American couple named Jennifer and Tim. Super awesome people. They're so nice. They had a BBQ that night and invited some of their friends over. Good times for sure. It was fun meeting some of their Kiwi Friends.
Then, the next day we loaded up their car and headed to a giant lake in the middle of the north Island called Lake Taupo. It was raining a bunch and we couldn't see much, but the drive was super fun and the scenery was beautiful. Seemed like we went through 15 different environments. We stayed a night up by the lake and checked out some other cool stuff the next day. Check out those pictures here:

Anyways, we got back super late last night. I'm chilling right now at Tim and Jennifer's cause they're so nice to let me use their Internet and get some much needed stuff done. Anyways, I'll write more later when I have some time, but I just wanted to get this out there, let everyone know I'm safe and well. I'll try to update this blog every few days. Peace!


Jordan said...

WOW! Ryan, I love the blog and I love the photos/video. You better keep updating because you know that I am living vicariously through you back here at home. You are truly an inspiration big guy. I love your writing and your humor keep up the good work. Hopefully I have a stellar year and I can travel out there to see you.

Jed and Kate said...

Hi Ryan!! I'm so glad you've got a blog! What a beautifully, gorgeous place you're in. It reminds me how much I love nature...kinda forgot since I don't see much of it these days (unless it's in the form of a master-planned-by-mankind Central Park). How cool that you're doing this! Do people keep telling you that?
I know the feeling of pretty much dropping everything (even though it was all working just fine for you) to take off and move some place foreign and new. There is something so refreshing and exciting about it, but it also demands adjustment and change. You are definitely the kind of person who's capable of such a challenge.
It looks like you have an amazing adventure in front of you! I hope you'll keep us all informed so we can (like Jordan said) keep living vicariously through you.
-Kate Allgood Cowley
PS Not sure why, but you are kind of starting to remind me of Mr. Betzler (remember him? 7th grade science?) He was a cool teacher, so I hope you take that as a compliment!