A Travellerspoint blog

Preface

Reasons Why I Am Starting This Blog

semi-overcast 62 °F

After traveling around New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji for three months I have become smitten with the backpacker lifestyle. This was a tough pill to swallow for many of my family and friends; mainly because they could not fathom why I would prefer living out of a backpack schlepping from one grimy hostel to another when I have spent the majority of my life at posh homes both on the Upper East Side in New York and in Central London. They are accustomed to my girlish tendencies: I was always reluctant to part with my beloved collection of high heels when traveling and rarely exhibited a desire to be a risk taker.

From the age of fifteen I have been dead-set on becoming a print journalist and this passion has not weaned over the years. But my passion for travel has laid dormant during my time at University since I spent my summers interning or visiting friends and family in London. As a teenager, summers were dedicated to globe-trotting and volunteering; both integral in shaping the person I am today. Though I regret not pursuing these interests further in the past few years, now that I have a degree under my belt and no familial obligations tying me down, I am free to do just that.

This past January I began a relatively short trip which ended up inspiring me to live life as a proper backpacker for the next year. I began with a two and a half week tour of New Zealand, both the North and South Islands. Then I continued on to Australia - where I spent time in Sydney and Melbourne, traveled up and down the East Coast, and sailed the Whitsunday Islands. Additionally I spent five days island-hopping in Fiji. On the third day of my travels I decided to do the first truly terrifying thing of my 22 years - bungy jumping off the Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand. The days leading up to it I barely slept, repeatedly waking up in a cold sweat because of the murderously bloody nightmares I was having. The morning of I was almost certain I would either faint or throw-up prior to the jump. Needless to say, I was nervous. Luckily a girl on my tour was kind enough to do a tandem jump with me, easing my overwhelming anxiety somewhat. Once harnessed up and standing on the ledge, I very begrudgingly inched towards the end (never once looking out or down) whilst swearing up a storm. The people working there eventually had to put their feet behind mine and move me towards the edge then push me off. To be honest, it was far from the most enjoyable experience. The feeling of free falling only to be counteracted by jolts to my ankles was less than fun. Regardless, it put into motion the motto I decided to employ for the rest of my trip: I would say yes to everything that my gut said no to.

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Three months later, I had conquered dozens of fears and managed to shake my previously inhibited lifestyle. So after a short trip back to New York, I find myself once again starting my travels in New Zealand. This time it will be on my own dime so in addition to freelancing, I will also be endeavoring some menial labor - perhaps farming, washing dishes, or sheep shearing? But it will all be part of the experience that I hope to share through my writing and photography.

Posted by Sashaf1234 16:37 Archived in New Zealand Tagged backpacking

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