As I drank my last long black (americano) in the last coffee shop I went in New Zealand, I took the time to think back to the person who drove with his mother to Munich Airport and was about to start a part of his life which he thought would be the right decision.
He has made some plans, some worked out and some not. He was not sure how its going to be to travel alone, having the advantage to make his own decisions but also deal with problems by himself. After a couple days in the most isolated city in the world (Perth) he quickly realised he needed to get out of towns, into nature. As soon he got out of the city he got to know local people, made great friends, learned a lot about the local environment and step by step more about himself. The first days hiking alone were really tough, all kind of thoughts off quitting or being unsure about his plans but at the end he managed to deal with the loneliness and saw its advantage. Finishing his first real multi day hike he wanted more. One day back to town to resupply and back in nature, he started his second hike, had more intense moments and met more amazing people.
(Intense moments: Realising how much you still miss home and family, how important it is to you to feel the love and warmth and also to give it back. Other moments where also memories from childhood you thought you forgot. Getting to know people, sharing their stories and home/time/food)
After a month of amazing moments and learning a lot about himself he went to the east coast to see another beautiful part of Australia but at the end of this time he kind off lost his track of his way of travel. Heading from town to town to see another touristic place, he tried to escape as much as possible from places which were overloaded from backpackers. Still, there were great times and people he met and is thankful to had this time.
He knew also, he needed to get away from beaches and back into mountains and hiking territory and went straight to south New Zealand. During his travels he learned more about managing his budget but still spent to much and realised he needed a job. On his birthday, he got a positive respond and started the best job who could get. Working 2-3 days a week full day, earning enough money for the week and having time to explore the area. He bought a car to be flexible and save money sleeping in it, met more people who have kind of the way of travelling and plans in NZL. As the weeks passed by, it got closer to plan his departure and the Pacific Crest Trail came more and more back to his mind. Finishing his time south with the best trip so far, he hiked in all kind of conditions: Sunny dry hot in the outback Australia’s, long distance per day, wet muddy path, deep calm or strong current river crossings, he went through almost everything what he has to face on the PCT, except of snow.
A great road trip to Auckland finished an amazing time with people he will never forget and also made him realise, 3 month were not enough and he will come back to NZL.
Thank you for that time, for meeting you, spending minutes, hours or days with you. You were part of this amazing and unforgettable time of my life which also made me more self confident, open minded, just the person who I am now. I will have you always in my thoughts and be very happy to see you again.