So here we are. It’s been months since we properly sat down and had a decent chat about how things have been going. But for the last six months, I guess you could say that life has got on top of me. It’s interesting that in a strange way things have been far better and far more consistent than they were before. I’ve felt much happier personally and things have seemed much more plain and clear. Overall this has created this sensation of being in control, or at least manageable and there are always contingency plans in place in case things get out of control.
A year ago I addressed a blog almost every day for a period of over ten months. We spoke about many different types of things from Donald Trump all the way through to relationship advice and even the exciting parts of architecture. A very exciting and dynamic time that brought so many cool memories into blog format that even now I’m able to reflect on and remember.
But in the same light, writing so much every day took a lot of time out of my day and so it became exceedingly difficult to manage to go to university, dealing with flatting issues, and just living my life in general. It was also a particularly rough time for me because of a break down in my relationship which involved a lot of headspace and a lot of time as well. All in all, talking about things that came up in my daily life was ironically becoming my daily life.
So I decided to take a break for a while and spend the next period trying to build up my strength and energy to tackle something a lot meatier that would challenge me. Something that would genuinely ignite my fire that I could commit to day and night trying to pursue. Something that would seriously help other people in a way that their mana was enhanced and that could bring them happiness and clarity.
A year has passed and I’ve grown much more comfortable than ever before. Things have never been stronger with university, grades the highest they’ve ever been. Work is great and the culture of the people who work for Oranga Tamariki (Ministry for Children) is awesome, the people there are awesome and so is all of the banter. We raised almost five thousand dollars for kids living in foster care in New Zealand again and I got to have dinner with Meghan Markle (massive highlight) and Prince Harry.
But nothing really stood out as being a game-changer. Something that could seriously quench my thirst for adventure. Nothing truly challenging or risky that a huge part of me needed. Although many awesome things did happen, nothing took me out of my comfort zone. It’s hard to light a fire when you’re starving it of oxygen. The same way it’s hard for awesome things to happen when you’re living life comfortably and under controlled conditions.
If it’s something I’ve learned it’s that being comfortable has serious disadvantages. Living with a tunnel vision on routine and expectation is a sure way to miss what is real and needs changing. That’s essentially the main business for not-for-profits like The Heart Foundation, or The Drug Foundation, or VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, is to raise issues that most people miss because it never reaches them in their lives. I’ve come to recognise that these issues never reach most people for lots of reasons including privileges like culture, wealth, and upbringing. Or maybe they just missed the memo…
Either way, I’ve learned that there is no privilege in never being affected by the issues of the world or experiencing them because it doesn’t teach you how to live. It doesn’t equip you with ways to deal with life, or how to cope with them at least. As a young guy in an expensive world, it can be so easy to fixate on stupid and meaningless things like money or security. It’s hard to remember the important things like the quality of relationships, making time for the boys, or getting out of the city and going on a goalless adventure into a forest somewhere and getting lost.
Writing gave me a way of reflecting on these things. A great check and balance to make sure I wasn’t being ignorant, misguided by groupthink, or ungrateful for the life and people I’d been blessed with. I’d built a place where I had full creative licence. To write about things like having sex before marriage or talking about abortion. I’d have a chance to think about these things, pull them apart, think of what ought to happen, or how things could be different. I also had the chance to articulate my perspective in a way that made it more real and useful for myself with the hope that it might be useful for other people too.
So instead of being so closed off and unavailable next year, the goal is to be much more adventurous. To explore my thoughts and feelings about ambiguous and random ideas. Developing new skills and capabilities. To be awash with new extremes and ambitions. Harnessing what I’m already into and transitioning away from comfort into growth. I’ll be focused on finishing my studies with a bang, and a keen eye on new work opportunities in places where I can help people most.
Outside of these nice things comes something much more exciting. All of this sounds really nice on paper, something to tell the parents for sure. But outside of these commitments is something big, something insane and definitely out of my comfort zone. Something that I hope to crystalised through my blogs and reflections actually. But I’d like to get into long-distance hiking and mountaineering. Below is a mapping of all the journeys I’ve planned out for the next chapter. See below:
Journey Mapping –
Heaphy Track (4-6 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Tararua Crossing (3-day walk)
Tongariro Crossing (NZ Great Walk)
Mount Taranaki (Day Climb)
Kepler Track (3-5 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Routeburn (2-4 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Lake Waikaremoana (3-6 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Whanganui Journey (3-5 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Abel Tasman Coast Track (3-5 day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Aoraki – Mount Cook Adventure (3-6 day climb, the tallest mountain in NZ)
Milford Track (4-day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Rakiura Track (3-day walk, NZ Great Walk)
Mount Fuji Adventure (2-day climb, the tallest mountain in Japan)
Mount Ruapehu (2-day climb)
Mount Aspiring Adventure (3-6 day climb)
Walking Safari Kruger Park, Africa (2-4 day walk)
Mount Kilimanjaro Adventure (5-10 day expedition, the tallest mountain in Africa)
These goals aren’t out of this world but they represent a challenge and risk that will force me to put my best foot forward. It will help broaden my worldview and give lots of incredible new experiences that I can think and write about. I will go to places that could be very dangerous and equally could be very rewarding. Undoubtedly it will be spent with people who face very different challenges to what I’m used to. Which is why I’ve chosen to dedicate each one of my journey’s above which are categorised as “Adventure” to a particular cause or charity. It will be my way of helping to increase awareness and to help people around the world to reach people who are overly privileged to understand their way of living too.
What am I getting out of it?
Hopefully to become a stronger and more grounded person. Someone that can help teach others how to live and to challenge opinions which neglect those who cannot advocate for themselves or are lost in translation. It’s also about enjoying the cultures and food of other countries. Eating great food is better than loafing on a coach in front of a roaring chimney fire. The fun that also comes from meeting new people, finding the hilarity in the differences and similarities they have will be another awesome experience I look forward to having as well.
Look out 2019.