Never forget the opportunities travelling can give you. Just look at all the opportunities that have led you to an epic adventure. You’ve…
1. Swam with humpback whales
Dream come true: Swimming with humpback whales in Tonga!
2. Got inked
Artwork by the talented Tom Fox. Went the Dunedin Craft Beer Festival after getting my ink, and apparently drank so much that I named my whale Jägermeister.
3. Made food; created art
Never cooked a single meal at home, and suddenly I’m throwing nasi lemak parties in Auckland.
Finally doing little things like this that I’ve always wanted to try, but never find time for back home.
4. Watched the All Blacks win the Bledisloe Cup
Confession: I still don’t understand the rules.
6. White water rafted down the Tongariro River
My kind of family portrait.
Super proud of Mama Chu for slaying the paddle!
7. Black water rafted through Waitomo Caves
The most awkward place for an afternoon tea.
Doubly proud of Papa Chu for fighting through the cold water and finishing this with me!
8. Got over my fear of riding a two-wheeled motorised vehicle
I learnt to bike in my pyjamas.
9. Almost died riding a two-wheeled motorised vehicle
10. Met new friends
Craig and Mitch, the comic relief to my life in Dunedin. The day we spent an afternoon exploring the Clay Hills at Omarama.
11. Reconnected with old friends
It took a 10 hour flight for us to get together.
12. Crossed skiing off my bucket list
My very first ski lesson, on the very last day of the season. Location: Ohau.
13. Milked a cow
One word to describe this whole experience: slimy.
Learning about life, one conversation at a time.
15. Got robbed :(
16. Scrubbed toilets
With the fun-loving housekeeping crew at Milford Sound Lodge.
17. Raised a projected NZ$170,000 for The Fred Hollows Foundation
Hard at work as a street fundraiser in Auckland.
Morning workout: Kayaking to Sandfly Point at the Milford Track, thanks to Rosco’s Milford Kayaks! Photo by Barton Mathews.
19. Rock climbed
Harnessing my inner spidey in Wanaka. Photo by Barton Mathews.
20. Scaled sketchy mountain tops
Super stoked the top of Avalanche Peak, Arthur’s Pass National Park. My knees were messed up for almost two months after this very steep and rocky hike.
21. Camped in the wild… and listened to the calls of kiwi birds
This was not just a crappy little blue tent, it was my lovely little home (that gave no protection against rain nor snow).
22. Gazed, danced, and puked under the stars
Every night, if the clouds are sleeping at home, I’d take a peek out the window and wave a little hi to Orion and Southern Cross.
23. Rediscovered old loves
Reminding myself how fun it is to be a monkey. Location: Lake Marian Track.
25. Slept in strangers’ houses
I came as a stranger and left as family. The kindest little family in Tonga who took pity on me, gave me their bed, and fed me for a week. In return, I gave them a little part of my heart :)
26. Jumped off cliffs and bridges
27. Went to an actual rodeo
There were some serious bull-riding, steer-roping going on here.
28. Learnt to trust the right people… and not to trust the wrong people
Caption goes here.
29. Crashed university lectures
The best part about living in Dunedin: free university lectures.
30. Walked up the steepest street in the world, Baldwin Street
31. Shot a rifle
32. Went fishing for sharks
We lowered the 100% success rate of catching a sevengill shark on a sunny day to 95%. We didn’t catch it, but it did took a BIG bite from our bait!
33. Learnt about the world
Gertrude Saddle was the very last mission I did in 2015. She did not disappoint. Location: Milford Sound.
34. Fell in love with people and places
You can try, but New Zealand WILL make you fall in love with her. Photo by Barton Mathews
Do you see how magical opportunities are? How endless? See how they sometimes come in the disguise of people or disasters? Follow them, embrace them, use them to make yourself a better person, and most important of all, pass them on to the next curious soul travelling your way.
Just look at that view, I felt like I was living in a windows desktop! Location: Peel Lake Track, Cobb Valley.
Thank you New Zealand for a wonderful time! Sending good vibes to all the wonderful people I met and travelled with. You guys were the special secret sauce to the recipe for an unforgettable adventure.