Farewell Wellington, Kiwi Hospitality and doing it alone
Tonight I am sitting in a youth hostel in Wellington in the common area, hoping to meet some friends, it’s not as easy as I expected, lots of people are in groups or in the middle of emailing, a bit like me I guess, but I am ok with my own company. At the grand old age of 26 I finally feel ok enough with myself to eat tea on my own, I even had a drink in a bar on my own and loved it! I like the freedom of thinking ‘I’d like a beer, I will have one’ and not caring that I am drinking alone, because I am not sad and needing company, I am content but would welcome company. I wonder if this is the ‘travellers freedom’ and it will change when I am back to the UK and people might recognise me, I hope not. This is also the first time I have stayed anywhere on my own by choice, the Eurostar was my first ever experience.
I’ve been away from home now for 3 weeks and I have been saying with a great Kiwi family and loved it, but at the tail end of last week I was feeling like I had ‘itchy feet’, ready to move on and meet new people. I happily, wandered through Wellington but saw groups of friends meeting and I thought ‘aww I’d like that’. But I felt so welcomed and so comfortable in house that it could have been very easy to stay. This weekend, going to a fashion market, a drive along Wellington’s beautiful coast line and watching an excellent film ‘Ruby Sparks’ in a smashing little cinema, I got comfy again but this new adventure is really exciting.
I am taking the ‘Interislander Ferry’ to Picton in the South Island, staying in a hostel and then meeting my tour group, hooray! Then we travel together to Nelson and I have booked a days kayaking in a national park called Abel Tasmin.
But back to the here and now in Wellington. I love Wellington, it is small and easy to find your way around, everyone seems to be really friendly and interested in what you are doing, it’s lovely. Not that I feel home is unfriendly but it’s nice when you are doing it alone to think people are interested in what you are doing. My number one favourite thing about Wellington is that I am managing to eat my way around it! I have been to so many fun, quirky and excellent cafes that it’s brilliant. The Surf Club with ‘the best ever toastie’, Chocolate Fish with the painted chairs, Fidel’s steak sandwich, Martha’s Pantry and the excellent spread, Leuven the Belgian bar, I am in my cake loving, tea drinking paradise, everywhere does loose leaf tea in a teapot!!! I also love all the shops full of arty jewellery, handmade clothes, vintage clothes combined with a café and quirky crockery, I am hating carrying a backpack when I look around because nothing fits in!
Today, you will be surprised to know that I didn’t just eat, I went to Somes Island, which was a quarantine island to bring new species to New Zealand, the last species was the Alpaca. I wandered around the sunny but very windy island taking loads of photos of a lighthouse still standing and working for over 100 years, trying to take one single photo of the wild parakeets that fly all around, but they move quick and desperately trying to spot a penguin, but no luck there. I liked being alone to do all this, I got slight irritated when a group kept catching up with me and talking all the time, while I was trying to be ‘all zen and at one with nature’ hahaha but still, I was enjoying not having cars around me and being somewhere isolated and they kept blabbing, but not even acknowledging that I was there. I eventually did lose track of them down a winding path which led me to the sea, ‘please let me see a penguin’… I am still hoping. It will happen in the South Island, I am sure.