friends

#50 – Have a bonfire on the beach

‘Insert Quote Here’ – Teo Wolter

This memory will live on in me for as a long as I will live because it was a truly special evening for me, even if it did take me 23years to get there.

The site of my first beach bonfire experience was Hot Water Beach on New Zealand’s North Island. One of the guys that I had met right at the start of my Kiwi Experience trip – Teo – and I had made our minds up quite early on that we would be spending our one evening at Hot Water Beach sat under the stars with a little bonfire, so en route to the location we picked up marshmallows to toast over the open flames.

We made our way down to the beach after sunset, following a path illuminated by (more…)

Advertisements

(Untitled thoughts of one who strongly dislikes saying goodbye)

I haven’t posted in a while I know. That isn’t due to a lack of possible content, but more because I feel there hasn’t exactly been anything to post. Until now that is.

What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, elegant or eloquent – after all, it is part of my ‘Untitled’ collection – but it will be brutally honest about my opinion/feelings on goodbyes, drawing on personal experience with the odd observation added in.

First of all, I would like to make one thing clear, goodbyes suck. At least, in my opinion they do. The dictionary definition for goodbye is: “an expression of good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation”. To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. I believe that J.M Barrie hits the nail on the head in Peter Pan when he wrote “never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”. It is a poignant line that has stayed with me for many a year. Why? Well, because it is true.

(more…)

The boy who moved away

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re doing something’

– Neil Gaiman

img_3926

Sitting atop Mt Ngauruhue with my mascot, Khaleesi

In my 2015 year review, the boy who started to live, I finished my post with the above quote by Neil Gaiman. If anything, it is more relevant for 2016 than in any year previously.

Why? Because over the course of this year I have made mistakes. Some were negative, but others did lead to positive outcomes. That is just on the surface though. If we look at it as some sort of checklist then;

  • Making new things? Check
  • Trying new things? Check
  • Learning more about the world around me? Check
  • Pushing yourself? Check
  • Changing my world? Check
  • Doing things I’ve ever done before? Check

If we measure 2016 against this then, without doubt, it is my most successful yet. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though. I may be extremely fortunate to have ended up in my current situation, but it didn’t come without sacrifice and hard work. So, as the year pulled into its home strait and the emotional goodbyes were had, there I was. One a plane bound to New Zealand. Now here I am in Australia, my home for the foreseeable future.

When I say it that way, it just seems to cap off a very strange year. Not so much for me, but just in general. Those working in the newsrooms have certainly earned their keep in 2016, because when there wasn’t tragedy striking at the heart of Asia, Africa or Europe, then there has always been another high-profile death. There was no such thing as a slow news week either because, if there was nothing new to report regarding the above elements, then the various forms of media outlets could always fill their boots with Brexit and the rise of Trump.

As I said, 2016? A very strange year. On a personal level though, I have to admit, it’s been pretty great… which is probably an understatement.

(more…)

Callum’s 2016 Adventures: South Island, New Zealand pt.2

I was in New Zealand and met this girl. Her sister dared me to bungee jump, so I did!
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
I wanted to impress the girl, and it worked!
– Theo James

Queenstown: 07.12.16 – 08.12.16

Queenstown, adventure capital of the world. Home of endless activities, mountains of food and hours of drink. Queenstown should come with a warning really, something like ‘beware, once you arrive you may never want to leave’.

My time in Queenstown was split by a day trip to Milford Sound, so I’ll split up my writing about it in a similar fashion.

(more…)

Callum’s 2016 Adventures: South Island, New Zealand pt.1

‘There are parts of New Zealand that I absolutely fell in love with
that I will miss going back to,
but I kind of think that is the part that can continue and will continue on.
I don’t imagine I’ll stop going back to New Zealand,
because I feel part of the fabric there, really’
– Andy Serkis

Kaiteriteri: 29.11.16

Kaiteriteri is a common destination due to its close proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park.  In fact, it’s probably the main/only reason people would go there.

After leaving Wellington and North Island behind via a ferry, we were driven directly to Kaiteriteri, with a brief stop in Nelson. To then get to the Abel Tasman National Park, you usually have to take a water taxi – this is the case whether you are just going to walk around the park or if you are going to kayak.

(more…)

Callum’s 2016 Adventures: North Island, New Zealand pt.1

‘New Zealand is a country of thirty thousand million sheep,
three million of whom think they are human’ 
– Barry Humphries

The back end of 2016 saw me begin the biggest adventure of my life thus far; moving abroad. The destination? Australia. My flights were booked, my visa paid for and granted. I was all set to go. But first there was somewhere else I needed to be. New Zealand.

Beginning in Auckland, I had given myself just shy of 6 weeks to travel through both the North and South Island’s, finishing down in Christchurch. It was a lot to fit in in such a small space of time and help was definitely required.

After my success with Oz Experience whilst travelling up Australia’s East Coast the previous year, I made the decision to book myself onto a Kiwi Experience bus pass. Fortunately – due to some fantastic discounts on offer at the time – I was able to purchase the ‘Whole Kit & Caboodle’ pass, which included the additional passes for the Bay of Islands, Milford Sound, and the Deep South.

(more…)

A Very Aussie Christmas

Christmas 2016 is one I won’t be forgetting any time soon. Not because it was the first Christmas I had featuring the Australian half of my family, and not because it was my first Christmas outside of the UK, but because it was Christmas that took place in the middle of summer.

Rather than piling on the layers and filling myself with Bailey’s & Hot Chocolate, I was jumping in a swimming pool and watching the sunset whilst on the beach. It was odd. It was surreal. It was different.

(more…)

Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.12 Salzburg, Austria

‘Salzburg is storybook Austria. Standing beside the fast-flowing Salzach River, your gaze is raised inch by inch to the Altstadt’s mosaic of graceful domes and spires, the formidable cliff-top fortress and the mountains beyond.’ – Unknown

Day 25: Salzburg 09.09.15

Plan of Action:

  • Explore Salzburg
  • The Glacier Hike
  • Watch the Sound of Music in the evening at the Hostel

The great thing about Yoho Hostel is that it has a pre-organised service allowing you to book day trips with them – and they have quite a heft catalogue to choose from. Amongst the options  (which are available all year round) are a Glacier Hike, a Bavarian Mountains and Salt Mines tour and – of course – the effervescent Sound of Music tour. Unfortunately when we turned up at reception in the morning, we learnt that the Glacier Hike was fully booked. Inexplicably, we opted against the Sound of Music tour (I will go back to do this though) and instead decided to take part in the afternoon Bavarian Mountain and Salt Mine tour. As we had risen quite early to book something via reception, the fact that the tour as taking place in the afternoon meant that we had the whole morning in which to explore.

(more…)

The Museum of Broken Relationships

“The Museum of Broken Relationships grew from a travelling exhibition
revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins.
Unlike ‘destructive’ self-help instructions for recovery from failed loves,
the Museum offers a chance to overcome an emotional collapse through creation:
by contributing to the Museum’s collection”

Based in Zagreb, Croatia, the Museum of Broken Relationships should be at the top of any would-be visitor. As mentioned in my previous post on Zagreb, the museum provides its audience with an exhibition that is harrowing and tragically beautiful in equal measure. It’s no wonder then, that it was the recipient of the 2011 Kenneth Hudson Award for the Most Innovative Museum in Europe.

(more…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is travelling with a heavy heart)

I left on the 15th August 2015, boarding a flight from London Luton to Amsterdam Schipol at 07.35, the plane due to leave at 07.55. It has been 20 days since then. And there are 10 days until I return.

This is the single longest time I have been both out of the UK and away from people I love since I was 14 yeard old and went on a 23 day trip around Europe with the scouts. That was 8 years ago.

Since then, the longest amount of time I have spent out of the country is probably 14 days. Of course, that was with my family.

I’m not going to pretend I am not enjoying myself. There are aspects of the 30 days journey interrailing around Europe that I don’t enjoy. But these are counter-acted by many facets that I love, or I am learning to love. Yet, that doesn’t stop it being hard. And believe me, it is hard. In fact I’d say both emotionally and physically that this is one of the most challenging things I’ve undertaken. Sometimes I feel like I’d rather be writing my dissertation or taking my A-Level exams all over again.

(more…)