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The Great Queenstown Return!

Arrrrrrgghhhhhhhhh, I'M BACK IN NEW ZEALAND!!

The Remarkables from Kelvin Peninsula - Prints Available

After seven months of bimbling around the UK, a rather wonky month in Nepal and a few weeks in Canberra, my Kiwi tourist visa has reset and I'm back baby! And oh boy does it feel good.

Before the plane had even landed I had an overwhelming feeling of returning home. Which isn't so surprising as I spent two intense years here during the pandemic. It was one of the most transformative periods of my life so it makes sense that I have such a strong bond with this place.

I wasn't all plain sailing though. The universe decided to play games with me and thought it would be fun to lose my luggage. Honestly, at this point in my life story I just laughed. Compared to being trapped abroad or being helicopter rescued out of the Himalayas, this was a walk in the park! I also noted the brilliant irony that back in 2020 I arrived in Queenstown with just my cycling gear and a single bag of clothes. Somehow, two years later, I'd managed to arrive with even less!? Just the clothes on my body! Bring it on, I thought. You call this a challenge?

Within seconds of walking out of the airport I was heckled by a mate on his way back from work and before I knew it I was "home". Back in Queenstown. Back with my antipodean friends. Back in front of the views. Oh the views. This place is SO DARN BEAUTIFUL. My jaw was on the floor all over again.

As I write this I've been here two weeks. My luggage thankfully arrived three days after I did. I've already stayed with a couple of friends and have a few more lined up until April. I haven't quite worked out where I'll live for the month of Jan but I'm confident that it'll all work out. I'm getting remarkably relaxed with all this stuff. The weather has been glorious. I mean... It's Summer when it would normally be Winter so I'm easily pleased! I've spent every day in great company (including my Tues night boardgame crew!) and have managed a swim in Lake Wakatipu most days. I've even managed to bag a few tourist classics in the form of the Queenstown Gondola, Luge and a chaotic float down the Shotover River! Turns out my bike rafting course paid off and I can navigate grade 2 rapids now!

Christmas was a bit weird. I flew here assuming it would be the same "Christmas Orphans" vibe as the previous two but with the borders open nearly everyone was out of town! I deliberately spent the first half on my own and I quite quickly discovered sitting around an empty house in your festive pyjamas with nothing to keep you company but a dishevelled Christmas tree is rubbish. Shan't be doing that again but it was at least worth the experiment! I was saved by a Christmas bbq down the road from me and spent the the rest of the day in the company of friends old and new. Another highlight was "stealing" a tree from the local ski slope in the name of last minute saving someone's Christmas! But everybody hates pine here and it's actually an act of conservation!

Right now, life is good. The biggest thing on my mind is whether or not this should be "home home" and as problems go, that's a pretty sweet place to be :)

Merry Christmas everyone! (And that awkward bit between boxing day and New Year that doesn't have a name)

So good to be in front of Walter peak again! - Prints Available


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