When the job offer finally came through, I gave myself permission to breathe again. That oppressive feeling of being in a situation that fills you with disgust and you just can’t save face for anymore — unclench the fist, exhale the CO2. The burden shifts from mental health survival mode to looking forward. New Zealand requires 4 weeks notice which seems incredibly long but each week, I feel myself letting another component of stress go - difficult relationships and random ill considered requests. The expectations to uphold appearances to the very last breath aren’t going to make a difference. The…


It’s down to the last minute. The huts are booked but little else. We scrabble together the last of the plans and forget everything until the moment we have to pull it out again. I rush to work on Friday afternoon but my only real intention for the day is to rush off a few minutes early to make sure I get to the airport on time. Its a comical sigh of relief when we realise that our flight is of the puddle jumper sort which requires no security checkpoints or cut-off times to check in. …


The anticipation around opening up the country has all the bubbles talking. On the day of the announcement, 4/20, the whole country tuned in. The big prize for moving to level 3, takeaways! After the coming long weekend, Level 3 would last for an initial duration of 2 weeks, one COVID cycle to see how the curve evolves.

Little changed for our household. Home cooked food was so good throughout lockdown that we were less enthusiastic about eating out than we had anticipated. …


In the first two weeks New Zealand would jump from 100 to 1100 cases. In a similar window of time the US would jump from 1 to 5 hundred thousand cases. Week 2 of the global surge and the whole world watched with horror as the stats exploded. It was a sizable sigh of relief though to be watching from home and appreciating that the country is already in hibernation mode.

On the economic front in New Zealand, there were so many announcements about economic aid packages that I couldn’t keep track. …


Its not until after dinner that night that I finally get time to sit and just absorb the current news to understand the state of affairs. California isn’t a hotspot anymore. The whole country is shutting down. One episode of Rachel Maddow and another segment of Democracy Now and my head is spinning. Its an earful of urgency and drastic measures by local hospitals to get citizens to sew masks, and the first tent hospitals are being set up in sports fields to prepare for the onslaught of sick patients. The Fed’s are holding off on ordering thousands of respirators…


Before the end of days, we have one more thing scheduled after WOMAD. 7 of us are going to take one last breath of natures beauty with a 3 day paddle down the Whanganui River. All the awareness of social distancing is coming into the civic psyche so some time away from all the people and reception sounds like just what the Dr. ordered. It would be a mystery how much different the world be on the other side of 3 days but that is not the purpose of today. …


In February, I start to resettle back into a weekly routine. Circus classes in rope and contortion on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, either a swim or a rock climbing session with friends on Tuesdays, and a sprinkling of happy hours and dinner dates to fill in any gaps of undedicated time. I find out that I can swim a mile and organise group dates to local comedy and circus shows with a smattering of different friends groups during the Fringe festival.

Somewhere in there, news stories pop up about a whistle-blower in Wuhan China and a Diamond Princess cruise ship is…


Kiwiburn is New Zealand’s regional version of Burning Man. It gathers a mere 2,000 people on a farm just 2 hours north of Wellington. While 2000 people hardly compares to the 70K that Black Rock City gathers nor would it compare to the technological grandeur, I can confirm that Kiwiburn can claim an abundance of two key factors that Black Rock lacks — community and water.

Our theme camp was one of the better organised ones in town. It was a years worth of anticipation and 4 months worth of planning before we ever set foot on the paddock. Our…


The end of 2019 was a blur. They call it silly season here. Everyone makes the most of the nice weather. Every weekend is booked out. I find myself inviting friends over to what would be the most epic of Thanksgiving dinners. 25 pounds of turkey costs $120 here but it was so worth it to eat and to share our little traditions with a bundle of people who had seen it on TV but never actually participated in the traditions. And we did them all. We had problems with the turkey, started late, went around the room and said…


Pack your bag. Check it twice. Question the needs versus wants, over preparation packing choices and finally catch that cab to the airport. We were off to Queenstown. A one hour flight to a 2 hour car ride to a one hour boat ride to the top of the track. The 4 day 3 night Great Walk through the Milford Sound starts and ends at isolated beach drop-off points only accessible by water taxi. The PA system announces that they are going to begin boarding our flight and at about the same time a call comes in from Karl. Its…

Open Letters

Slow Traveler, Tree Hugger, Flawed, Productivity Enthusiast, telling my story

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