What could possibly feel greater than smiling? What could possibly feel more liberating than a sweet smile?? Well I can you tell you exactly what… grinning! Grinning is single-handedly one of the most liberating and euphoric expressions of the body and I awoke on my first full day in New Zealand grinning. However; this bubble was burst when I stretched out and immediately made aware that I wasn’t going to get away with travelling across the globe scot-free! My bones felt like a ridged steel structure, my muscles like ratchet straps holding it all together and my head felt like the suspended sphere of a bulldozer – hello jet lag I’ve been expecting you.
Breaching the sliding doors into the rays of the morning sun softened the steel and loosened the straps. The sea calmly moved, birds hovered nonchalantly on the wind and the sound of voices drifted lazily from the balcony above my head. I was extremely pleased to be offered tea within an instance of my appearance, everybody was so smiley and awake whilst I squinted from the incredible amount of light. I fumbled my way inside to retrieve my sunglasses.
Me and my friend took our tea, crossed the quiet road to the vegetated, sandy embankment that stooped down towards the beach and took up residence on a bench. I let it all sink in, I was back in the bubble. As we sat there in silence for a few moments I felt like I’d found home, this small place was already taking up a spot in my heart just like I was taking up a spot on that bench. It felt right to speak then and we chewed the fat just as we’d done so many times before in the garage of her mother’s house back in Devon.
Breakfast was interesting with the traditional English items alongside a pan-fried flying fish caught out on the boat the day before. We cleared up and packed up then it was time to get back on the road to travel my friend’s home in Mount Maunganui. I wished as we pulled away to have been able to stay longer but if this was just a taster of what I’d experience then I was happy to go and pursue the rest of my adventure.