Enroute-Rebooting for the Second Leg

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2013

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Flag of Fiji  , Viti Levu,
Saturday, November 3, 2012

We are working our adaptability muscles. Every time we drop into a new city or country with new surroundings, climate, currency, perhaps language and if not language an accent or habits that are unfamiliar it requires us to let go of what we are comfortable with and embrace the new. Each time I can feel my mind, body and soul aching for the more familiar then settling into the excitement and challenge of another place. It's all good. In fact I really dislike it when I am feeling stuck or too attached; it is a sign to change things up.

After our first 10 hours of travel, we arrived in LA with the intention of rendezvousing with my brother. Without any cell phone or access to internet and having sent him only our itinerary 3 weeks prior and his quick reply 'OK', I realized when we got off the plane that meeting up might be a bit tenuous. Luckily, his adaptability muscle is strong because a quick phone call to him - made on a phone generously offered to us by an LA airport volunteer - and within 5 minutes of picking up our baggage we were in my brother’s car. We enjoyed a wonderful homemade dinner at his home, copious amounts of delicious Californian wine, stimulating conversation and we were set for the 12 hour flight to Fiji. Something...perhaps the wine...made for a full night's sleep on the plane.

We arrived in our old stomping grounds from 28 years ago when we volunteered for Canadian Crossroads International and taught school in Fiji. A rush of feelings came back upon our arrival as Fiji had been our first time being away from North America. Now, seasoned travellers, it felt very different. A quick 24 hours on a beach near Nadi allowed us to stretch, relax, walk, and enjoy the warmth of sunshine and the Fijian people.

Up early the next morning to catch our flight to Christchurch, we thought we had better start reading our Lonely Planet guide and figure out what we were going to do in New Zealand.  We had notes from a number of friends who had given us NZ advice but we hadn't done much planning. Which leads me to my next thoughts about how procrastination is inextricably tied to adaptability. It's hard to do one without the other! I wonder which comes first? Well, we have both of them down pat. We got off the plane, rented a car (not pre-booked) and drove to the Banks Peninsula finding a cute little spot (Halfmoon Cottage) in Barry's Bay to hang our hats for a couple of nights.

We have discovered that NZ is colder and more expensive than we expected so have joined the Backpackers system.  What can one expect other than to have distorted expectations when they do very little planning?  Our first day was sunny and spring-like then a cold southerly wind blew up the coast from the Antarctic and we found ourselves in 7 degree weather, shrivering as we watched the obligatory orientation Lord of the Rings movie in our hostel. 

We’ve had a few good laughs getting used to driving on the left side. Jim continues to switch on the windshield wipers when he is about to make a turn and I keep making noises thinking we are about to drive off the edge of the road. 

Get exercising that adaptability muscle, my friends!  What have you done recently to exercise yours?
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erikastravels on

Hi Donna;
As usual, love the pictures. And I love your insights on the flexibility muscle and procrastination. I do think they are tied together. For good or bad, I think they have to go together.

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