__01____wide eyed and dreaming____

Trip Start Jan 05, 2007
Trip End Mar 29, 2007

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Saturday, January 6, 2007

i suppose this trip has been a long time coming.  or maybe it has just felt that way.  looking all the way back to the second grade - when my parent's friends from Sydney, Australia came to visit - i've had the urge to travel down under.  so in that respect this journey really has had years of time to brew.  but when i think of actually deciding to put away the money, purchase flights, come up with some loose idea of an itinerary, etc - all of this has happened fairly recently.

the decision was made last year in early 2006, still in a slight haze of depression upon returning home from the appalachian trail in the fall of 2005.  a goal.  another journey to work towards.   a breathe of fresh air in my somewhat stale existence at that time.  my good friends dave and kim were heading to New Zealand (NZ) in the coming year to go work on organic farms and travel the country, i should plan to go as well.  and from that snowballed this trip.

this past year, even with its rocky start, has been a beautiful rollercoaster ride.  amid long weeks of landscaping work in Charlotte, NC fell amazing weekend trips and extended explorations.  backpacking through snowfalls in pisgah forest, camping on the southern south carolina coast, riding bikes from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR, riding bikes from Columbia, SC to the SC coast, discovering new people and places (and laughing with old friends) from Georgia all the way to Vermont and New Hampshire, even managing to suffer through a couple of endurance mtn bike races.  hard work and even harder play seemed to usher the time quickly by.

january 2007 somehow finds me, and two crazy travel partners, unemployed and on the cusp of another epic adventure.  galen (some of you know him as "clockwork orange") and luke (aka "scared of the dark") - friends i met on the AT - both bought into the idea of making NZ a reality.  they too had longed for a trip down under and just needed a little nudge to commit.

i fly out to California jan 5 to hang out with jesse and keely who just moved to Oceanside, CA.  jan 9 i head to NZ!

kia ora, much peace - brandon
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