IT'S SUNNY UP here, flying over Sitka towards Seattle. Of course, it reminds me of my final destination, which relative to the slushy, overcast weather back home seems like paradise. The climate in New Zealand is about as diverse as possible. Two islands combined to be about the size of California host luscious plant life, a variety of birds, huge waterfalls, snow covered mountains, indigenous peoples and of course, uncountable sheep. I've heard that weather is sometimes unpredictable and while my iPhone suggests beaming a 70-degree paradise, everything can change suddenly and I may be granted a free and unexpected shower.
The town of Nelson is located on the northern part of the South Island. It's said to be one of the sunniest places and that's where I'm heading first. For about a week I'll be staying with someone who moved from Homer, Alaska to live with her Kiwi husband on the South Island. They have a farm with horses, vegetables and a beach near by. It's where I'll begin my WWOOFing adventure; after Nelson I have no itinerary.
Some last-minute dad wisdom
Getting ready to go, I had to resist good intentioned packing suggestions like Dad's insistency on bringing a laptop. How could I be independent and accountable without a computer!? And What if I stayed at a farm without Internet access!? Well, I told him, part of what triggered my interest in this journey is the absence of overbearing electronics found in my regular life. So I left nearly everything.
See ya, little sis!
This is what people talk about - the moment when your parent's house begins feeling like a place to visit. That's sort of an amplified feeling for me because at the end of the month my family is moving out of my house. It was much more difficult to pack up my room than pack two pairs of pants, my sleeping bag and a toothbrush into my backpack for New Zealand.
The last goodbye
By the time you read this I'll be off the airplane, in Kiwi-land and the rest...you know as well as I do.
Listen to Part 1 below: Aviva says her goodbyes, asks mom, dad and sis what they each think about her leaving and she reflects on being on her own for the first time.