The Plan Is There Is No Plan

When I landed in Auckland last December, it’s safe to say Nelson wasn’t even on my radar. I certainly would not have been able to place it on a map of New Zealand. But here I am, ten months later, sitting in this little city at the top of the South Island that unexpectedly became my home for eight months, wondering what it will be like to leave in two short days.

Just gonna fill this post with photos of Nelson being beautiful.

I'm fully aware of how clichéd this is, but it really does feel like I blinked and suddenly this year is almost over. You might know the story of how I got to Nelson from the post I wrote three weeks after arriving. Back then, I still only thought I would be here for a few months. I had loosely planned on going south to Wanaka or Queenstown for the winter but Nelson is the place where things just seemed to fall into place for me. The only way I can really explain it is that it felt right to stay…and then keep staying and staying, oops!

Come Monday I’ll be on the road again until I catch my flight back home mid-December. Lil’ Beezy (my trusty ole Subaru) and I are trekking up to Auckland to meet my friend Lindsay who’s flying in from Seattle, and we’re going on a month-long New Zealand road trip. I had always thought it would be nice to kind of bookend the year with road trips; one at the beginning to get a feel for the country, and one at the end as a kind of farewell tour, or an encore if you will.

And the plan? The plan is there is no plan. We’ll need to get to Queenstown by mid-November for the half marathon, and that’s about the extent of our plans at this point. That’s right folks, holacarly the compulsive planner has only booked accommodation for, wait for it, six out of thirty nights. Six! I actually bust up laughing when I think about it—I’m picking Lindsay up at the airport on Tuesday and I still don’t even know where we’re spending the night. Who have I become? I guess that’s what happens when you spend a year in a country whose national motto seems to be “she’ll be right.”

In all seriousness, we’re tenting so the options are kind of endless, and it’s not high season for tourism yet so we’ll be fine. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself when I have the urge to make more plans than we have at the moment.) In any case, we’ll have stellar tuneage along the way; the road trip playlist is now well over 300 songs deep.

I could try to establish some kind of parallel between this Nelson sunset and the sun setting on my time here, but we all know it's just a gratuitous sunset photo.

It's bittersweet to finish the Nelson chapter of this year, the "working" part of my working holiday, but I'm pretty stoked to get back to the "holiday" part again, and be on the road again in a constant state of exploration and wonder. I'm hoping to keep you updated along the way but we'll see how it goes, I mean, I'm not really in the mood to make plans.