The deep end: Part Two

Scary situation #2

I’m going to sub-sub-head this ‘The Climb’. I think it’s worthy of a sub-sub heading because well, it was truly wonderful.

I woke up at 10.00am on a Monday off. I hopped in the shower (don’t judge me when you read on and realize maybe I should’ve just had a shower after, not first), put on my workout gear, packed my 1L bottle of water and raincoat into a daypack and headed out the door.

I was determined to climb up Mount Kaukau, which is the highest most visible point in the Wellington region. According to Wikipedia, it’s 445 meters above sea level.

Anyways, I parked up and made my way to the entrance of the park. I read the map, took a deep breath and went forward. While I knew EXACTLY what I was getting myself into, nothing prepared me for all the upward hills and stairs. Yerp, there were stairs.

Every corner I turned there were more and more and more stairs. I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was going to cry and give up more times than I could recite my ABCs repeatedly in 20 minutes (does this even make sense?). Oh and did I mention my calves were on fire because I went for a bit of an uphill hike a couple of days before and didn’t stretch? Yeah, that’s a thing.

Anyways, when I finally got to the top and there was a wide stretch of green with a picnic table and people lying on the grass, my god I can’t even begin to describe to you how happy I felt. I was so happy I actually started laughing. Yes that’s right, I was there by myself. And laughing. And as I continued to walk up, I continued to have a massive grin on my face.

I didn’t even care that all the people that passed me while walking up had already had their moment of bliss and were heading back down while I had just made it to the summit. It didn’t phase me one bit.

I was so happy. I soaked in the 360 views and spent a solid 5 minutes around every corner with a huge smile on face. I was truly taking everything in and I thought to myself, is this what true happiness feels like? Cause if it is, I bloody want more.

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It’s hard to believe that I was experiencing a once in a blue moon moment where I was truly happy and I was by myself. What are the odds! I smiled for a while longer and decided to keep walking rather than turn around because these treks usually take you back to your starting point right?

… Right?

I was pulled into continuing the trek by the hills and an inviting pathway. I kept walking and stopped to read a map and signs that said ‘Johnsonville this way’. Meh, it’s indicating Johnsonville is that way but it doesn’t mean it’s going to take you to just Johnsonville. Right?

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I kept walking… nearly stepped on dog poop and fell off the cliff because I just had to take an incredible photo. I drained my battery – from 99% it was sitting at 12%. Who cares? I won’t need it for anything other than photos.

IMG_1623IMG_1624 I just kept walking and walking and walking and suddenly, I was at an exit point. To Johnsonville. The opposite of where my car was parked.

Fuck.

Scary situation #3

Same day. Same place. I was in a cul-de-sac in the middle of fucking Johnsonville. Might I add, I know NOTHING about Johnsonville. I mean this was a place where my friend had to be google maps and guide me to Nandos (it’s a pretty small place kinda). For a place that’s literally a 10 minute drive from where I lived, I knew NOTHING. Like Jon Snow, I knew NOTHING.

So naturally, I checked google maps. Wahoo, 10% battery. Fuck. Google maps told me it was going to take approximately 30 minutes to get to my car. Okay cool, easy enough. With my dying phone and dying map and dying GPS. Screenshotting the map isn’t going to help, given by this time I was sitting at 5%.

I started walking through the wild ‘burbs until I got to a roundabout with a dairy in the corner. I decided I needed electrolytes or caffeine or just something. I bought a Loaded drink. Mm electrolytes.

Then my phone died. I kept following the main road, with my backpack, feeling like a right tourist and actually reading signs. To cut the story short, I made it to my car parked in Khadallah. It took me about 40-45 minutes (hard to tell when you don’t have a phone because it’s dead but judging by the approximate time of 2.35pm just before my phone died and it being 3.15pm or whatever from the top of my head).

I was so happy to see Georgie (my car) from a distance. I ran to her and hugged her like the true weirdo that I am. There was a couple sitting by the train station and I could feel their eyes piercing into my back. But you know what? Fuck them. They didn’t know my struggle. They didn’t have to endure what I had endured.

FUCK. THEM.

So in the space of one day, I:

  • nearly gave up
  • nearly killed someone/thing
  • nearly cried in pain
  • felt pure happiness and true bliss at the same time
  • loved life
  • felt content
  • felt assured
  • felt lost
  • felt nervous and anxious
  • felt relieved

I totally think I’m ready to travel alone.

The deep end: Part One

 I’m thinking of solo travel in 2017.

I’m not going to lie – doing anything on my own is pretty terrifying. I think back to the days when I was growing up in Kuala Lumpur – a country where serious crime such as kidnapping, assault, rape and theft is common – and I used to catch a taxi, go to the mall and watch movies at the cinema and get food on my own. I was 12 years old.

Of course, my mother used to lose her shit and get so angry at me because she was concerned about my safety and wellbeing but did that ever phase me? Nah.

Fast forward to today in Wellington, New Zealand – 26 years old and the thought of even going to the movies alone is unheard of. I mean, what if people start judging me and think I’m a sore loser who has no friends? No, no, no… I couldn’t possibly have that. How about going to a cafe alone and god forbid, actually eating/drinking coffee there. Alone. (I think I just shat my pants).

Did I mention I’m thinking of solo travel in 2017? Oh the irony of it all.

In the last couple of weeks, I decided to throw myself in what I call ‘the deep end’ – that’s putting myself in scary (okay, uncomfortable) situations and see how they pan out.

Scary situation #1

I had to go into town for a walk-in appointment but unfortunately, it was really busy. What a waste of bloody time.

So rather than turn around and waste the day in the comforts of my own home, I decided to visit the Wellington City Gallery because I really wanted to go (and no one seemed to have a vested interest in joining me…) AND because why the heck not.

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It was great. It was educational. It was interesting. I had a good time by myself. I had so much fun, I pretended I was a foreigner from Paris who wanted to immerse herself in some good ol’ Kiwi culture.

After that, I decided to take it a step forward and went to the food court by myself (GASP. Such public place, much alone, what loser).

I ate food, I read a book, I soaked in my surroundings and guess what? I DIDN’T DIE.

And yes, there is a second part to this… watch this space…