The Pursuit of Fiordland

 

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At the crack of dawn, I headed off to the bus “depot” from Deco Backpackers, the hostel where I stayed for my one night layover before heading off to Milford Sound. The Remarkables, a mountain range right by Queenstown – “Partytown”, New Zealand – sat quietly in these early morning hours as the town began to stir.

A few people were strolling, others were headed off to the bus depot, probably going where I was. The buzz of excitement from these travelers were undeniable. While I was pumped to go to Milford Sound, I felt my energy waning. The constant travel and socializing was enjoyable but exhausting and at times, made me a bit anxious. I was eating less than normal and needed proper sleep.

Through these transition periods, from one place to another, I often wonder what I was really trying to pursue. Was I delaying the time until I had to settle down for good? Am I wasting my time? What would I do after this? And after NZ? How do I want to live my life? I know I’m going to put myself in another challenging situation, but is it worth it? These Piscean thoughts rolled around in my mind, chasing the tail, one after another.

Halfway from Queenstown to Milford, the bus stopped so we could see the Englelinton Valley, a location where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Gray clouds loomed overhead, the air humid.

A teenage tourist on the bus stood during the entire bus ride, recording and photographing the sights as he bounced from one side of the bus to the other. During the curvaceous part of Milford Road, just before Homer Tunnel, he wobbled and swayed with the bus, yet his phone stayed firmly in the air. His parents told him to sit, and he would… but for just for a moment before he was at it again.

As we headed deeper into Fiordland National Park, I was in awe. Lupin grew in scattered bunches, keas roam the park, and the clouds snaked through the valleys. The endless wildlife was incredible with the Homer Tunnel as the first sparse hunk of infrastructure in miles. My anxious thoughts silenced by the sound of nature, I was ready for another adventure.

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