Excerpts from Milford

Milford Sound, January 2016

During the course of  21 days in Fiordland National Park, I used less than 600 MB of data, a feat for someone who came from such a digitally connected country. Mainly it was because the internet connection in Milford Sound was almost non-existent, therefore expensive. For a budget backpacker (or shall I say suitcase roller), I needed to quit the internet cold turkey. It was a welcomed change. With technology, its very easy for people, or shall I say myself, to be in split minds, never fully focusing on the present.

Another vice I had to somewhat forego was take-away coffee and other forms of caffeine, specially the flat white. For the 21 days, I bought myself less than 5 coffees from the cafe at the I-Site making my consumption of coffee almost nil…for the first week. Until I spied a bag of instant coffee in the “Free Food” cupboard and claimed it as my own. Let the party begin. 


In that first week, exhaustion from physical work, absence of caffeine, and the feeling of disconnection plagued me. I had receded inwardly just like this area of Fiordland; isolated, and hard to access. I lost the shield that technology and other distractions provided and had came face to face with the present. I had to entertain all of my thoughts and most of all people who I met. In this limited space, there was no hiding.

Gradually, I eased into this slow pace of life. After work, we would either go on hiking excursions, have conversations, watch movies, cook, or nap, which was a group favorite. In the first week I ventured out on my own a lot, wandering everywhere but nowhere.


My roommates and coworkers – all of us on a Working Holiday –  were a nuanced bunch, and while we all had different characters, we clicked. There was Y a musician from Finland who was adventurous and independent or in other words badass, A from German who was reserved and a deep thinker, I from Wales who was comedic and caring, and N who was strong-willed Canadian and a natural leader. I would like to think we became quite the team and accepting of each other’s flaws.

Milford at Dawn, January 2016

I played London Grammar’s song Wasting All My Young Years a lot during this time. I felt as if my decisions in NZ have been made in haste, but I realized I haven’t felt this free in ages.

You cross this line

Do you find it hard to say it with me tonight
I’ve walked these miles but I’ve walked in straight line
You’ll never know what was there to be

I’m wasting my young years
It doesn’t matter here
I’m chasing more ideas
It doesn’t matter here

We are
We are
Baby, I’m wasting my young years
We are
We are
Baby, I’m wasting my young years

Don’t you know that it’s all I feel
I wouldn’t worry, you have all the love
I’ve heard it takes some time to get it right

I’m wasting my young years
It doesn’t matter here
I’m chasing more ideas
It doesn’t matter here

by London Grammar

With the recommendation of A I began to read Immortality by Milan Kundera. Quotes that really resonated with me were:
 “…the serial number of a human is the face…it reflects neither character or soul nor what we call the self…” (p. 13)
“She looked forward to the drive, too, because in the car nobody talked to her and nobody looked at her. Yes, the most important thing was nobody looked at her. Solitude is a sweet absence of looks.” (p. 31)



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