Getting to New Zealand consisted of many hours of waiting. My ipod and computer both ran out of their batteries. Again, I was to wait in lines to go through and be processed out of Auckland customs. I had to wait an additional four hours for my bus that only came twice a day to drop off in Cambridge. Waiting on the bus for 2 1/2 hours to arrive in Cambridge. I'm tired of waiting. I want this trip to start!
Sarah is happily waiting for me at the bus drop-off point, which was essentially a grocery parking lot (flashy, eh?) At this point I just need some food and a bed. I’ve hardly slept for three days. We catch up briefly in the car, all chummy chums and then it happens. Pressurized information vomit explodes out of Sarah’s mouth about her break-up and/or everything relating and consisting of it. Being the polite Winlee I am (at first) I listen. And listen and listen. It continues throughout the evening. I wonder what I've just walked myself into while Sarah is praising Christ she has someone to mend her broken heart (or help seal her mouth shut). My ears feel like they are bleeding by this point and my eyes are bloodshot. When I finally excuse my way to bed I can’t even recall laying my head down. Out like a light.
Let me mention Sarah and my very short and sweet past. Sarah, from New Zealand, visited Honolulu in 2008. She had a very bad couchsurfing experience and I saved her from it by letting her sleep at my place and showing her my island. I spent about five days with her in total. She's an awesome chick who was on her around-the-world solo trip. Vibrant, devil-may-care attitude, fun to be around. This was not the same Sarah and I hardly know her enough to deduce the shrapnel that encompassed her.
I wake up and Sarah is gone to work. She works Monday through Friday. Her house is beautiful. Replicated after a Tuscan villa, the red and yellows are accentuated by any amount of light. She has a dog, Moses, who is untrained and a pain in my ass. I'm ecstatic to be in NZ, but It’s rainy outside. This continues for a week straight. Maybe I brought the rain from Portland. I catch up on my sleep the next few days. I’m bombarded by more break-up talk and negativity. She asked me to stay with her for a "while" because she needs the company and is afraid to live alone at the moment. I’m feeling obligated at this point, but I don’t say anything because my plans are up in the air anyhow. She’s supposed to have a job for me at the hospital and I’ve been relying upon that, mostly because I'm not sure where to even start my traveling.
She's introduced me to a lot of her friends because she feels bad that I'm sitting around bored all day. She's also asked them to show me around. All of them are wonderful, kind people.
In one of these instances I’d met a Fijian nurse named Judi whom Sarah worked with at the hospital. She owns and operates a serene property and organic farm with her husband Ian. The first day I set foot on this property I fell in love with it. Fresh hydroponic salad and juicy hothouse tomatoes all surrounded by acres upon acres of wild bush to hike. That first day I also met Jill (whom is now my travel buddy), a WWOOFer (Willing Worker On Organic Farms) from Dallas, who surprisingly has no accent. I was a little apprehensive by her at first, only because she was loud and from Texas, but we eventually connected. Days after we did some hiking and talking,realizing how similar our journeys were wondering if we'd cross paths on the South Island (a place we both planned to end up). We talked a lot about signs and the significance of them in life/travels, which we'd both seen on this particular travel journey. Shortly after we clicked, Sarah asked Jill to join our road trip, a sign in itself.