23 February 2013

Big Swings and Great People

The swing

Khadine, my adrenaline partner

So I managed to stay in Queenstown for about 5 days, not long enough in my opinion but then again, no time ever seems to be a good time to leave there as there’s always something to do, people to hang out with, places to eat and drink at, a game to watch (rugby, of course!).  My first day out, the gal I went skydiving with also wants to go and do the big Nevis Swing.  It’s a swing that has a 70-meter free fall followed by 300 meter arc of a swing over a very large ravine with a very tiny river (?), maybe a stream.  I had some friends tell me that it was scarier than bungee jumping but when I did it, it didn’t feel like a whole lot to me after skydiving just two days prior to that.  Maybe because it felt like a very big amusement park swing with a different backdrop.  The free fall was the best part but the swing itself, meh!  I would have rather done the bungee jump.  Oh well…  I just didn’t want to fork over another $100+ to do it.

Another thing I did while in Queenstown was to go up to the top of the Bob's Peak by gondola where you can see all of Queenstown.  The ride up is quite steep (one could hike it, but why?) yet so gorgeous!  At the top are some nice restaurants, luge rides, mountain biking, cafes, Maori shows, amazing views, another bungee jump, and paragliding.  Lots to do, people to chat with, beers to be drank, and sunsets to be watched. 

What was really nice was to meet up with my friend Erin whom I met in Hanoi, Vietnam and traveled with to the Mekong Delta for a few days.  She’s from Alaska, is living and working in Queenstown now, It was so good to see her settled in a great town such as Q’town, having a great group of friends that are like family, and making a place for herself there.  She’s young, she’s bright, she’s beautiful, and she’s got a good head on her shoulders.  This young woman has a real zest for life, is well spoken and respectful, she has been traveling for over a year and half around the world while working along the way, and has a maturity and grace about her.  I wish I could have been more like her when I was her age but I was too busy doing what I thought I should be doing and partying a little too much.  She did it the right way.  I look forward to the wonderful things she will accomplish in her life and to watch her grow into an amazing woman.

Erin in Vietnam looking at the Cambodia border
Traveling solo allows one to meet all sorts of people from all walks of life.  Once I checked into my hostel, I met a guy named Owen and the instant we met, we just couldn’t stop talking.  We had so much in common and similar energy that we hung out nearly every night until about 4am (that’s about when the bars close in Q’town) eating good food, drinking wine, trying some amazing beers, dancing and listening to some cool DJ’s.  I had so much fun with him that I changed my travel plans to go visit him in Western Australia for more adventures!

It was so hard to leave my friends in Q’town as I could have easily seen myself living there too.  Perhaps in some other lifetime when I can get a work permit easily.  Though could one truly live in an adult playground like that?  Sounds like pure gluttony to me and that’s my favorite brand of sin.


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