Everyone has a story. Mine is that I always wanted to visit New Zealand, but two days before the flight I changed my mind.
It was almost a lifetime dream to come here, even when I bought the (one way) ticket I felt confident about my decision. I tried to figure out for weeks what went wrong, anyway the fact is that I’ve had the most annoying airport check-in in my life (thank you Gold Coast crew for this unforgettable memory), with a super awkward 3 hours long sobbing (don’t ask.. “can’t stop won’t stop”, also can’t explain) and a super-exhausted midnight landing in Auckland.
After my host picked me up at the airport and we started to chat in the car, the first thing he said: “We don’t always get what we want.” The context of the sentence was different, but in my current situation, it was so on point.
I guess this post is more about my struggling, the understanding of the way I stepped on and the healing I had to do, so if you are more interested in the things to do and see in Auckland, jump to the end!
I only get sick when my inner balance is off. With this beautiful arriving it took me 2 weeks to go deep in the massive cold and get healthy again. I felt lost and tired and lonely, but most of all stagnant; this blend is something that usually freaks me out (you feel me). Even if I know exactly that I have (need) to do the dirty job, and feel that everything will be fine at the end, the walk still has to be walked, no matter how ugly the way is. Of course, this is an uncomfortable process, I instinctively tried to avoid it, so in my 3 weeks in Auckland I was in a fight, like a stubborn child; most of the time just biologically existing, smoking, crying and barely able to breathe (yes, I am an emotional bitch, but as long as I hurt no one, it’s no one’s business).
To give some insight into my year-end phoenix transformation (we have to burn to ashes to be reborn): I left the path long months ago and tried to force the Universe to support this way. I fought for a “connection”, insisted on it while I was hiding my (self) lies, I was holding an idea of where and how I want to live, and in the meantime lost the focus of where do I go and what is my purpose. But I was put on the bench to calm down and get over the drama and above all to face my truth, wash down the lies and reconnect with my pure self.
One word that hurts AF: patience (you feel me again). When you are in the middle of nowhere (there’s a reason why they call NZ the countryside of the countryside) you can’t find a place to hide, that monster finds you and you have to deal with it. I had to (re)understand that time is meaningless, and I only get out from the loop when I finally accept and trust my path again.
On this level there are no coincidences, no one is a victim and it especially doesn’t matter what other people say, do or decide about me: it’s all me, my responsibility in my own way.
It happened in a few clicks, but as soon as I reconnected the flow every piece has found its place, in infinite peace and since that everything happens so easily, because what I want and what I need is in sync.
My biggest fear was to spend the holidays alone, far from everyone and everything, and I kinda prepared myself for the depression. But.. I did the job and synchronicity is just a sparkle in the whole universal spree; I had a pleasurable Christmas and a really fun NYE, exactly where I wanted to be: at the beach, under the Milky Way and like a wink, I also got a shiny shooting star right after midnight.. and of course, not alone.
As the balance of the Universe is restored finally let’s talk about Auckland.
There’s a proverb in Auckland: “If you don’t like the weather, wait for 10 minutes”. Only a few things in life are this accurate. During my stay, I experienced 3 seasons (it didn’t snow) in almost every single day. The weather can change literally in every 10-20 minutes and this hectic climate just doesn’t feel good; it’s exhausting, annoying and at the end of the day it leaves a huge bomb of frustration behind. I was never thinking to talk about the weather this much. Seriously. Pretty sure some people can get used to it, but it’s not me.
Looking back I haven’t done much in Auckland, basically because there’s not much to do.
The city is not too big, anyone can have a pretty comfortable life here, there are plenty of art galleries, parties/concerts and the city is strong in Asian food (yesss!), but somehow the vibe (= weather) didn’t catch me.
Besides this, New Zealand seems to be little China. I love conspiracy theories, okay; so how the money flows in the world, and how that creates the privilege for some countries to new-colonization is a perfect topic for a Sunday evening with a bottle of wine and with Jungle spinning on the turntable in the background.
The CBD is everything that the city can offer. My favourite is the Lorne St, that is like a Korean food street. The harbour in downtown, the Wynyard Quarter (fancy spot) and the Ponsonby Rd are full of nice restaurants, bars and shops. After the police state Australia, New Zealand has a nice characteristic: the smoking policy is pretty loose, you can smoke on the street, and smoking terraces are everywhere (Australia – New Zealand 0:1).
Also, the K Road (Karangahape Road) is a thing, that has a European 90s vibe with the second-hand shops; don’t miss here the Caluzzi bar and the pretty awesome Asian store! Here is the Symonds Street Cemetery that’s worth a visit too; strange or not, it has a very calm vibe to walk around, sit down under a tree and just to enjoy.
As I visited Auckland in the holiday season, the Franklin Rd was a must-see, but frankly a disappointment: it’s nice that the city has a dedicated street for Christmas decoration, but they put zero effort to make it really cool (during the walk I had like 10 ideas to turn it badass). This is something I sense all around NZ: they do the bare minimum and done, no interest to be extra. We can call it laid back or easygoing, but it just misses any excitement.
For me, Christmas time had a more beautiful phenomenon: the Pohutukawa tree. I always imagined to visit NZ during the blooming time, and it just happened without planning it.. and I was so grateful for this:
If you’re done with the CBD and need some nature, walk up to Mt. Eden. It was pretty windy when I was there, but the volcano summit and the view are super nice.
You can find plenty of islands around Auckland, beaches, day trip places. I visited Muriwai so far – actually right on my first day – and honestly, I was thinking that okay if all the beaches in NZ are like this, I am not really impressed (they are good for surf but don’t give that real cool beach feeling). We also planned many times to go to a beach in the afternoon, as the weather was perfect in the morning but of course, it was cold and rainy every time we could finally leave (say hi to the New Zealand weather).
Auckland is okay for a temporary visit – it’s not horrible at all as people describe it -, anyway after few days just sit in your car and get out from here before you get too bored.
One more useful thing to mention: Bookme, the site you should definitely use all around New Zealand. As this is the most expensive country I’ve visited so far (Australia – New Zealand 1:1), you can save a lot with the deals. I checked only the Odyssey Sensory Maze in Auckland; don’t expect too much, but it’s pretty fun for a rainy day.
I truly appreciate the time I spent here, I was in the perfect place to deal with my personal struggles, but I was also happy to leave.