A Guilt-Tinged Travelogue
By Kristine Kaoverii Weber | YMay 8, 2021
We’ve been traveling around Aotearoa/New Zealand for a week now. My friend Charles emailed me yesterday: “It grieves me to know that you will have to spend time in purgatory (Catholic version) or reincarnated as something like a Dung Beetle for your present pleasures.” 🤣
Okay, okay – I was already very nicely settled into my Catholic girl guilt about enjoying a COVID-free vacation, thank you very much.
We are headed back to the U.S. in about a week. When I tell people here in Aotearoa/NZ that they often say things like, “What?! But it’s not safe!” When I tell my U.S. friends they often say, “Sorry New Zealand didn’t work out for you.”
No, the U.S. is not particularly safe compared to Aotearoa/NZ which has always been paradisiacal, but right now happens to also be virus-free, and mostly tourist-free (we haven’t had to wait in line anywhere – which is weird and contributes to my nagging guilt – why can’t I single-handedly save the NZ tourist industry?)
And, actually, Aotearoa/NZ has worked out better than I could have possibly imagined – it’s been lovely living here and we would love to stay and continue to enjoy this amazing country, but the reality is that our home, our work, and our peeps are back in the states.
Brett’s parents passed away about 5 years ago and his brother now lives in Melbourne, Australia. Whereas I have a big noisy family in the U.S. beckoning us back – including my parents (mom is particularly excited and enthusiastically cheering us back).
This week, instead of a yoga blog, I thought I’d share a few shots from our guilt-tinged adventures.
Since we’ve been living in Christchurch in the south island, we decided to start our tour by traveling further south to Dunedin – which is a hip university town with a bit of Antarctica in the air (and may I just interject here that if you happen to be a hot-flashing menopausal woman – Dunedin is definitely your scene). We browsed around the farmers market which is in a train station, and took a gorgeous solitary walk on a nearby beach.
We also walked up Baldwin Street, which has received the moniker, “steepest street in the world” – watch out San Francisco.
A poem greets you as you ascend the Baldwin Street steps:
I fell in love with the wood pigeons (Kereru in Te Reo Māori) when we lived in Christchurch. They are huge, plump, and make cute noises. They also have laid back nervous systems, evolved from eons of predator-free living on these islands, so they love to stare at and contemplate you.
After Dunedin, we headed up to Queenstown – which apparently is typically swamped with tourists. But it was just quiet, quaint and gorgeous for us ridiculously privileged Kiwi-Americans.
We headed up the gondola and then donned blue plastic helmets and hurled ourselves down concrete tracks in go-carts. I squealed. We’re big lugers.
We also signed up for the obligatory Lord of the Rings tour. This is mirror lake – which they used for the scenes with the dead bodies that Frodo and Sam encounter in Mordor. (I’m no photographer, so I can’t believe I took this picture BTW).
The elves of Lothlorein gifted us with attire (from the back of the Mercedes tour van). I think Brett does a pretty good short-ish Gandalf – and Bhaerava seems to have some elvish genes.
Apparently Queenstown is the place that American billionaires build bunkers lined with all the luxuries they need to survive the apocalypse so we found this bar’s name particularly hilarious. Kiwi’s have a great, slightly dark, sense of humor (or that would be humour here I think LOL!)
We then headed up to Aoraki (Mt. Cook) which, so far, is my favorite spot in the whole country. I could’ve stayed their for weeks – incredibly serene. We stayed at a place called “The Hermitage” – the chef was amazing. But it’s mainly the mountains – which have an extraordinary vibration. This is truly a sacred spot.
The trails sparkle with pounamu – the sacred greenstone of the south island.
I was sad to leave Aoraki, I would like to sit there and meditate for days. But…adventure calls.
All for now. With love and respect.
P.S. I’m mostly on vacation, but still got a few things happening – at the end of this month we will be sending out some info about a big sale on our Subtle Yoga Resilience Society membership – please keep an eye out for an email from me! (not signed up for our emails? please click here.