Hey Vegan Travellers!

Ross and I have been in beautiful, sunny, windy, amazing, lovely Wellington, New Zealand for about a week now, hanging out with one of our old friends from Scotland, visiting sanctuaries in the nearby areas, and eating loads of really cheap and mostly unhealthy food (please don’t tell either of our moms)! This is the longest that we have stayed in one place for quite some time. This temporarily stationary thing that we’ve been doing is mostly due to the holidays. It’s quite difficult to get from place to place or find a place in which to sleep once you get there, during this time in New Zealand, and I suspect most other locations, too. Most Kiwis know that the holiday season means that they’ll be headed south and headed down to the beach. That means that everything is booked up weeks or even months in advance. Despite those potential road blocks, Ross and I were really lucky to have a lovely and comfortable place to stay over Christmas anyway. Another, completely different, reason we’ve been here so long is that after one has been travelling for ten weeks, even when they’re seeing really beautiful things along the way, it starts to catch up with oneself.

IMG_1657I don’t mean that we haven’t been able to rest, really. We’ve tried to rest a little, of course. It’s just that it’s not until you slow down for a minute that you realise how far behind you are in regular every day life stuff. Thinking that we had no real big plans today, I thought that I might write a little blog post, do a tiny bit more research on vegan food in Japan (because we’re going to be there scary-soon!), make more than one actual meal today, and go to bed at a decent time. Before I could even begin to write this blog post, though, I had to do the washing up from yesterday, book a ferry to the south island of New Zealand, make a breakfast of leftover pancakes, do the laundry for the first time in ages, clean up the living area, send off some Christmas messages to my family and let them know that even though I haven’t been messaging much I am still alive, and then send off several personalised and detailed couchsurfing requests. Phew! So many of the handful of days that we’ve been here and intended to do other things have ended up just like this one. But at least these days have been in a really cool city.

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Having to do just a little bit of these sorts of things every day wouldn’t be so bad, but when you’re constantly on the road, days slip through your fingers like sand, and the next thing you know, you’re trying to figure out if you can fashion your sheets into a tunic because literally all of your clothing is in a terrible state and need to be washed three days ago at the latest. These days on which you feel like you have to catch up with everything under the sun all at once aren’t really the worst thing in the world. They can definitely feel incredibly stressful, no one here is denying that. However, one knows in one’s heart that taking a day to catch up on important things is going to be a lot more beneficial in the long run than taking the day to nap. I’m also not saying that I don’t really really want to nap, though. Or that you can’t take the occasional day during travel to just nap. Our bodies need rest! Some more than others! Don’t get me wrong on that one! However, I can still acknowledge, betwixt longing glances at the comfortable couch or out of the living room window, that there are other good things which come from the busy day, too.

IMG_1864(Okay, I’ll admit that this isn’t outside the window right now, but it’s so beautiful and lush and green and I am missing the outdoors today!)

After working all morning, I have a much better sense of security in where I am going to be and where I am going to be staying for a while. I also probably smell a lot less like a backpack and a lot more like laundry detergent. That’s a welcome change, in my book. All these finished things, especially the ones which have to do with cleanliness and tidiness, work towards making a person feel a lot more confident and accomplished by the end of the day. I feel that I have gotten a tremendous amount of work done today. A tremendous amount of work which means that when I am spending all day on a boat and in cars tomorrow, I won’t have to be so worried about what’s going on or so worried about how I’m going to get any of the urgent important things done while in transit. Getting everything done this morning, dragging feet and tired eyes and all, also means that I still have time to go outside, in the beautiful Wellington weather and catch some sunshine and vitamins before the sun sets. Thank goodness for the ridiculously late sunset! The sun sets at like 9:30pm here! Amazing!

I will be going outside very soon to catch that aforementioned sunshine and also to take the freshly-cleaned laundry off of the line. I also plan on strolling down to the supermarket to get some supplies with which I just might make a healthy, wholesome dinner after all (you can absolutely tell our mums about that). After that, who knows? I may have time yet to end my evening with some much needed relaxation. Or perhaps I shall have to send more couch surf requests, or start looking for some places to eat in the town we’re going to be in tomorrow. Whatever the rest of the evening holds for me, I am very glad that I spent a portion of my day doing a million little things that needed to be done and I want to recommend as much as I can without sounding too much like a grown-up, that anyone who is travelling even somewhat long-term remembers to take a day every once in a while to do the same. You’ll thank me later. Or really, you’ll thank yourself later, I suppose.

Until next time,
Ellie Lebo

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