October 5

We spent the day celebrating the joint going-away of nearly all of the woofers. As soon as Lindsay and I decided to leave, there was a domino effect. Almost our entire group has decided to move on from Moana Lodge. Noemi, my roommate, and Jose are heading out to roadtrip around the North Island, leaving in two weekends. Joy is leaving on Friday, to move into Wellington. It is sad to see everyone going their separate ways, but this is a huge part of the traveler lifestyle.

There is a really interesting dichotomy among travelers based on how they handle relationships. Some people distance themselves from other people, because of the short-lived nature of friendships. You just meet so many people that it is nearly impossible to get to know all of them. This tends to happen after people have been traveling for a few months. Many travelers see the effort put into developing relationships as too much for too little return, when you move so frequently. The other group is the people who throw themselves wholeheartedly into friendships, even though they may only last for a couple days or weeks. It hurts to lose touch, but there are so many amazing memories from the time spent together. I have found myself in the latter category, although I fear that it will not last. Maintaining friendships is a great deal of work, especially when you move away and no longer see the people regularly. Whenever I think about friendships here, I think of something that one of my former coworkers said to me, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” I expect that people cross my path for a reason and I try to learn from them or give what I can, whether that means listening to their travel stories, relationship problems, or fears about moving home (that’s a whole additional blog post worth of information). I meet people one night and have life-changing conversations with them and may never see them again. This is what I am trying to do better, let go when the time has passed. Everything moves so fast here, particularly friendships; most travelers say that they feel like they have known their friends for years, although it may only be a few days or a week. It sounds superficial, but it isn’t at all. It is deep and meaningful for the time that it lasts.

I apologize for the tangent. As I mentioned, we had a lovely going-away day. We sat in the sun, drank wine, ate snacks and chatted about everything. It was such a wonderful bonding experience. Each of these women are so unique and they see the world so differently. Analyzing life and experiences from a worldwide view really makes you appreciate cultural and language differences.

(We didn’t take any pictures so here are a couple of the Moana Lodge woofers, compliments of Raphael Hermann.)

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