Travelling Maggie

My mom says I'm like a hobo.....shes kinda right. These are my adventures as a hobo in NZ!

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Location: New Zealand

Sunday, May 4, 2008

WAY Late: Last week in NZ

My life in the past week/weeks has been a whirlwind. It has all bled into one big puddle combining just about every emotion that one person can feel. The last few days in Wanaka were amazing and just about as perfect as they could possibly be. I had amazing time with friends and the perfect amount of time between finishing work and heading out of town. While it was soo sad leaving all my friends, the time that I had with them was wonderfully joyful and lighthearted at the same time as being vulnerable and real. I was also so blessed to be able to have one last big adventure before I left the country. It was great to have this to look forward to and have that excitement take my mind off leaving Wanaka.

After leaving Wanaka I made my way up to the north island to a place called Tutukaka. There I met up with a guiding company and had a 2 day scuba diving cruise! I got to take 6 dives through the Poor Knights Islands. The reef there is the best in NZ and some of the top diving in the world. The beauty was absolutely mind blowing; it was almost incomprehensible.  The islands were about an hour boat ride off of shore; it was a reserve area so the beauty was completely untainted. I would have given any thing to be able to trek around the islands, camp and climb. There were several different archways and caves, my palms sweat at the thought of being able to free climb them and go plunging in to the perfect water. And all of that beauty is just above the water! Once we got in and under it was a whole different world of splendor! There were several archways and caves underwater as well. The colors were incredible, deep blues, bright yellows, neon purple and orange. All the dives were amazing but the last two dives that were my favorite. The first was in this Huge cave with 3 different entrances. This cave must have been at least 50 feet tall. Floating in the center of this cave looking at the light shine through two different entrances in the brilliant blue water, with all this magnificent different life swimming around me, made me realize just how insignificant I am, and just how extraordinary our God is too create all of it. The other dive that was my favorite was the last one of the trip. There was a old battle ship that was striped and sunk on purpose for the marine life. It was really eerie to see this thing at the bottom of the ocean that clearly didn’t belong. The dive itself wasn’t as beautiful as some of the others but it was incredible to see two different worlds collide. There was less clarity and it was a bit more difficult to dive it just because I was slightly disoriented. Swimming around and through this enormous ship my mind wandered like crazy. At one point I was swimming by a port hole, I looked over to see light shining through and fish swimming by. It was as if the fish and I looked at each other and I just imagine us thinking the exact same thing. “That’s strange, you don’t normally see a fish (in their case a human) swimming by when you look through a window.”  So on the whole the trip was spectacular.

After that trip I made my way back to Auckland and took some time to repack and get ready for going back to the states. I was blessed enough to be able to visit friends on the west coast before returning to Texas. My flight back was entertaining only because I got to watch 3 different movies, but at the same time it wasn’t wonderful. I only was able to sleep for a little over an hour but I recovered from the jet lag relatively fast. The reverse culture shock arriving in LA was not fun. After being in the most beautiful place in the world, and living in a town that is sooo mellow with no traffic lights; busy, crowded, loud, and smoggy LA was a bit of a slap in the face. My time with my friend Jamie was however wonderful. I was also blessed to be able to spend a week with one of my very closest friends ever in the wonderful city of Seattle. My time there was perfect. I was able to have amazing conversations that were both challenging and encouraging, also I had great time to rest and reflect. And on top of all of that Natalie was the perfect person to transition with. She is not only an amazing encouraging friend, but she also knew exactly what I was going through with my transaction since she moved back from Australia not to long ago.

It was so great to be blessed to have time to go see Jamie and Natalie. I am really looking forward to seeing friends up in Denton as well. I know that being back visiting may be a bit strange seeing how things have changed and evolved. I am just looking forward to catching up and having more great conversations. 

Sunday, March 2, 2008

February : Month of Fun!

Wow I cant believe that this month has gone by so fast. There has been so much excitement and change in one short month that I don’t know where to begin.
There have been a few festivals that I have been blessed to be able to go to in the past month. The first of which was Jose Gonzales in Queenstown! For those of you who don’t know who he is, get to know him! His music is Amazing and the concert was great. It was a day festival with about 4 other acts that played before him. Such a fun and relaxing day to spend with friends. The second was an all day event in Wanaka at the local vineyard. They have the Rippon Festival every other year and it is huge (by Wanaka standards) this was a bit more of a full on day. The first band went on at 11am and the last band hit the stage at 11:30pm. This again was an amazing day with friends and great music; something I will never forget. I feel so blessed to have been able to expierance things like this in my time here.
On top of the amazing concerts there have been a few other Wonderful things I have been able to do lately. I was recently SO blessed by my parents being able to come over for a visit. We had such an amazing time together and created some incredible memories that I will hold with me forever. After taking a road trip and having a wonderful nights sleep on a beautiful sail boat in Nelson (complements of my boss) I meet up with my parents. We were able to take a kayak tour through the Able Tasman National Park one day! It was one of the most amazing trips ever. Then we took a road trip down the west coast together. I think the most exciting part for me was having them come back to Wanaka and showing them this Amazing place I have been blessed to call home for a while. It was so great to have them meet my friends here and have them see first hand all that I have been talking about.
Another Huge blessing was a day trip my friend Tara and I got to take. Tara set us up on a Siberia Expierance trip, which is close to $300 and somehow she managed to get it for free through work. This trip was absolutely the most incredible day! The trip starts with a helicopter ride through the mountains and lasts about 15 min. After that they land in the midst of mind-blowing beauty and drop you off with a walky-talky and tell you to follow the markers. So you’re out on your own, in the middle of God’s greatest piece of art. They give you about 4 or 5 hours to soak it up and do the trek back to a hut. Once you reach the hut they come out by jet boat and pick you up!!! The jet boat was so freaking fun. The scenery is once again out of this world and your taking it all in while, doing 360s and practically flying over only 4 inches of water in a boat! Its hard to believe all that God has blessed me with in my time here.
As for the changes that have happened. The first big change was getting my hair dreaded. I had been thinking of getting it done for quite a while and I finally committed. I decided that if I were ever to do it, now would be the time. I have had them in for over a month now and am still very happy. Just to ease some of your worry let me dispel some common rumors that you may have heard:
-I do NOT have to shave my head to get them out. Since I have pretty fine hair I will be able to let it grow out for a bit then cut it a little above my shoulders and comb out the rest.
-I can also regularly wash my hair, so you don’t need to worry about it smelling horrible or me getting bugs.
-And finally I do not have Any intention to start selling weed.
The other big change that has happened recently, as you know from my last post, is that I have decided to move home. With all of these great things happening it does make it hard to remember why exactly I am coming back. But I do know that it is the right timing, and I just have to be thankful that I got this time. The upside of leaving now is that I am leaving on a high. I will Always remember these sweet incredible times, and Constantly be reminded of God’s provision for me. After this trip I can so clearly see that He doesn’t merely want me to get by but He wants to over flow my cup with His provision.
Since I made the decision I have gotten such peace but at the same time I have been So torn. God has really been increasing my relationships with both my friends here and my personal relationship with Him. I have seen prayers answered in Huge ways recently. Its as if God is saying ok this is what happens when you open your ears and listen to Me instead of telling me what you want to hear. I have grown to love the church here so much. God has taught me some amazing lessons through my time there. And he showed me things in such a neat way, I would have never guessed that He would use the Church in the way He did, but I am thankful for it. Recently I have been a bit stressed because I have been getting hardly any hours at work and I still have rent to pay and all sorts of flights and such to pay for. My friend at church have been so encouraging though this transition with incredible prayer and words of encouragement. This morning I woke up to find a letter on my coffee table with my name on it. I open it up and all it said was “Maggie we love you.” And enclosed was $85. Since it wasn’t signed I cant say for sure who did it, but I don’t know who other that them would have done it. It has been amazing how they have loved me; I have grown closer to my friends here than I ever imagined I could have. It makes me really sad to think I wont be near them much longer. BUT I am still terribly excited to be back home and to be near all of you back there. I also cant wait to figure out how and where God will direct me.
See you soon!

Friday, February 22, 2008

waving good bye on a high

There’s some big news on this side of the world; I won’t be living here for much longer. Crazy enough, I have decided to come back home. I know what your all thinking “ What the heck, her last update was about everything that she loved there I didn’t think she was ever coming back.” Well despite the love that I have for this place, God has showed me that the time has come to move on. There has been lots of thought and even more prayer over this and it is pretty evident that leaving is the right thing. I would love to share with yall all the reasons why but it’s a bit hard to explain, but I’ll do my best.

a)     Job- I love my job but its not equipping me in any way. There are certain things that I want to pursue in life and up to this point my job has been fun but its not helping me get any closer to those dreams.

b)    Seasons- the winter season is coming up and I just don’t have much of an interest in staying here for it. This town turns into one huge non-stop party and it’s really cold. And unless I got another job at one of the ski fields it wouldn’t be worth staying.

c)     Spiritual- I love my church! But I feel like I am not growing at all and all the church is doing is doing is giving me little lifts to get through. I am defiantly not flourishing at all here.

There are many other things but that’s the summary. As for what I am going to do when I get back. I am still sorting it out. The only thing I know right now is that I will be spending a week in Seattle with Natalie and then coming back to Texas. I am most likely going to be spending the first week in April in Denton. Beyond that I don’t know too much. I have a few different options that I am thinking through.

SO there it is. I would love to talk to yall more about it but sadly enough I couldn’t call each of you. Please please call me if you want a chat though (281-940-1564) or just send me an e-mail! I miss yall but I will get to see you soon!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you!

Monday, January 21, 2008

A few of my favorite things

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about why I love it here so much. Its easy to know that its great here, but there are so many simple pleasures that get drowned out by the big picture. So with that being the case I have decided to start taking note of all the things that make Wanaka so wonderful for me so I could share them with you.

Here are a few of my favorite things:

- Laying out and swimming in the lake

- The local walks

- Driving on gravel roads

- Seeing Gods INCREDIBLE creation everywhere around me

- Picking fresh raspberries in my back yard

- Spending all day in the sun

- Driving in my car or being out anywhere and suddenly realizing “Holy crap this is where I live!”

- The long days (5:30am till 10pm its light)

- Worship at church

- Cutting fresh lavender for my room from my backyard

- Attaching beautiful memories to great music

- The concerts

- My co-workers and work in general

- Camping in what seems to be completely secret places

- Having picnics

- The trust within the community (i.e. can leave car unlocked with keys in it and not really worry)

- My boss taking us out on his boat (this Saturday he closed the gym early and took us wakeboarding!)

- Making coffee at work, my favorite part is pouring the steamed milk in and trying to make it look pretty

- The amazing local wines

- Swimming in the lake by moon light

- Working on the wall!

- Bouldering by the lake

- Walking barefoot

- The view of the lake from my house

- The slow pace of life

SO those are just a few of the simple joys in my life. I wish I could paint you a better picture and you all could expierance it first hand. There are so so many more, and I will be sure to keep track of them. In all honesty there are not too many things that I don’t like about this place. I was wracking my brain trying to think of the things I don’t like and this is what I came up with:

- It being such a transient town (but now I have some good friendship with some locals!)

- Knowing how laid back the culture is and not always adapting. i.e. I show up to places relatively on time or 5 min late, and still to wait because everyone else functions on the "kiwi clock." (not always the case but most the time its true)

- Having the one day in two weeks that it isn’t sunny fall on my day off.

- The fact that the F word is so common that they don’t even censor it on TV

- AND most importantly the fact that the people I love the most aren’t here with me.

Really that’s all I could think of at the time. So there you have it, now you can sorta see the reason I am having a hard time sorting out when to leave. Its like paradise here! Mom and Dad I cant wait to have you here!!!!!

Here is the link to my most recent pictures:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A glimpes into the mind of Maggie

Recently I have had lots and lots of questions about what I am doing with my life and what do I thing is next. So I am going to do my best to give you a glimpse into my mind. I cant promise it will make sense to you, because it doesn’t even really make sense to me yet.
I have been really back and forth about what to do with my life. Stay here, go back to the states, stay here, go to the UK, and on and on and on. I think I have been a bit confused because I have had a lack of ambition or aspiration. I have recently realized that the reason for that may be the fact that I am actually living my dream right now; which is a really cool thing. SO now that I have that cleared up I have just been trying to focus on living in each day. I have always struggled with that, but I figure, there is no better time than now get past that struggle. There are 4 things that I know for sure and I am trusting that God will sort out it out for the best.
1) I would like to be home next Christmas
2) I would like to live in the UK for some period of time
3) I would like to go to Africa when my sister and her family go in March of 09
4) The thought of leaving NZ is gutting to me.

I really have no idea what will happen with these desires and thoughts. But I do know that as of right now I love life and if God has provided this for me than I can trust that whatever is in my future (these 4 things or something else) will be great.
Right now there is so much exciting and fun stuff going on that I constantly wonder when real life will start. I am assuming that after my parents come, and I have less fun stuff to look forward to, my rose colored glasses will come off. But who knows?!
SO that’s a little picture of what I have been thinking lately. Oh and there is one other thing I know!
5) I miss you guys like crazy and SOOOOO badly wish that you could come visit me so I could share this paradise with you. Really Really Really want you all to come here!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A not so White Christmas

The past few weeks have for sure been interesting and new. The things that have been most fascinating to me have been:
- Christmas and the festivities surrounding it
- Learning how to push start my car and having to do that every time I wanted to drive for 3 days
- Having work be sooo busy
- Getting my car fixed and the service of the technician
- Spending New Years eve at a Reggae concert

SO Christmas was pretty wonderful. Because it was such a different way to spend the holidays, I wasn’t nearly as homesick as I had expected to be. I started the morning by having a skype Christmas with my family. We got to open presents together over the web cam, so that was an interesting twist. Then I went over to a friend’s and we sorta hopped around houses together. The first stop was to have an egg and champagne brunch with a group of fun people. It was fantastic there. We had a bit of a Christmas dance party in the sun and I taught them the College Life classic game of Big Booty. They LOVED it! After all of that we were pretty tired so we took a nap and then had a wonderful Christmas dinner that Rich and Nicky prepared. After the little wind down we went over to another friend’s for a few drink and just a good hang out. Later on that night I did try my hand on fire baton twirling, which is Definitely a Christmas first, and I do have to say it was pretty fantastic
My steady Strider has not been so steady lately, which is a shame. But I did take him in for his safety inspection and Merry Christmas to me, he passed. I was pretty excited that nothing had to be fixed for the time being; but to the dismay of my excitement, the next day he wouldn’t start. So I spent 3 days push starting him every time I needed to go somewhere. Haha I finally got into a shop and it turns out that nothing really serious was wrong. I just needed a new connector bit. But the thing that really blew my mind was the service and the “kiwi culture.” I took it in on New Years Eve and for one reason or another I couldn’t get up to the shop to pick it up. Anyways I got a call from the shop at about 5 saying, “Hi Maggie, just wanted to let you know your car is ready. We’re closing up shop now so I’m just going to put your key on your back tire. Happy New Years.” And I hadn’t paid anything. I mean they have my plate numbers and my name, but still it was pretty cool.
Work has been going well but we have been off our face busy. The café has been sooooo full on that we had to take down the menu and only do coffee and baked goods. And even then we couldn’t cook fast enough to keep the cabinet full. But on the up side the days have been going by really fast.
New Years was Wonderful! I hadn’t had plans for the longest time, but last minute I decided to go to a Reggae concert with some friends. We went to see the Black Seeds (there kinda a big deal here) and it was great. It was for sure a fun way to bring in the new year.
As for upcoming events there are some really exciting things happening soon. I have two fesivles coming up in the next few weeks. Base Camp is having a big party with 4 or 5 different DJ’s lined up. AND my parents will be here soon!!!!!!!!!!! Also on a side note, my high school friends Brenna and Patrick just got married!! YAHOOO Its about time! So congrats to yall (Brenna, I know your checking this compulsively so I thought it only appropriate. I hope the honeymoon was great!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Since the last time I wrote not too much has change but little things have happen here and there.

I told you last time that basecamp was having a speed dating night and my co-workers signed me up for it. Well it went on last Friday and it ended up being a great time. I definitely was not looking to really date some random person, but it was nice to meet 15 new people in Wanaka.

Work is still going good. It’s really nice there because all the staff are friends and hang out all the time. The only bad thing it that we never have days off together but we do manage to do things after work together. This Monday a few of the girls went horseback riding and it was so lovely. And last night there was a “famous dress” going away party/ I went as India Arie. This should be interesting because I am not skinny, tall, or black BUT… I do have soul and boogie in my bones!

This weekend my best friend here is going home for 5 weeks, so that stinks. But I have been getting to be good friends with one of the new girls at basecamp and the girls from my church. I also have got some plans for Christmas now, which is nice. I will go over to one of my friends place and do a small bar-b-que with them then have a skype Christmas with my family.

Church is still going really well. It’s been so nice once I committed and started going regularly. Like I said before, I am beginning to get closer with the girls. I am starting to feel more like myself around them. I walk with a few of them at least once a week and God has really blessed that time in just developing relationships. I was also able to spend some time with them this weekend. There are a few that are in a band and they were playing a gig at the most AMAZING spot I have seen. It was on someone’s property and they had a stage set up in the HUGE back yard; it was on a river that had a canopy of trees and all of it was breathtaking. There are little places like that everywhere here and I know that if I leave here that is what I will miss the most.

Time continues to fly by here and I am Amazed that Christmas is only 2 weeks away. I am looking forward to things a lot more now with the Holidays. I do have some fun things lined up after the holidays as well, since it is summertime there are heaps of festivals and concerts. Hopefully time will fly by right up to when my parents get here in Feb! I cant wait to show them around this Incredible place I call home. I wish that each of you could come out here and see it.

I think that’s about it. Please please please let me know how life is going for you. I miss you all dearly!