Saturday, March 4, 2017

An introvert abroad - day 1

My third overseas trip, and my first one travelling alone, was to the North Island of beautiful New Zealand. What follows are a series of posts I wrote each day, capturing my experiences, thoughts, reflections and lessons.

Day 1.

A long, heavy sleep.

Muscles wanting to be used differently to how they have been.

Bright sunshine that looks colder than it is.

Walking, walking.

A piece of art that makes me homesick - or rather, makes me feel my aloneness here. It moves me so strongly that I almost buy it. Then I realise that I will always associate it with this moment, standing in a shop and feeling a wave of sensation swell up into my throat.

Wrestling with myself unnecessarily: ideas about how I should spend my time, versus what I actually want and can handle.

More art. Sensing the taint of colonialism here too, the undertow of a painful history beneath all the beauty, all the inclusion.

Lying in a park and settling into my body, munching hand-picked local blueberries. A man named John blithely introduces himself, chats about his day, his work, his memories of visiting Sydney, guessing my ethnicity (Greek today). The surprise and suspicion in my limbs, gradually easing into a cautious comraderie.

Feeling a peculiar mixture of belonging (a city is a city. This one moves slowly) and unease (why am I here? What am I looking for?)

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