The year 2013 has been a bit unusual. They say you grow by stepping out of your comfort zone, that one I can tick.
My happy place will always be around the mountains … and there are direct flights to Queenstown, so ‘unpaid leave’ is the new black and I will jump across the ditch and go for serene mountains and a sexy accent. This includes a total of 5 (out of 9) Great Walks.
The Routeburn Track – crossing from “The Divide” near Milford Sound to Lake Wakatipu.
The Tongariro Northern Circuit – going once around Mount Ngauruhoe.
The Heaphy Track – traversing from Golden Bay on the North of the South Island to its rugged West Coast. – This definitely marks the highlight of the year. Met some great people and the landscape is as diverse as it is spectacular.
The Abel Tasman Coast Track – great coastal walkway, but a bit disappointing doing it straight after the Heaphy.
The Kepler Track – is the southernmost of the Great Walks and you can start right in the town of Te Anau. Once there you shouldn’t miss Ata Whenua at the local cinema.
At work the gap in the value system between myself and the executive team have grown far apart that I decide to withdraw employment and take time out without having anything lined up. For somebody with a Swabian background and ‘security standard’ this was a big step. Ironically the things the boss gave me credit for being honest and consistent were the reasons why I left. However no regrets, I have learnt a lot and I have seen things I wouldn’t believe are real.
Whilst I wanted to finish before going skiing, I did another ‘month-end’ and left just in time to catch the end of summer in Europe … and my friends holidaying in Südtirol. I had booked myself for a week’s surprise visit followed by – you guessed it – the Austrian version of a great walk, the Verwall tour. And another 4 weeks with friends and family.
Time to round up the year with my best friends and god son spending Christmas in Noosa and New Years Eve in Sydney – I don’t think it gets any better (but am happy to be challenged).
Bring it on 2014!
Happy New Year and all the best for 2014.