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Due to the nature of my life in constant transit recently, it's an interesting side effect that things no longer phase me in the way they once might have. I arrived into Auckland quite untroubled by my continental change. The flip side of this of course is that I was not as excited as one may expect upon arrival in a new land. It seems I have developed a tendency to just react to whatever is in front of me in a somewhat similar way, that of acceptance and calmness, whether that be running out of cereal in the morning or crossing the Pacific Ocean. I'm being a little facetious obvious and exaggerating, and I think it's a good thing - a control of my emotions to ensure I'm in the right frame of mind, but I'm wary of becoming apathetic.
Thankfully those fears have no founding quite yet, as after a couple of days rest I began to feel that familiar buzz beginning. I was taking up residence on the North Shore of Auckland, in that now very familiar position of staying with people who I'd never met before, but who were instantly gracious and kind to me. First with Andrew and Nellie, and then the Croslands, I was given the perfect opportunity to regain energy, enthusiasm and direction for the ride ahead. However, whilst planning the route ahead I began to notice that the cycling 'hangover' I'd experienced in Southern California was not completely yet purged from my system. Why? I had just taken a significant break for a few days, not so much as looked at my bicycle, and spent time having fun and being a regular tourist with my new friends. Unfortunately things don't seem to work out quite that easily. Looking back now it was perhaps a combination of factors. It's possible I was becoming a little too comfortable with the days off - certainly towards the end of California I was dreaming of the rest days more than the ride; a complete reversal from my motivations to undertook this journey in the first place. I meet so many great people on my trip, and it becomes harder and harder to enioy their friendship for a matter of hours before moving on. It's also possible then that I was finally experiencing the loneliness I had been forewarned off. Across North America I was fortunate to have met and ridden with fellow tourists who instantly were comfortable and enjoyable to spend time with. The period of cycling from San Francisco to Tijuana was actually the longest section I rode alone, and the prospect of continuing into New Zealand in the same manner was not as attractive as it would have once seemed.
Needless to say I have got over these minor humps in this experience of a lifetime. I'm learning a lot about what it is to constantly internalise my emotions, and have discovered that I am just as likely to succumb to these issues as anyone else! I'm glad to have pinpointed the source of my discontent, and now am happy again to be alone my only myself for company. I have the desire to make my film again, and that more than anything lifts my mood. I still have days where I wake up and don't particularly fancy getting on my bicycle, but within a few short miles those feeling wash and away and are replaced by the promise of adventure and exploration. This is why we put ourselves through these things, is it not? I never believed it would be an easy ride all the way, but after each low point, the high that follows brings a new promise of such intensity it is like discovering the expedition all over again. I'm not really one for sayings and cliches, but 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger' comes to mind.
I feel very much alive, and stronger than ever.