The coolest part about living on an island in the far corner of the world is that the rest of the world is a place I can truly say is quite far away – on so many levels. There’s a sense of isolation here. An almost roguish inkling to defy the everyday standards I once thought to be so important lingers constantly in my forethought. My life here can be whatever I want it to be. I can be whoever I want to be. New Zealand’s eclectic collection of world travelers provides a loophole. There’s opportunity for pretence and a foundation for growth in not knowing many people. Here, there is a tumultuous excitement that exists solely because this place never stays the same – it is in a constant state of change.
Summer just changes this place, though I’ve never been here in the winter so I am only going on what year-rounders tell me. But there’s almost always something to do during the day, and most nights there is some pub in town that has patrons, or tourists, frequenting its beer taps. People from all over the world venture to Abel Tasman for its untouched lands of true Kiwi forests and unpopulated beaches. Treks into the Tasman can take days, but not being a hiker I don’t know what it’s all about. But I do know there are far more people walking the streets of this little town now then before Christmas. Every local repeats the same phrase – “They’re here.”
The nightlife here can be exhausting, but I’m fucking loving it. At times it’s like I have no clue of the life I used to live in that place where ever it was. I just finish up work, drink a few beers from the beer fridge and then figure out what is next. I’ve never been too good at living without plans – or just living at the spur of the moment, but I’m quite enjoying it right now. I have the odd appointment, and, of course, my work obligations, but apart from that normal everyday crap, I’m flying by the seat of my pants like a seasoned weekend warrior. And then there’s that other side. I mean, I am a single woman. It’s hard to ignore, but some of the boys here have the most stunning eyes. It doesn’t matter if they’re Maori or white – it’s a definitive and distinctive feature that I continuously notice when I cross paths with one of these not so rare Kiwi. Sigh – boy crazy Sheri is on high-alert. And it’s not for the tourists.
I go home in less than three months and part of me is already wondering if I’ll miss the lifestyle here. I am constantly busy. Kiwis are such social people. Even expats who move here take up the Kiwi-way quite quickly. They get out of the house and do stuff all the time. They visit with friends and family all the time. They go to the market, to the motor-cross, to the concerts, to the school events. If there’s something to do they do it and I am beginning to wonder what it is about New Zealanders – what they know about life that makes them so active and makes them live with such zest. I’m beginning to wonder if they decided the only thing you can do when you live in the middle of nowhere is invent and live in the best world you can possibly have. After all – there’s gotta be some reason everyone wants to live here, and I’m beginning to think that’s it.