So…I have a big announcement to make! In six days I leave Dunedin indefinitely for an unknown future in Europe. I’m leaving my job, my house, my friends – I hope it all works out! I’m firmly in the “Oh god, what have I done?!” stage of adjustment, so I thought I’d list out exactly what I’m fretting about saying goodbye to.
Dunedin is truly the perfect little city. Neither big enough to suffer from “big city” problems, nor so small as to be stifling, living in Dunedin comes with a sense of connection to the community and a smorgasbord of events and activities to liven up daily life.
If by any chance I still manage to find myself at a loose end, the Otago Peninsula only minutes from the city is ripe for exploring. There are hills to climb, ruins and old walls, spectacular beaches and even a shipwreck. Penguins and sea lions and albatrosses abound. I’ve documented seventeen peninsula adventures since I started this blog, and that doesn’t even include classics like Lovers Leap and the Chasm. I’ve spent many a happy day poking around the peninsula, and my favourite place in the world, Boulder Beach, is here.
Andersons Bay Inlet
This one might have you scratching your head a little, because its personal to me. Every winter evening when I took the late bus home from high school, I’d walk around the inlet and be treated to a unique display. Whether tinted lavender, silver, gold or orange, the sunset would be reflected on the still water for me to appreciate in the quiet time between school and home. Revisiting it to take this photo was a poignant moment for me, perhaps the last time in a long time I’ll get to see this wonderful show.
Stay your cries of outrage, fellow Dunedinites! As much as we like to complain, the students inject a much-needed helping of youth and vitality into our stodgy Presbyterian city! So they do a bunch of silly things! That’s what being young is for – and it keeps us oldies on our toes! Not to mention that many students are doing awesome stuff, contributing to our community, and going on to become great adults. And then we get to have a big graduation parade every six months, firmly placing education and achievement at the heart of our city’s culture. Shine on, you crazy young people.
(above you see me as a student, probably about to do something silly)
Some people have referred to my packing as “boxing up your whole life”, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. My life cannot be boxed up, because it’s in the people I know. My wonderful friends and family will be missed far more than any tangible item I’m leaving behind. I will especially miss Dad, my most faithful adventuring partner.
And then there’s the people I’ve met in the process of writing this blog – the people who are working to preserve and share the beautiful places of Dunedin. These are the people who have made it possible to enjoy many of my adventures over the past nine months, and people who have pointed me in the right direction when I’ve been chasing after some obscure story.
Cheers to the people of Dunedin!
As for this blog…
Never fear! I will be continuing to explore intriguing and historic places, it’s just that the setting will be different. I’m looking forward to visiting some places that are important to Kiwis despite being on the other side of the world – places we fought in the two world wars, places from which our ancestors have come. There will be new kinds of places too: castles, bunkers, abandoned villages and more.
I hope you guys will stick with me as I continue my journey. Here’s to the future!