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Hi.

Welcome to the last thing I have keeping me looped into the digital word! Im taking my first "mini retirement" and trading my desk for a van with ocean views - how millennial of me. 

On The Road To Happiness

On The Road To Happiness

April 17th, 2018

Today marks the end of our first 6 months traveling abroad together...wow. I had to reread that sentence and review the little squares on my calendar several times before I was able to believe it, and to be honest...it hasn't fully sunk in yet. Its hard to articulate all of the different emotions I feel while looking back and reflecting on the first half of the trip because even after 6 months, I am still trying to process it all.  

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Recently, Josh and I were chatting about how we are feeling about the trip thus far. What has worked for us and what hasn't, the highs and lows of being on the road, the changes to our personalities and the effect this experience is having on our relationship as a whole. About mid conversation we came to the agreement that its nearly impossible for us to remember the negative things while traveling because there are so many more positive things to focus on and I think thats pretty fucking incredible. I say that because I can recall too many times in my life where I fixated on a mistake that I made or a mean comment from someone which caused me to doubt or question myself for no good reason. So now, to be able to choose to remember the highs rather than the lows and laugh about the bad days while cherishing the good ones seems refreshing and enlightening. 

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Since my last post we have been busy! I turned 24, Josh perfected his espresso martini, I'm learning how to surf (its really hard), Josh is learning how to play the guitar, I bought a drone and we went to Australia for 10 days over Easter. I mean who would turn down a vacation while on vacation...? We flew into Melbourne with just enough time to catch up with Josh's friend Duncan for a beer before renting a spaceship and making the 7 hour trip towards Eden and the Sapphire Coast. With a name like Eden, you expect paradise and that is exactly what it was. Clear water, soft sand, cotton candy sunsets and kangaroos EVERYWHERE. I am pleased to say that I only saw one snake, no scary spiders, no sharks and only had one close encounter with an eel while diving. Below is a compilation of some footage from the trip.

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So now that we're laughing about the hardships rather than crying over dead batteries and toasted engines, its back to work on Lucy. We have about 10 days left in Christchurch and ALOT to accomplish in that time. The fridge in our van has lost its cool and we are unsure if the battery is at fault or something else. Josh started researching the issue a few days ago and has since been lost in the black hole that is YouTube. Im not sure if this has ever happened to you but last time I looked up how to knit a beanie on YouTube I lost about 4 hours of my day and came back to reality after watching nearly every Beyonce and Jay Z performance to date...Im not quite sure how I got from casting on knitting needles to the Bonnie and Clyde music video but YouTube has its ways. 

Once the battery is sorted, a few new shelves need to be built and some extra blankets need to be added to our stash to prepare us for winter on the road. Above is a rough travel outline of our route back through the South Island and up the west coast just in time to see all of the sharks.

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New Zealand has given me some profound moments. Being in a place so remote with scenery so dramatic and raw has made me feel small in comparison to the universe while paradoxically, living a simple life near the sea and under the stars has kept me grounded and feeling fulfilled. I never spent much time thinking about what I wanted to gain from my travels. Instead, I packed my bags without looking back which I'm now grateful for because the experiences I have had the last 6 months have exceeded any expectations I could have set.

I don't know what the key to happiness is, but I'm pretty sure you can find it living in a van. 

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With love,

Dinah 

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