A note I posted on Facebook:
“As some of you will be aware, I’ve been in Melbourne for the past three days. I won’t go into great details as to why, but I decided that I wasn’t ready to undertake the Te Araroa Track and as such, didn’t fly to Auckland as planned.
My time in Melbourne gave me time to reflect on a few things, as well as catch up with some friends which I feel was needed. The decision I made in the end was to fly to Christchurch instead, and tramp around the South Island for a month or two. As I type this I am on flight JQ159 on my way to Christchurch.
To give a bit more as to why I chose to not do the Te Araroa, I think the regime of the trip got to me. Back a year or so ago I decided I wanted to head to NZ. I wanted to potter about for sometime and see where the wind takes me. I then put all these elaborate plans in place and, in the end, that daunted me. I’ve just got out of 7 years of full-time work – that’s a fair few years for a 26-year-old; not that I am whinging – and I think, on reflection, I need to be a bit more impulsive.
So the plan from here is that there isn’t really a plan. I am staying at the Old Country House in Christchurch tonight. I might take a walk around the city this afternoon and see how it compares to last time I was here – seeing an earthquake has ripped through since then, – I need to purchase a travel towel (exciting, I know) so I can have a shower, and I might busy myself with the Lonely Planet “Tramping in New Zealand” guidebook to see what tracks take my fancy. I’m thinking about starting on the Queen Charlotte, as it is an four-season track, and it’s quite early in the season. However, I should probably best call into the Department of Conservation office in Christchurch to get their advice. I much prefer the mountains.
So this is where I say I’m sorry if I disappointed everyone. But you know what, I stand by my decision. I don’t feel I regret anything. And, after all, it’s my life.
To those that have thrown some gear my way for Te Araroa – On Veg, I could send it back if you really wanted, though I’d imagine that’s a bit difficult. Plus I tested some of it out on the Yurrebilla. Feel that you’re sponsoring “Paul Goodsell Tramping the South Island of New Zealand for a bit… On Veg” instead.
To all my friends, acquaintances and anybody else, out there. Follow the trip; wish me luck.
(P.S. Some irony. I am currently on a plane and Angus and Julia Stones’ “Big Jet Plane” just came on.)”