Change, Love, & a weekend on the beach

6 Nov


Since the last time I blogged, so much has changed. I believe that it is because of my willingness to change that change happens so frequently. I am remaining open and willing, and the universe brings the gold.

I’ll start with my car. I saw on the WWOOF hotlist that a kid was going back to Korea and had to sell his van. It seemed like an okay deal if I could talk him down. I don’t have much to work with. He was traveling through the area and stopped at the house so that I could see it. It was a nice van, and of course big enough to live in if I ever had to-or to sleep in if I needed to. We took it down the street to a local mechanic to check out-and it did have an oil leak. It also needed a new WOF (warrant of fitness-it’s a thing here that you need every six mos). He was nervous about not being able to sell it before he had to leave the country, so he was willing to go down in price. I offered him the bare minimum, and told him to sleep on it because he was having a hard time making a decision. He texted me after an hour and said we had a deal, and that he would come over the next day. Well…the next day came and he texted me to tell me he had already sold it. I did not get upset though, because I always trust that it is because the perfect car is out there. I just had to be willing to actually buy a car-to put myself in a bad place financially, because I have not yet sold my car in the states.

On the very next day the other wwoofer, Lindsey, texted me in the evening. She said that her husband, Jon, was in traffic and saw a little Honda that looked perfect for $2500, but had no number-so Jon had his boss jump out real quick in traffic and give him a card and have him call so that he could get the info for me. I called the man immediately. He seemed very genuine. It was his mother-in-law’s car and she was the only owner. It is a ’97 Honda Logo. It’s a little hatchback guy. I talked to Jon at dinner and he was willing to take me out to see it the next day-so that is what we did. I brought two bags of money with me and we hit the road to Hamilton. I had a feeling that this was the one. I brought $1800 with me so that I was forced to negotiate. As soon as we saw it I knew I would buy it. There was no rust, all the belts felt great, suspension was good, steering was normal, exhaust was new, had a new WOF that day, and the interior was as close to perfect as it gets. It only had 70,000 miles on it too! This car was probably worth $3k here in NZ. Jon agreed. I ended up getting it for $2000. I could tell he did not want to go that low, but he also needed to get it out of the driveway. He was a very nice man, and his wife was very sweet too. I was happy to give them my money. The drive home was interesting on the opposite side of the road…but I managed quite well. I was happy to have my freedom on wheels. It is really the only way to do anything in NZ. It is not even safe to walk along these roads. People get killed all the time. Anyhow, when we got home that night Al & Suzie were gone but had an awesome dinner in the crock pot and beer in the fridge. It was a great end to a perfect day.

That was the first thing, the second wonderful thing that has happened since my last blog is that I found the perfect human being to wwoof for. I was checking out the hotlist for wwoof hosts, and had not really found anything that seemed interesting. There were a few wineries in Marlborough that peaked my interest, but the hosts seemed like weirdoes, and I am over that. I emailed a few anyway and let them know a watered down version of my situation-that I was planning on being here for a year and Suzie is awesome but Al is a racist, sexist, insecure, control-freak and I am an independent adult woman and will not tolerate any of that so I am looking to wwoof for more open minded people like myself. Every person that I messaged, whether they needed a wwoofer or not, messaged me back and either gave me their info for when I am in their town so that I could wwoof there, or messaged me their info and let me know they are full but to “please stop on your way through for a cuppa and spend a night on our sofa”. How awesome is that?!! Those are the Kiwis that I read about. I was doing some Google searches and discovered a place in Southland called “Doubtful Sound”. No people live there from what I understand. It is one of the most untouched places by man. I decided to search for places in that area, and for people who were not weirdoes. Most of the profiles were things that I was not interested in, so I did not even bother emailing any people….but then it hit me like a ton of bricks to the face. In the photos of one persons profile there was a woman fire hooping! She lives East to and in between Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound in a place called Tuatapere. It is near Fiordland- another epic place. It is very South on the South Island as well, so one can see glaciers from there!! I read her profile and she was just like me! She is a massage therapist too. I emailed her and sent her my profile and she responded right away with this:

  Hey Kim,

Bloody brilliant!  Just read you’re profile.  REALLY looking forward to meeting you.  Ha – that’s so funny… I too enjoy reading medical textbooks and philosophy.  Good one – get in touch nearer the time with a firmer date and I’ll be seeing you when you rock up!!!


PS – nope – the girl with the fire (can’t remember whether she had the fire stick or the poi) was a WWOOFer of mine…  I had a WWOOFing couple and took them down to Lake Hauroko camping with friends for last years summer solstice.  Was totally awesome… it’s gonna take some beating this year but we’re so going to pull it off!!  In fact, that reminds me, I’d better start some mead off in preparation!

Here was a response to another email I had sent her because I checked out her website and realized that she was a massage therapist as well!

Hello again,

Yeah the healing field is definitely what floats my boat.  My oh my, we have sooooo much to talk about!!!!!  I also have the most amazing light therapy machine.  It’s called a Biopton Light… bloody amazing!  I too had serious health problems in my 20’s and took it upon myself to educate myself properly.  Uh oh, I can see us talking late into the night.  I just had an awesome WWOOFer, a 22 yr old, also into natural therapies… and we were up till 5am making potions one night (I made a plantain salve and some coconut & bone oil moisturizer).  Looking even more forward to meeting you now and I was already smiling hugely from your last email!!  Enjoy your trip down!


So this is definitely the person I need to be working for. I could never picture Al smiling from ear to ear (yeah, gave up on trying to be respectful and not give his name….) unless there were money bags or dollar signs in his eyes. (Again, Suzie is an absolute angel and she is the only reason I am still here…he is just a bitter old man…).

Because I am open with planning, I am theoretically planning a structure then actually doing whatever happens. My plan is to spend a night in Wellington (6 hours South), then pick up the ferry in the am and head to Nelson-where Scotty and Verena live. I intend to spend a few days to one week there, where I will learn earth building and brew beer with Scotty. (STOKED!). It will be nice to be around like minds for a few days. From Nelson I plan to head toward Christchurch, and probably spend a night on someone’s couch. Then from Christchurch I plan to head to Dunedin (all traveling down the East Coast) and spend a couple days with a mutual friend of friends from Redondo Beach, California. From there I will head to Tamsin in Tuatapere. Oh, and what a wonderful non-coincidence coincidence- her boyfriend is a mechanic! Yay! That is great because I am broke and if I need work done I can get dirty and help him fix my car and just work it off in hours or massages! (Just a foresight)….


This past Sunday Jon, Lindsey, and I took a trip to Raglan. During the Earth Builders NZ conference we toured a bazillion eco lodges, and the one in Raglan stuck with us. It has an epic view and it’s on the West Coast on the ocean….so that’s cool (=. We booked an old train car that has been cleaned up and made into an eco accommodation. Since I needed to practice driving on the other side of the road, I volunteered to drive up since it is a solid hour or so. Also, on the way to Raglan I stopped for gas and the guy that I hitch hiked with my first weekend here came out to pump my gas. It is such a small country! It was a bit awkward since he was a bit odd, but I found it funny and ironic for sure. Once we got to Raglan we had some time to kill before check in so we hiked up a mountain and saw an amazing waterfall, then hiked down to the bottom of it and relaxed for a while….then climbed hundreds of stairs afterward to get back to the top! We were able to walk around in town after that, get some fish n’ chips and ginger beer (like ginger ale but natural and way better!), and do a little shopping. Then we checked in and hit up one of the beaches. Everything in the North Island is so volcanic. Every beach is different and unique. This particular beach catered to surfers. It was covered in volcanic rocks and full of gnarly waves. I found some cool stuff in there!



The place we stayed at (called Solscape) had an Earth clay oven up this mountain, so we brought all of the things to make pizzas from scratch….so we had that for dinner, and it was the most incredible pizza I have ever eaten. I got to start the fire-which I learned how to do properly from Jon, so that was cool. Then Lindsey and I hiked all over while Jon watched the fire, and we found a mini waterfall and stream. We named it Narnia, because one minute there are tents and sunshine and the next minute we were in a dark forest with birds, ferns, palm trees, and waterfalls! Oh, and I forgot to mention that we made some thin crust dough to bring, and forgot it at home. We were quite bummed but we found a pizza place and asked to buy some dough from them, and the lady just gave us a bunch! That is the Kiwi culture that I had envisioned and read about! Not the “Al” type! (= It made our night! It’s amazing how significant genuine gestures are to another person or group of people. It is something to keep in mind and pay forward for sure.

The next day we got up early, had a delicious brekkie and went to another beach. It was absolutely deserted. It was a black sand beach, with the bluest -greenest water I have ever seen in my life. It was absolutely breath-taking. Some things here are just so beautiful that it is almost eerie, but in a good way. It is really difficult to find words for. I just take it in and know how grateful I am ever single moment. I brought my hoops with and got to hula hoop on the beach by myself for a solid hour, while Jon & Lindsey did their thing. I had to stop myself several times and just integrate that I was hooping on a deserted beach in New Zealand in black sand. It is just so continuously awesome here! There aren’t enough superlatives to describe it all!


Then the adventure began. We wanted to find a hot water beach, where you find the hot part and dig a hole to get to the springs. We were following this map and decided to “take a short cut”….well the road ended on this mountain and turned into super rocky gravel. So here we are in my tiny Honda driving up (the opposite side of the road) winding, steep, one lane, narrow roads on a big mountain in the middle of nowhere (which is pretty much everywhere here!). It was a bit terrifying at first, until I got over it and laughed about it. There were some really incredible views….I may or may not have almost driven off the cliff trying to catch a glimpse :/  … whoops! We ended up (after an hour of this!) in Kawhia, which is a little Maori beach town. We had some lunch on the ocean and headed for the hot spring beach. We really had no clue where we were going, so we drove through some random forest and ended up at the beach. Lindsey and I hiked over this giant sand dune and when we got to the top there was just silence. Aside from being tired and out of shape and hiking up a steep sand dune, the view was what took my breath away. It was absolutely amazing. The black sand was the softest sand I have ever felt in my life. It was like silk in between my toes. When the sun shined, there was a layer of sand that glittered and blew with the wind over the heavy layer of wet sand. It was mesmerizing. I truly believe that I found paradise. There was no other soul in sight. Here I am, on the top of this black glittery sand dune staring out at the blue-green ocean of New Zealand on a hot spring beach surrounded by mountains and no sign of life anywhere, aside from the ocean which was more than alive. Lindsey and I were too late (for tide reasons) to catch a hot spring, but we weren’t concerned. We were sitting in paradise.


When we got home yesterday afternoon I didn’t even have the capacity to talk about anything or post about anything. I just had to integrate it all. It all goes back to the pattern in my life of staying open, being willing to do anything regardless of any results, having a heart full of love, and trusting the universe and being willing to change. When man is comfortable in life, he isn’t experiencing change. We must make it a point to put ourselves in uncomfortable positions so that we can grow as human beings. Then the gifts never stop flowing. They are always there….it just takes an open heart to see. I was quite comfortable in the States with my job and friends. I made good money for a single woman, and I lived with a great friend who didn’t have me pay rent, so long as I kept good beer and food in the fridge.  I could have been quite comfortable if I stayed. Instead I chose to go to New Zealand to learn sustainable living, and with very little money to get by. I am trusting the process of life, trusting that the universe is an abundant place and that there is plenty of everything I need available to me always, and I am growing and changing every day. Life is pretty amazing if you choose for it to be. It is as simple as a decision. I come from nothing. I paid my way through college, and I have been to countries four different continents, and in this particular moment I have never been happier. Every single thing is beautiful here. I am experiencing humble pride. I can be proud because I grew up in poverty and now I am living in New Zealand because I have an open heart. I am here because I chose to be here. I chose to let go of limiting beliefs and move forward. I chose to make sacrifices to be in this position. I have no regrets in life.


Image Right now I am watching the sunset and drinking herbal tea from organic herbs which I grew and picked, topped with some raw cow’s milk (which I got tonight when I milked two cows), and listening to the birds and the rain. My life is amazing- but only because I am open and allow it to be amazing. Some say I am lucky, but it isn’t luck that got me here, it is me.


One Response to “Change, Love, & a weekend on the beach”

  1. Susannah Devo November 9, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Beautiful Kim. There are no words. Well, maybe two. Thank G-d!

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