We have been off the radar for the past couple of weeks as we are travelling through the Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds and there are just so many nooks and crannies here to explore. It really is endless and you could spend so long just in this area.

I can imagine in summer here it would be so busy and we would be lucky to find a park. Right now however, we have every pristine campsite to ourselves. It feels like every spot really is just ours.

I have always liked Nelson as a place to potentially live so travelling through this area I always have it in the back of my mind as to whether or not I could live here. I have looked at some property around the sounds and the first thing for me that comes to mind is the isolation. A lot of the properties are accessed by boat. These are little pockets of paradise for sure, 100% some of the sweetest spots in NZ, but you really have to ask yourself if you could hack it. Sure there are little sub communities in each little bay, but you would have to hope that you would get on with your neighbours.

Having these thoughts made me reflect on our time this far in the van. I think it is mainly due to it being winter but we really do not have too much contact with the outside world. It does feel a bit like we are travelling around in this little bubble floating from place to place just getting about our own thing while people just continue on their daily lives. It feels like we are slightly removed from society. Like we don’t belong anywhere. It’s just us. We’re a little team. Making the most of wherever we find a place to park up.

Recently, while staying in these more isolated places, we have gone a couple of weeks with very little contact with others. During these weeks we have had limited internet and reception to catch up with family too. It doesn’t feel lonely at all as our days are completely filled up with each other, it’s just different. It has given me a little taste of the isolation that I think you would have living in the Sounds if you weren’t working.  Only going to town once a week for your shop. No Wednesday coffee, no Saturday catch ups, no social volleyball or the sorts of things help set up and fill up your week. I think while having young children this would be fine as kids pretty much suck up every free moment you have. I think I would actually quite enjoy it. But I definitely couldn’t hack it for more than a year or two.

Ironically after two weeks of isolation we have actually spent the whole afternoon chin wagging with a couple of families around the same age as us who just happened to turn up at our same isolated piece of paradise. Each with 3 young kids of their own in tow. Both very like minded people to us.  It’s been really interesting talking to them. A common thing that came up in each conversation was that they had all just stepped outside the box, be it a small or large step, and just decided to give something a go. To make a change take a step and see what happens. One guy said “you don’t meet different people if you don’t leave the house”. I really liked this today for some reason. By getting out there, talking to people, meeting new people and doing new things, new doors open. You never know where each door may take you but it will be somewhere new. Your life will not change if you don’t change it. One small change can lead to so many new things, maybe just joining a social sport will introduce you to someone new who will introduce you to a new way of living. Or moving to a new town, or changing your hair. All these things, be them big or small, they will all take you down a new road. And new is good. It keeps life interesting. If you are open to things, they will come to you. If you take a step in a direction, then run with it. Ride it out. See where it takes you. Let it take you. Just let go and listen to what the world is trying to tell you. Let go of what you think you should be doing, where you should be heading and just listen. Let life lead you. Open your mind, open your heart. That’s what I am trying to do now. I’m listening, I’m looking and I’m riding out this road we have decided to go down and waiting to see where it will lead. And it feels great. I would recommend this to all. If you can make this happen. You should. If you can make anything good in your life happen. You should.