New Zealand or the “Land of the Long White Cloud” is Life.
It’s Life? What do I even mean by it? There are certain destinations that come a ‘close second’ to live as far as teaching valuable lessons is concerned. I experienced a myriad of lessons when traveling through the country, so let me explain you the “North and South of it”. Here are the lessons that New Zealand teaches, which make me thump my chest & say that New Zealand is life –
- Let go of personal ego. Respect and co-exist
New Zealand consists of magnificent mountains, picturesque fjords, vast plains, spectacular glaciers, humble hillsides, mercurial volcanic plateaus, sub-tropical forests and lazy yet elegant beaches. They don’t compete with each other but instead just take pride in their individual uniqueness giving you “#wow” moments on your instagram feeds.
Each frame of New Zealand is a picture postcard
They appreciate each other in their contribution to New Zealand’s topography instead of waging wars vying for a tourist’s attention. It teaches us let go of our personal egos & co-exist peacefully with other people despite our differences. In a way, it’s nature telling us to appreciate people’s contribution and acknowledge what they bring to the table, thereby instilling a sense of unity in diversity.
- Say no to negativity
New Zealand as a country doesn’t allow the entry of things that pose a risk to the safety and stability of it’s existing ecosystem.
Don’t allow anything to disturb your mental ecosystem. Keep it clean.
Moreover, you’re not allowed to carry anything that’s even slightly dirty as it threatens the principle of cleanliness that New Zealand proudly stands for, thus, teaching us an important lesson. A lesson that anybody who brings in negativity, dirt, filth into your life should be thrown out. Stay mindful of the energies around you and don’t allow anybody to disturb your mental peace.
- Stay calm amidst unpredictability and chaos
Some days New Zealand can pack in a buffet of several seasons to surprise your travel palette. It’s dark, gloomy, unpleasant one minute and sunny, warm & comforting the very next minute.
Cold, dark and gloomy weather – when I began my Hobbiton tour
Life too can seem daunting and intimidating, sometimes even posing challenges that turn your world upside-down but just breathe.
Sunny, warm & pleasant weather – half an hour into the tour
Stay calm and don’t stress because just like the vagaries in the weather of New Zealand, nothing lasts forever. As the popular saying goes “This too shall pass”
- Face your fears and live life to the fullest
New Zealand is a happy hunting ground for adrenaline junkies with Queenstown being the adventure sports capital of the world. Be it sitting in a shotjet boat that vrooms and does 360° spins on water, skydiving at 16,500 feet in the sky, or jumping off a bridge to test gravity – New Zealand has all the adventure sports up it’s sleeve that can shoot your adrenaline up, giving you “heart in the mouth” moments in abundance.
Take the plunge & face your fear because nothing feels better than winning over it, as I found out!
You might fear the risk involved in these activities but the contentment and pride you experience when you’ve done them is a different high altogether. It teaches us to face our fears and live life to the fullest. Thus, reinstating the fact that courage isn’t the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it.
- Take pride in your roots
The people of New Zealand have this inherent quality that I was in awe of. Their faces lit up, eyes shone bright & voices reflected excitement whenever they spoke about the culture and heritage of their country. To them being a New Zealander was a badge of honor and gratitude.
People are extremely warm and if you’re willing to interact, they’ll make you part of their family – the “Maori” way!
Almost every person you meet, greets you with a traditional “Kia Ora“(Hi/Welcome). Besides, the passion and attachment they have towards their National All Blacks Rugby Team is second to none. If you want to test it, then just enter any bar on the day when the All Blacks team has won a rugby match. It teaches us to take pride in our roots and always present the best side of our country to visitors.
- Be flexible and receptive to change
If you interact with the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand, then you’ll observe how they’ve transformed over the years to have relevance and merge effortlessly in the modern New Zealand society. They have inculcated certain habits and been open to modernization- to advance in various fields like art, education, sport, finance, industry &media.
Maori merging with the modern NZ society proving that “Change is the only constant”
This flexibility has been the key to survival because it has allowed them to incorporate changes in their lifestyle yet stay rooted in Maori culture. It teaches us to be flexible and receptive to change if we want to progress in life.
- Persevere against all odds
The local Maori people have faced a bazillion problems that posed a threat to their mere existence. Some of them are –
- British colonialism in the 1800’s
- Diseases like measles, influenza that the European settlers brought with them
- Widespread inter-tribal warfare once the Maori acquired firearms
- Cultural genocide due to the religious movements
- Land wars with the white-settlers
- Treaty of Waitangi
The Maori teach us that if you persevere against all odds, not only will you survive but also thrive
If the Maori have survived for more than 2 centuries and are still thriving in present times, then it is due to their perseverance and tenacity. It’s a lesson for us to not lose hope in times of adversity and persevere against all odds. Because of even destiny bows down to a soul that doesn’t give up. Remember to fall down 7 times, get up 8!
This article is written by our guest blogger Vaibhav Mehta. For more such inspiring articles and breathtaking photography, connect with him via his blog and Instagram page!