I have a confession to make. No wait, make that two. I left my family, friends, and a cuckoo dog for a spot in the Shire.
Now before people start throwing pint-sized clichés this way, I’ll say right off the bat that LOTR was indeed the sole reason (the only reason really), as to why I felt New Zealand needed to be done. I know, I know… not much of a shocker here *dork* since almost everyone who’s watched the films felt compelled by the same scenery-imbued viewfest. And yet… this was more than just mountains and trees and hot elves. Somewhere between Bilbo opening his front door and Gollum screeching “sneaky little hobbitses”, I think the insanity hit and my uber nerd fell in love. It didn’t make a lotta sense, but at an otherwise utterly lost age of sixteen, I knew for sure that one day I’d be going to Zeelandia.
Frankly, beyond that, I didn’t know much else about this country. Part of Australia? Sure, sounds bout right – winning at geography is easy when taught on US-centric maps. Sheep sheep sheep galore? Quite obvious and undeniably true, no questions there. Kiwis eating kiwis eating other kiwis?? Ok, that one I made up but I’m pretty sure fruit-eating bird cannibalism exists out there somewhere.
Anyway, this journey has shown me an enormous amount of enchantment and potential. I think I know more things than I did a year ago, but in truth, I feel a lot less smart – even overwhelmed and downright ridiculous at times. Everyday there’s something to learn or adapt to or take on and see. It’s this stretching state of existence that spirals phenomenally outward in pursuit of some seemingly infinite abstraction. Still, my small and humbled perspective loves and keeps searching for it.
There’s so much here that actually holds and exudes Tolkien’s brilliant magic that it practically screams and baas at you everywhere you go. However, the one place to rule them all is Hobbiton. It might’ve taken over eleven years, but I finally made the pilgrimage to Bag End!
So, let’s go on an adventure!!
By the way, congrats for scrolling down this far. As for that second secret, I pooped today! (Oookay, so maybe we didn’t learn as much as we thought.)
Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤