The Fantastic Four

The restless wanders I have taken on have continued to surprise me over and over again. Everyday is a new adventure and I've become accustom to taking on each day with stride, look for a new story every time I wake. Each moment I spend in Middle Earth is another moment for the books, regardless if the sun sets with me happy or sad.

This last week has been nothing but bliss for me. I've gone to places I never once thought imaginable and I've witnessed so many things that have left me speechless. Of course, there are four main focuses to this post. Four places that will forever hold a piece of my mind and soul.

It is no surprise that Hobbiton would be a stop on this journey. Bag End? Are you kidding? I wouldn't miss that for the world! Here I am with the opportunity to leave my life behind and embrace that world that has always held a very special, very important, place in my heart. I would be stupid not to stand where they stood, admire what they accomplished, and touch what they created.

I cried. So hard. I let my emotions take over because sometimes in life, it's good to have those things that make you feel as if you're part of something bigger. Lord of the Rings is a world all on it's own, and it was an honour to relish in any part of it.

The Waiotupa Thermal Wonderland was another very important thing for me this week. I was sceptical about going because money is so hard to hold on to while your traveling, but my friend was able to snap me out of that thought with one simple line:

"Don't let money be an object. You can always make more, but you won't always be here."

This trip has been particularly hard for me lately because of money. Everyday I'm worried about if I'll have enough, or if I'll need to leave early. It's such a struggle for me to stay positive when it comes to those haunted numbers in my life.

The Thermal Wonderland was important today because it marks the moment that I finally decided money couldn't control me. I was going to do whatever I wanted to be happy, and because of this realization I witnessed some of the most beautiful thermal hot springs on the planet.

The Wonderland has an abundance of sulfuric thermal pools and caves that reside on the Taupo volcanic zone. It was the experience of a lifetime, and the views were absolutely incredible!

Speaking of incredible views, the Redwood Forests in Rotorua also hold a special place in my soul. Not only was it a blessing to be in the natural tranquility, it was an honour to be in such a spiritual place.

Up in the trees you can walk along a swing bridge, admiring and learning about the Redwood Trees and the Silver Ferns that are all around you. It was such a breathe of fresh air as I walked along those bridges, then again on the ground, taking in the forest floor.

Lastly, we took a trip down to Kerosine Creek, where you can swim in a wonderful hot spring and relax under the waterfall that flows there. This was a very intense moment for me, as if gave me a chance to finally bless my Pounamu.

A Pounamu - also known as "The Green Stone" - plays a very important part in Maori culture, being considered as a taonga (treasure). Found in the South Island, these stones are known as "Te Wai Pounamu" (The [land of] Greenstone Water) and "Te Wahi Pounamu" (The Place of Greenstone). These stones are given as gifts, and are meant to bring strength and prosperity to whoever they are gifted to through the spiritual powers it holds. As the stone rests against your skin, it takes some of your essence to be passed on to the next person who receives it. When passed down in families, generation after generation, it absorbs essence from each member - creating an ancestral connection.

I finally created a connection with my stone, blessing it under the waterfall in the sacred volcanic springs. I can't think of a better place to begin my journey with it's essence by my side.

This journey has been full of so many lessons for me. Each has taught me a new piece about myself, and some have given me back a piece of who I was before. I have no idea where it's leading me, but I think maybe I'm ready to find out.