It is no coincidence that we called this blog "Go chase the sun". The idea was to quit our jobs at the end of New Zealand summer, and follow the warm, sunshine-imbued days for as long as possible.
At the end of April 2014, we finally packed our bags and crossed the unforgiving ditch, commonly known as the Tasman Sea, to spend a week in the remote Adelaide Hills. Needless to say that this was a great and very promising start.
We were spending our days wandering around the endless beaches and wineries surrounding Adelaide, while enjoying a charming wedding of one of Nikki's best friends, every moment staged and colored in the reds and yellows of Australia's warm, early fall. And then came Africa.
During our long "marathon" through the Dark Continent, the sun was a constant companion, following us from the vibrant gates of Cape Town to the golden beaches of Zanzibar.
But once we reached Europe it seemed like we were finally running out of luck. Everyone who has been here during the summer of 2014 will know that this was rather an "anti-summer". The low and high pressure areas that usually define Europe's climate were pushing each other out on a daily basis, resulting in unpredictable and wet weather patterns.
Like anyone who travels, we have been pinned down by rain before, and generally as a Kiwi and part-time Kiwi, we do know bad weather. Comes winter in New Zealand, it will rain. Lots. And still, if you have been planing your visit to a certain place or country for a long time, the anticipation of rain can be highly demoralizing.
During our trip to Malaysian Borneo we were hit by a typhoon while climbing Mt Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia. I remember daydreaming about the climb while we were planing it beforehand, imagining myself looking at the barren granite of Low's peak while conquering the last push to the top.
Instead we were surrounded by thick fog, trying to find our way through the whiteout while fighting off hypothermia. Clearly this was not what we anticipated and I remember that at that time I felt robbed of the experience that was "supposed" to be mine.
Apart from that climb we had a great time in Borneo. But here is the thing; now almost two years later, when I think back, it's not the rain forest monkeys or the remote turquoise swimming holes that come to mind first. It's the freezing cold of Mt Kinabalu. It's the frantic heartbeat booming in my ears and the look on Nikki's face while climbing what has become a ravaging waterfall.
There is a quote from G. K. Chesterton that I really like: "The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see." Now I know that this might not always be easy to apply, it definitely isn't for me. If you travel around the globe to see Machu Picchu and all you see is a white cloud, then all the quotes in the world might not be enough to comfort you.
I guess I'm just saying this: there is nothing you can do about it. So if it rains, let it rain and keep your eyes peeled. Life is happening no matter the weather and if you're not susceptible enough, you might actually miss it.