Farewell Auckland

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The road is mine
and I have no home,
I belong to no one
and nowhere.

 

It’s finally time.

The car is packed, my bedroom bare and I’m ready to hit the road, although I can feel something holding me back.

It’s been 10 months since I arrived in New Zealand. At the time, I swore I wouldn’t get stuck here; I’d spend maybe 3 months working to save some money, and then move on to see the rest and best of this beautiful country.

Ever since I hit 4 months, I’ve had this weight hanging over me like a blanket of guilt because I haven’t left yet. The people I’d meet would ask about my travels and I’d always give such a negative response that I wasn’t sticking to my plans.

The majority of my time has been spent working on photos. If I wasn’t sleeping, I’d be either in a cafe for 8 hours straight, editing, emailing, planning, researching and networking, or I’d be out shooting a new editorial, a gig or an event - and I’ve loved every minute of it. 

I’ve always been a hard worker and I love to get stuff done all day every day, but these past 10 months have almost been obsessive. Endless to-do lists being crossed off daily, hours of editing and forgetting to eat, always finding new things to accomplish. 

Every day I ask myself if I’m crazy, if I work too hard, if I should take a break, but I absolutely thrive off of this. I look to the photographs of previous decades and see the work that they put in, and then I look all around me and everyone is moving in slow-motion. Always thinking about ideas but never doing them, wishing after things but never going out and getting them. I refuse to be like that. I refuse to reach the end of my life and wish I’d put in more work to achieve what I wanted.

I believe that’s why I’m finding myself slightly hesitant to leave. Auckland has been a sanctuary for me where I can just work and work and work, and although being on the road is going to be incredible and I’ll still be creating a lot, it’s hard to pull myself away from the place I’ve been most productive.

So as I’m driving over the Harbour Bridge heading north for my first week of 2 months of travel, my life packed into the car and the city growing smaller behind me, this feeling that’s holding me back gets louder and louder and I decide to detour to the North Shore for one last look at the skyline.

I sit on the shore with my journal in my lap scribbling these words down and I glance up at the city across the water, trying to remember everything that’s happened and how I’ve changed since I landed 10 months ago. 

The first thing that springs to mind is meeting a fashion stylist for the first time. We talked about shooting a big editorial I was planning and she said she had some great contacts she could introduce me to. When she left, I was so ecstatic that I called a modelling agency to book a girl - Something I’d been working towards doing for over 2 years.

For the first few months I remember being more inspired than I’ve ever been, full of ideas and locations to shoot. I was either shooting one day or having coffee with someone the next, and the amount of positivity and drive I was putting out was coming back at me tenfold. I couldn’t believe how well things were going and how much I was achieving in so little time.

I remember meeting the girls who have become my close friends now, all creatives of different mediums and I was excited to collaborate and soak up some alternative inspiration. Every time we met they would leave saying I’d motivated them to work on something or shifted their perspective which was an incredible feeling. I hope to carry that aurora around with me forever.

I remember moving from apartment to apartment, packing my life onto my back like a tortoise. 5 different homes took me through an array of surroundings and my vision and lifestyle adapted; the alt scene on K’Road got me shooting music; a villa in Ponsonby took me through Kiwi suburbia every day - Each home a sub-chapter of my life in Auckland.

As I sit here on the shore watching the boats float by and the ocean lap at the rocks beneath me, reminiscing makes everything feel right. I have to realise that I have such a long journey ahead of me and however I end up spending my time is exactly how it should be. There’s no need to rush or try to change things - as an acquaintance once said, “You should never force these things, but it’s okay to apply a bit of pressure.”.

Here’s to the road ahead.