It was just one of those things.

I always thought I was above it. Said I’d never say it.

I mean, the saying is so ridiculous. YOLO. And the tattooed tourists in Koh Phi Phi didn’t help the cause. The reality is: it’s a pretty good motto. 

It was one of those things where, everyone talks about being present, right? Living in the moment?

It was one of those things.

When in the last few months many of my perceived safety nets started crashing down around me, against my will I was faced with more uncertainty than I had been, likely ever. And I had a choice:

New Zealand or not?

I really had no idea if I’d have the money or the right to stay in this country much longer and all I could think was: if I have to leave, why not one last hurrah? If I get to stay, won’t I be pissed if I say no?

So we booked it.

The first 24 hours was a story in itself. We just laughed in the face of choice, asking New Zealand what else it would throw our way. We had been so caught in the moments it took to get there that we had forgotten to have expectations. So we came in carefree; we weren’t making any decisions because it looked like we were in for a week of the decisions being made whether we liked them or not.

When we did finally walk through the door, onto the dark blue carpet and a view of the most beautiful place on earth, we busted out the gin. It seemed the obvious choice.

Queenstown New Zealand

That first night we actually kicked ourselves out of Speight’s Ale House in the event that we all knew what was coming after an eager fist and a spilled tray of 12 tequila shots {not a single one standing}.

The hunt for a comfortable place to watch the rugby was dotted with vodka sodas and political debates. A little late to the party, when I finally did walk into the pub what I found was ten lovely people cuddled into each other’s arms on the pub floor directly in front the big screen.

My heart melted just a little bit. I stopped in my tracks and smiled. These are our friends. 

Queenstown - New Zealand

It was only five days for me and Kelie. And the length of the trip is the only regret, or rather, lesson we’ve taken. It was in the 12 of us sitting lap in lap, in the impromptu open mic nights, in the Winnie’s dance floor circles and the seemingly endless supplies of Speight’s and Corona {seriously, we never ran out}. It was in the ‘girl bed’, the spoon, the beanies, the balcony beers, the car selfies. It was in the whitest snow, and the bluest skies.

Queenstown - New Zealand

In reality the first run was wobbly at best. Snow flurries and a few icy patches made me likely more slow and steady, even at the detriment of my fearless teenage self. But by the end of that first two days; muscle fatigue, chairlift spills and icy wind didn’t really seem to matter all that much when we stood with a mostly complete group at the top of Cardrona, arms flying in shakas around shoulders we barely knew, backed only by pure white peaks and fiercely blue skies.

Queenstown - New Zealand

And at the end of that second day, as Ezra threw his arm around my shoulder and asked me how my trip was, that I honestly looked out at the mountains and said, I reckon this is one of the best trips of my life.

If there ever had been a moment to live in, make it have been this one.