I booked a hostel last minute at a yoga retreat in Raglan, which is known for its surfing. The hostel was super quirky and somehow managed to maintain a balance between rustic and clean. It prides itself in being eco-friendly and laid back.
I headed down to the beach after I settled in. The hike to the beach brought me down through the jungle with gorgeous view of the beach around every corner. The beach had volcanic black sand, lively blue waves, and green, pointy mountains on the edge.
I was walking along the beach and saw in the distance a horse and rider. When I caught up to them, I sat in the sand and watched them for a while. To witness such a bond between them filled me with joy. They would gallop up and down the beach and then sit and stare at the ocean for moments at a time. The horse was relaxed and happy to be out on the beach and the rider was truly in her element – blissful and high as the sky. The rider would stroke her horse’s neck and she would turn her head with her ears perked up and look at the rider with eyes full of love. The sight filled me with emotions and gave me a strong desire for the same experience. I felt like a little girl again, when every time I saw a horse I would shake from wanting so badly to go pet them. A horse girl never gets rid of these desires; it runs through their veins. I have once again been reminded why I love horses and why it is a necessity that they are always a part of my life.
Once again, the hostel was so much fun to stay at. There are people from all over the world sharing stories, knowledge, and ideas. My favorite time is dinnertime when everybody is in the kitchen cooking at the same time. While it gets hectic at times (there never seems to be enough burners or sinks), it is always a time filled with friendly conversations with new people.
Perfect Moments in Perfect Places
I was feeling sick my first morning at Raglan. A head cold was coming on. Luckily I had a 10:00am slow moving yoga class scheduled that really helped me to get my head back in the game. The yoga class was fantastic. It was in a yoga studio overlooking the ocean with mountains filled with sheep on all sides. It felt great to stretch myself out properly after my travels. And it is important to remember that every new journey should be started with a clear mind.
In the afternoon I took a surfing lesson, which was quite successful! I managed to stand up on my second go and hit multiple waves throughout the hour. It felt invigorating being in the ocean again. There was something so peaceful and fulfilling about sitting on a surfboard in the water waiting for the perfect wave. It brought me back to my childhood when I would spend hours and hours in the ocean with my friends playing in the waves. Exhausting as it may seem, you never manage to tire of it.
I met a nice Swiss man named Patrick during our surfing lesson and we hit it off like we were old friends. Our entertainment was hitting the same waves at the same time and managing not to hit each other. We arranged for him to travel with me to my next destination, Karekare.
After the surfing lesson we made a collaborative dinner and ate our meal overlooking the gorgeous landscape of ocean and mountains. During dinner we met another surfer from the Netherlands named Laurens and the three of us decided to go down to the beach for the sunset and to watch the surfers.
We sat on a pile of black rocks right where the waves would come in and slap against the rocks, causing a spray. We were just waiting for a huge wave to come in and completely soak us. I called it “Living on the edge.” The sun was fading just behind the cliffs while the moon was beginning to pop out and there was an orange glow in the sky. It was the perfect place at the perfect time. Taken away by the beautiful scenery and giddy from the wine I shared, we sat and talked for what felt like hours about everything from Lord of the Rings and our different adventures around the world to politics and philosophy. Our conversations continued late into the night after we got back from the beach.
Traveling is not all about just seeing a new place and doing fun activities. It’s about living in the moment and seeing the world with fresh eyes. It’s exploring a place and yourself at the same time. That being said, you have to remember that you don’t have to physically go somewhere to be in the traveling state of mind. Just step yourself outside of your comfort zone and live.