This has been a month for confronting old possessions and deciding what we really do and do not need......turns out that we really don't need/want a lot. It has also been a month to catch up with friends we haven't seen for almost two years and share my passion for photography through talks and mentoring.
Firstly lets address the issue of possessions. When we hit the road two years ago we thought that we'd be in our caravan for no more than 3-5 years. After 2 years I am happy to say that I really can't see an end to our travelling especially when New Zealand has so much to offer. If the North Island can keep us occupied for almost 18 months then I'm sure the South Island with it's incredibly diverse landscape and weather patterns can keep us occupied for years! About a year into our travels we were struggling to remember what we had put into storage that was so important, after two years I can honestly say I had very little idea and was quite shocked at how much we considered we must keep. A month later we have either sold, donated or dumped at least 90% of the 10% of our stuff we kept from 2 years ago on our initial clear out.......wow that feels good :-)
A couple of talks to the camera club allowed me to really share my passion for the wonderful world of image creation and I hope to do more of this as I travel the country. Being back among photographers that I know has also allowed me to spend some time in a mentoring role, again, something I will pursue further in the coming months and year as I would love to work with more budding photographers to help them realise their vision through photography.
Even with all of that going on I have still found time for my photography over the last month and have enjoyed visiting old areas with new eyes. Some particularly enjoyable days walking around Christchurch and enjoying the arts centre and art gallery which are finally back open again. There is still lots to do in this city but you can certainly see areas where the rejuvenation is happening and it's great to see the difference after a couple of years away.
In addition to revisiting the local area I did take in a weekend trip with some fellow photographers to the West Coast. The West Coast on the South Island of New Zealand is renowned for unpredictable stormy weather with waves crashing onto the shore. Strong winds threaten to part you and your equipment at a moments notice and send your beloved camera gear hurtling down the rocks. These are the conditions that I love to photograph in :-). However, for about 3 days of every year the coast is completely calm with stunning blue skies.......yep, we were there for that weekend! Oh well, there's always next time :-)