I'm Not Willing To Run The Risk Of a Stagnate Life: Kourtney's Journey Through New Zealand + Beyond

Kourtney's More Than Lyme Adventure

Tickets Of Time 

‘You don’t get out of this world without getting your ticket punched’ my Nana often reminds me. A life-altering moment that will pick you up like a hurricane and drop you off miles from where you began. Inevitably, we will all get our turn at facing the darkness. Our world will be shaken, our beliefs questioned, and our hearts strengthened. After years of unknown and then the diagnosis of Lyme disease, it seemed as if I got my share of ticket punches.

My theory is our tickets of time guarantee good as well. Simultaneously, they soften and strengthen our curious souls. In the unveiling of our who we are supposed to be, the good is just as important, though seemingly harder to come by, especially as you emerge from a hardship.

But time can only leave it's mark if we actively let it. Sometimes that means noticing the nature in the backyard. Other days that means packing bags and wandering to a foreign land. We aren't always given the luxury of spontaneity; held back by illness, money, or just simply life’s uncertainty. But of course, if we don't ever try we won't ever know.

I'm not willing to run the risk of a stagnate life.

This morning, the sun peeked through my curtains to wake me from a gentle sleep. Overwhelmed by the crisp sense of new and the notion of adventure. Today was the day I would be getting on a plane to join James in New Zealand, after what has seemed to be the longest two months apart. Representative of my physical and mental restoration, I bubbled with delight. This journey, this dive into a different culture, this trek up new mountains, this was the good 'ticket punch’ my spirit was craving.

What I want you to know...

I have been actively pursing this trip for over a year now. Though I hope to be somewhat of a gypsy upon my arrival, that was not the case during preparation. Treatments had to be timed correctly, as to heal me enough to leave, but induce a herx. Backup plans had to be devised in the case I became ill over seas. I was constantly researching ways to save money. Covering all my bases so that once I got on that plane I would be able to let go.  I guess what I am trying to say is there will always, always, always, be curve balls in life. Chronic illness or not, life is full of mountains and valleys. There will always be a reason to say no, but I'm telling you yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Even if you don't know your destination, start exploring the idea.  Life is going to keep punching bad times on our ticket, but we have make sure there are good ones, too.

Here's to overly punched tickets & trips with unknown destinations.

MTL Adventure

Grasping Reality + Good Friday 

Down here, Good Friday is taken very seriously. Nearly everything was closed, and what was open seemed to have a surcharge. For instance, James and I had planned to take an Uber to our next Air B&B; when we looked it up the night before it would only be around fifteen dollars, however Friday morning the cost had sky rocketed to 60. Being the thrifty travelers we are, we decided to take the bus. I had a large rolling suit case (weighing out at 49.4 pounds), my carry on full of clothes, and my backpacking backpack strapped to my back. The Auckland bus system was far more complicated than we had expected. I pushed and pulled my luggage up and down every hill in Auckland to squeeze onto a total of three buses. The locals seemed quite entertained. Next time I make vague plans, I will stop at nothing to pack light.

After meeting our gracious host, we did some laundry and wandered down to the beach in search of food. Coming across a quaint little brewery with a sign that said 'No surcharge today', we sat down to share a plate. After James ordered a beer they informed us that if we wanted any more to drink, we would have to order another plate. Traditionally on Good Friday every alcohol drink consumed must be paired with food. Being immersed in a new culture is one of my favorite things, so of course I wasn’t bothered one bit. In fact I was inspired by the fact that tradition was carried out even in the business world.

We shared a yummy dinner (confirmed Gluten Free thanks to my guy for having my back), and wandered back down to the beach to watch the sunset. Our room had a patio attached with a hot tub that my tired feet (remember all those hills?) couldn’t wait to get in. Despite being so close to the big city, the stars were brilliant. Constantly repeating to myself that this was real; that this moment was not a figment of my imagination. I won’t be waking up in my college room facing a MicroBio final anytime soon.

The magic of travel has only begun to seep into my being. The musical kiwi accent, the layers of green hills and looming cliffs, the salty island air. Each individually warming my heart and collectively altering my character while stripping me of my culturally acquired beliefs. I hope I continue to gain a stronger connection with my center as I continue to explore this country. 

A note from Chloe:

Just two days before her departure, I asked Kourtney if she would be able to meet up for lunch at one of our favorite places in town, and lucky for me, she said yes! We spent the better part of an hour discussing writing, adventuring, and how the limitations that Lyme puts on us can make something like a trip to New Zealand, let alone driving across state lines, seem impossible. 

But it is. It is possible, and Kourtney's dedication to her protocol and dream, meticulous planning, and endless amounts of hard work was proof that no matter how daunting, it can be done. That's not to say that if you don't have the desire to go and buy a plane ticket right now, you're not living a life more than. No, a trip like this can take years to plan, so simply having the spark of an idea that something like this is possible, and that maybe, just maybe, you yourself would would like to see it as something you are oh so capable of doing...

That's the adventure: the daydreaming, writing, planning, resting, self-loving, and daydreaming some more - that's where the adventure begins to take place, for the actual trip itself is no more than a blip. An amazing blip, yes, but a blip none the less. 

And this adventure, it doesn't have to come in the form of a place ticket across the world, it can also be a trip to a place nearby. A place you haven't ever had the chance to explore, or maybe somewhere that you've spent countess hours. It doesn't matter, just as long as it never fails to fill you up and give you every reason to keep moving and working towards something, whatever that may be. 

Back to the cozy table at our favorite restaurant: Somehow, between bites, soul-sharing, and the inevitable dribble of sauce on my shirt, we decided that one of the best ways to show that something like this is possible, is to follow along as closely as we can without actually being there. Meaning, Kourtney would share with us her tips, tricks, triumphs, don't do's, set backs, and awe inspiring moments from her trip with everyone here at MTL. 

Amazing, right? So stay tuned, as there will be another update coming soon! Meanwhile, you can find her day-to-day updates on her blog, Mountains and Valleys + Instagram

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