Well! The last blog – amazingly enough was published in October 2017. What’s amazing about that? The fact that more than three years has passed since we set about this enormous undertaking!
Those previously mentioned amazing locals – we actually know them now, have formed some incredible relationships, had some amazing experiences, seen some blinding fortitude, strength, generosity and the kind of genuineness that can only be found in a small community. And even experienced the pain of losing a couple of those people.
Having a proper hectic start to any new situation is often referred to as a ‘baptism of fire’. And let me tell you why that particular phrase really resonates with the family who operate Great Barrier Wheels. One year, and 1 day after embarking on this journey, our home, also our place of work burnt down – not quite to the ground mind, just enough to force us out of both. Problem number 1 – where to live? Problem number 2 – where to operate from? Answer – we took up residence in a yurt, our fleet repositioned, and our guests met at the airport. Two years later, we’re still working on the medium to long term solution! But we’re here – literally, there, and everywhere!
In advance I want to raise a glass to 2021 in the hopes we can coerce it to complete itself without any disaster, natural or unnatural.
One of my favourite things about Aotea.. not the beauty – that’s visible, not the pace – cos it’s not as slow as you might think! Not being off-the-grid (although it has the power to make you feel superhuman when you think you’ve conquered it, only to size you appropriately down again when the next challenge presents!). Is it’s eclectic nature, and equally eclectic people. There’s a saying on the island (I may have had a hand in it’s creation), and that is ‘perhaps the island’s just not for you’.
With this in mind, this is an off-the-grid destination, accept it for not being as convenient, not flooded with cell coverage, less readily available wi-fi connectivity, and less immediate resources. Trust that 9 out of 10 locals, accommodation providers, car rental operators and shuttle drivers will do everything they can to make this transition as easy as possible for you. Couple this with breathtaking beauty, the most incredible view of the heavens, nature at your finger tips, and your expectations will met met. Let’s be honest… all the above are contributing factors of life less complicated, which presumably, you’re looking for in a holiday – no?
Let me ask this – never mind the meaning of the universe, but how do you make the sun shine, and the rain pour at the same time? To power and to supply precious water… yaaaaa don’t. And that, is the challenge of living off-the-grid. We do it every day, by choice and grow as individuals from doing so. The invitation is there for you too, to visit and enjoy, come with expectations that can be met – and your time here will warm the cockles of your soul. (Yes, I know it’s heart, but that’s a bit mushy!)