After I arrived in Auckland there were quite a few things do to: food & drinks, cleaning my gear so I could store it respectively use it in normal life again, buying city cloth since and trying to find my way back into normal life.
Before I forget. Here is my little side project I started on day one after Nadine and Ben encouraged me to do it. See the change of me in the last five month ?

The transformation:

I was really busy running around for 2.5 days. My shorts needed to go to an alternator since it had more holes than structure left, I needed new inlays for my shoes since I can definitely tell now the smell was not from the bush or anything else but them and so on. And of course – cloth shopping and the barber ??

So just a few highlights from my time in Auckland so far. My visit to the barber went a little bit different than expected. I went to one of THE in barbers in town – boar and blade. Thanks to Emi and Daniel who had equipped me with a voucher with them for a haircut before I left I knew where to go. The beard trimming was an easy call. Chai said he would just clean it up. Since all of the other four barbers in the shop had massive hipster beards I trusted him to do the right thing. But then we came to the big question what to do with the hair. He asked me what I wanted to do with it. I just knew that I didn’t want to give up the newly grown hair. He said “If you don’t know what you wanna do with it bro than I don’t wanna cut anything off bro. If you wanna have long hair you gotta let it grow bro!” He sent me home to think about it and come back with an idea. The trimming of the beard was of course free… ??

Next mission: cloth and a new style! I went into a little boutique with a nice and caring guy. I told him that I came out of the bush and hat what I was wearing was all I have. His job: giving me a style. First time I enjoyed cloth shopping. I probably went through most of their stuff trying it on ?
From hobo to hipster!

It still feels weird to wear long pants. Haven’t done that for a single day in five month now. I guess I have to get used to it now.
What else happened? Sarah took me out to one of be nicest restaurants in town to celebrate! Holy moly – what a feast! That’s what we started out with before the 1kg lamb shoulder was rolled in… The trip ended the way it started: with Bluff Oysters and more.

Not to mention the uncountable number of amazing wines and deserts we had. THANK YOU so much, Kiwi-mom ?

Well, and then one more thing that has impressed me the last days. Your feedback on my journey and the especially the blog. I have received so many comments and personal messages which actually overwhelmed and surprised me completely. Thank you for that! I was surprised how many of you have actively followed each and every single entry in the last month. This “thing” seems to have spread far further than what I had intended it to.
Some of you have made it a family thing on the weekend to read it. Many told me that they were sad it was over and they didn’t have any more stories to look forward to. Some of you even got their old English dictionaries out to translate the parts you didn’t understand. Many of you enjoyed participating in both, the trail and nature but also my thoughts and my introspection. Some even seem to have been personally touched and made pensive by my journey…

I have to say – this has never been my intention at all! I just thought it would be an efficient (remember, I am German) way to keep the close and interested friends informed so I would not have to do that individually with the limited time and reception. And at the same time it was intended to be my own diary so I wouldn’t forget the many little things.
When I received all your messages, read the comments on the blog and Facebook I was really overwhelmed and partly did not know what do to with it. This thing has become bigger than I thought or wanted it to be?! Many have been following my personal journey also to myself and taking their own introspection out of it. I needed a few days to digest it. I was not really aware that the few lines I wrote every night in my tent would haves such an impact.

After a few days it has settled. And now I am glad I did it. If by writing about and sharing this amazing time for myself has sparked the one or other thought, reflection of even action in others which were not in the lucky situation that I have been for the past month, this journey has even been better and more worth it. It actually feels nice giving back and passing on what others have done or given to me during the last month.

I will go on a little road trip with a friend of mine for the next 10 days exploring some of the sites I have missed out on. And guess what – we’ll have a car. Like normal tourists ?

But stay tuned if you like to. I do have a few more things to share when I am back. And I think I will continue a little bit with the writing. What else should I do when I go to bed now…?