I was so excited to see that my friend, Sarah, was setting out on her own to continue #reverb this December that I pinged her to see if we could still write together, and so we are continuing on together! Everything is better in a group. Group fitness. Group think. Group writing. I'm all about the group. Check out her blog here for her take on the day's prompts.
A single favorite photo?? This is just too hard for me this year. It's not that I just got back from 3 weeks in New Zealand, where I took pictures DAILY that brought tears to my eyes for the beauty. But photos for me are not just about the pretty. They're about the meaning and the symbolism and the feels. And I had so many incredible moments this year. Here at home with my puppy and locally with some of my favorite people on the planet, and in Cabo and Miami and San Fran celebrating big milestones with my best girlfriends. I cherish all of those memories, and look fondly at photos from the whole year often and gratefully.
But short of making a 12ft X 12ft collage, I will settle on one of the pictures I snapped with my iPhone in Kaikoura, New Zealand. This photograph is beautiful, no doubt. But, I'm picking it because of what it means to me. And, please... don't insult the photograph - there is no filter or any enhancements happening here.
As a side note, this iPhone 6 camera is AMAZING. The pictures on my phone, which I shared some of via Instagram (@kay.shay) under #kimginhoneymoon rivaled many that we took on our Canon T2 DSLR. And the panoramas from the iPhone are just breathtaking.
So, on this day, the 14th day of our trip, we drove from Nelson, New Zealand (north point of the south island) to Kaikoura (on the east coast) specifically to take a whale watching tour. That day, the tour was cancelled due to sea conditions, and I was so upset because the weather was obviously gorgeous and in my mind, perfect for being out on the water. Oh well, they certainly know what they're doing.
We decided to drive around the small town, find our hotel, check out dinner spots, and see what happens. G was perusing the Lonely Planet book we bought and in reading about the Kaikoura peninsula, there was a "must do" tramp (that's what they call hiking there, or any walk in nature, really) that follows the peninsula all the way around the upper clif. It was 3-4 hours and only 1pm. Why the heck not??
We randomly set out on this completely unplanned hike with zero assumptions about any view that was promised or spectacular waterfall or famous historical significance. We climbed the clif, and took the path that follows the upper ledge. Every. Single. Time. we turned a corner or came over a hill we saw view like this one. It was absolutely shocking.
I think this day and these photos mean so much to me because this hike made me realize that after all of our planning and carefully selected locations, hikes, excursions, activities, hotels, everything... that we could have easily come to New Zealand and left without ever having laid eyes on this gorgeous, sacred place. It made me cry, actually. The thought of missing out on the thousands of other places in this country, and the many others that we have visited, and the many still that we have yet to visit, just like this. That I cannot see every square inch of this beautiful planet we live on. That I cannot plan my way through life and purposefully cover all of the ground that I want to. That we are so small. That our life is too impossibly short. That I feel reckless in saying that going to work every day, earning a paycheck, and dying is not what I want to do with my life.
Whoa. That's a lot of feelings.
This is more than just a photograph, guys. This captures so much happening in my head and my heart that I don't really know what to do with yet. I have been so haunted by this moment on our trip that I feel a little bit lost. Just when you think you've found yourself... surprise. You haven't.