Our journey to South Korea starts in Auckland NZ.
After a week in our rural retreat in Kohukohu, where we allowed the birds and the beauty of the harbor to lull us into a deep gratitude for all of life, we flew to spend a few days in Auckland.
The small plane took off, into the air, and swirled over the picturesque Pacific beaches and the emerald green hills of Northland.
The white sailboats looked like silvery dots on the deep blue ocean.
The bays and inlets were edged by deep green colored mangroves.
I contemplated that despite the beauty, peace and serenity of the areas in which I live, I always find myself craving new excitement and new adventures, and I welcome the hardships of new physical challenges in faraway lands……. Why am I not content to stay put and to just embrace all the blessings in my life?….
Why is it that I feel such a strong need to travel, despite the high cost, obvious discomforts, lack of stability and even occasional illness, danger and insecurity?….
Is it that I wish to reinvent myself and expand my views with first-hand experiences?
Or is it a gnawing feeling of discontent….
A feeling that all that we have is no more than an illusion and that in craving for material things or in overly cherishing them, we only bind ourselves closer to them…
I had a similar experience when we left Colorado.
I drove home one day before our departure, and I noticed the way the impossibly blue sky was hugging the snowy mountains.
I noticed how clean the air felt and how beautiful the light was, as it shone across the road on which I was driving, as it curved along the Colorado river.
Ducks and white swans floated in the river, and the light seemed to shimmer on the river.
I felt very excited as I thought about our upcoming adventure and happiness was bubbling inside me, a happiness I rarely feel when we just stay home and go about our days.
I was baffled by why it was that I felt so eager to leave my beautiful home in this stunning place in the mountains, a place to which people from all over the world come to vacation and play….while I am so eager to go wander around Asia, and to sleep on the floors of rustic traditional Hanoks in South Korea…..
So… Why is it…
Am I a fully blessed woman who wishes to celebrate her life and to embrace the beauty of our beautiful planet so full of rich cultures and stunning natural beauty, while at the same time being a woman who is eager to shake off the shackles of illusions and touch the core of her true being beyond her familiar and most comfortable environment…………
Or am I just a woman at a crossroads in her life, at the monumental changing times of menopause, who is discontent with her life….
Maybe this trip will help me to understand myself better.
Despite the war threats by North Korea, we decided to fly to South Korea earlier and to make our trip there a bit longer.
We called Air New Zealand and Korean Air, and we changed our flights in order to arrive in Seoul a week earlier.
This will give us about ten days to explore the city of Seoul with its many wonderful delights, before we embark on our hiking trip around the Korean Peninsula.
In Auckland, we were fortunate to arrive for the Documentary Film Festival.
The venue of the film fest is in the newly opened Q theatre on upper Queen street.
It is a lovely contemporary space with two theaters, a cafe and a bar.
We bought passes for six movies which sounded very interesting and which deal with current issues in personal lives on this wonderful and diverse planet.
It is twenty minutes before the screening time of the first movie, and I have been drinking two pots of their delicious loose leaf tea at the cafe, so I will leave you here and run to pee before the movie starts.
Bye, and a thousand blessings to you…