If there ever was a remote and fascinating place I always dreamed of visiting, but never thought my dreams would actually get me there, it's New Zealand. I'm not a big fan of Lord of the Rings (my husband is though), therefore I watched the movies, but all I was left with were the gorgeous landscapes. I know, I know, how could I, right?
I don't know if it's because of the blog or not, but whenever I engage in heart-to-heart talks with people (which as a psychologist, I do quite often), when it comes to the happiness chapter, they always turn to pages of their lives that have travels written all over them. To my surprise, not many talk about money, stuff they've gathered over the years, nor career advancements; but all of them speak about the places they've been to and experienced firsthand. What stays with us in the end are the people we've met and the places we've explored; that's what stands out, not the domestic chores we do on autopilot, nor the daily struggles.
On the other hand, my own grandma always had a longing to travel (I inheritted that from her!). But life and the times she lived in were harsh and didn't put her in the way of the opportunities she was looking for. She managed to travel abroad only once in 70 years. But she was gifted with a marvelous sense of perception and she probably made more memories in those few days than others in a lifetime of travels.
Is it important to have a cushion and a beacon to come back to? I think it is. But our material possessions are more often than not less important than we think they are. In fact, things are meaningless without a person to give them a special meaning.
So I asked myself, what would I give up for the trip of a lifetime to New Zealand? I didn't make a list of the most expensive objects in my house, but of the ones I'm most attached to. And on the top of the list came one of the paintings I've painted lately, 'The chambers of my heart'. It's a painting that has a long history behind, in fact, as long as my life goes back, therefore, I'm not going to tell it here.
Tourism New Zealand is asking the same question: what material possession would you give up for a trip for 4 to New Zealand? They have two different experiences in store, Natural Goodness and Winter Highlife. Personally, I would love the Natural Goodness one, as dolphins, whales, and seal watching has been on my bucket list for way too long. But the trip also includes stargazing (ah, stargazing in New Zealand!), rafting, glacier climbing, exploring national parks and spotting wildlife. More than just eye candy, this promises to be an amazing trip of discovery and self-discovery and for me, there would be so many first times! Please, please, pretty please, vote for me, 'cause I want to go to New Zealand so badly!
You can also enter this amazing competition at Stories Beat Stuff and you can check out other people's entries here as well as seeing the amazing adventures that previous winners have had. All you’ve got to do is take a video or a photo of what you’d trade for a trip to New Zealand, like the girl in the video. You can also visit their Facebook page for updates. There's also a prize for just voting other people's entries! Good luck!