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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

Bits and Pieces...

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

I woke up a bit groggy this morning to a new series of morning sounds. Different bird calls, cows mooing and not chickens clucking, tuk tuks puttering off in the distance... and the music that I thought was an ice cream truck was a bread and roll truck! I just completed 24 hours of traveling through 4 countries from New Zealand to land in Sri Lanka and staying at a coconut farm.

I’m waiting on Srilanda (farm owner) to start our day picking coconuts, and while I have a moment I want to reflect on New Zealand (NZ) and gather those random bits and pieces that may be forgotten.

Things like...

Sleeping in a van. Yup, I slept in a van during my stay at Fat Cat Backpackers in Auckland. Some of you may be a little surprised at this, but the culture in both NZ and Australia embraces the nomadic way of life of living in a van! I watched my young traveling mentors trick out their vans - organize, decorate - personalize their traveling space with much gusto!

Now I must admit, you gotta’ be fairly agile to live in a van.

To make your bed (yes, I made my van bed everyday) one must crawl around on hands and knees to straighten those sheets and raising up too high will result in a head scraping - LOL! I watched the long term travelers buy and sell vans like water and found it astonishing how simple it was to transfer ownership. You simply take the bill of sale (hand written is sufficient) to the post office and there you receive a form that is mailed in. Transfer done. The license plate follows the car, so no purchasing a new license plate is needed nor taxes to pay. Amazing. The long term travelers know how to play the seasonality of the van market and buy when there is a surplus at the end of high season and sell when the next round of travelers arrive. Brilliant.

I just finished listening to a podcast entitled “Wild Ideas Worth Living.” Thank you my two young fun loving, thoughtful Canadian friends from Fat Cat for the recommendations! I’m pretty sure I was the mum figure to many of the travelers there, though not necessarily reflective of their mums.The age difference was a wild discovery for both sides. Why do I still feel 25 in my head?! LOL. I found myself in daily meaningful exchanges with my fellow hostel mates and topics ranged from the importance of protecting the earth, the ills of capitalism, the ways in which society sucks us into consumerism and no need to go into what they thought about US politics.

I found myself sharing my life story and spiritual journey with some, yoga with others, business encouragement and good ole’ fashioned motherly advice to a few.

The day naturally ended under the covered porch where many of them gathered for nightly beers, played music and shared smokes of all kinds; they were a kind group of humans. Every evening after our communal dinner, a bag was brought out and passed around from which every person (except the nightly chefs) pulled a slip of paper on which a task to be completed was written. Tasks like: wash the dishes, dry the dishes, wash the pots and pans, clean the kitchen floor, cut up a few fruit for breakfast, give a hug to each person, give a massage to the dish washer.... Thank you’s were abundant and heartfelt. I found that I instinctively relinquished the covered porch to my young peers and adjourned myself to my van bed hours before they laid down their heads. It worked!

I was reminded from a podcast that crashing waves produce negative ions which help to create calmness in the neuro chemistry of the brain. That fun fact made me wonder if my good spirits were a result of spending long afternoons at various beaches in NZ which my local Kiwi friend explored with me. There are many beautiful black sand beaches all along the coast that are the result of the ancient volcanos pushing and pulling on the island. Lucky me to have laid on several of them!

The podcast also talked about how important it is to go barefoot and connect the foot with the earth. HHHmmmmm.... I was able to continue my barefoot trend while in New Zealand and granted my feet are a bit gnarly, but my mood high!

I was able to navigate the time difference and connect with a friend who was doing a triathlon in Cuba a couple of days ago, and he asked what has surprised me the most about my travels. After a moment of thought, it dawned on me that I was surprised how quickly I was able to let go of my professional life. I remember wondering before I left how I would be feeling about now.... It feels pretty damn good!

Off to learn about all things coconut. Loving and living it...

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