As 2014 comes to an end, it’s only natural to think back over the year that was.
For me, it was a year I welcomed my first child into the world – 11 months ago, now. I haven’t had much time to dwell on the impact Alice has had on my life. Late nights, early starts, interrupted sleep and giving my constant attention to the wee girl doesn’t leave much time for ‘thinking’. That said, it doesn’t take Aristotle to figure out it’s been rewarding.
Next year will be even better: Alice will turn one, she’ll be walking more, beginning swimming lessons and speaking her first words – all amazing milestones, but the one experience I’m looking forward to most is the one that makes New Zealand truly great: the outdoors.
This summer, Alice will go on her first tramp, strapped to her dad’s back. I’m picking it’ll be one of the best trips I’ve ever done. Bold statement I know and there’s always the risk of the reality not matching the expectation as happens with the film version of your favourite book.
I’ve carefully thought through the trips we’ll do: we’re going bush walking in the Waitakere Ranges, volcano climbing in the Hauraki Gulf and coastal tramping on the Coromandel. And if I get the baby seat for my mountain bike, we’ll even go for some rides.
Regardless of how these trips go, one thing is for certain: the outdoors will never be the same for me again. But that’s OK, I’ve got entirely new and happy experiences coming my way.
Thanks for reading Wilderness this year. I hope you have a wonderful summer filled with outdoor adventure and lasting memories.
Happy Christmas and all the best for 2015.
– Alistair Hall