Shadows engulfing the mundane

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New experiences sell. It is easy to get explorers excited about doing something they have never done before.

This past week we had our first WeXplore in New Zealand. We visited the Bay of Plenty with a fantastic group we called the Fellowsheep and an unbelievable itinerary including things like Hobitton and Caving. Compared with these brilliant activities, I wasn’t as excited for kyaying. 

 

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New experiences sell. It is easy to get explorers excited about doing something they have never done before. Seldom does it matter what the adventure consists of because of it’s novelty it is practically guaranteed to be exciting, unique and, in most cases, adrenalin-inducing. It takes a lot more for us to generate the same level of excitement for something we have already done countless times.

Kayaking is one of those things for me.

 

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Which is not to say that I don’t still enjoy it, it just has a hard time competing with things like caving and Hobbiton when glancing at the itinerary. It’s a charmed life I lead and I am well aware of how unappreciative my gut-reactions are at times. But it just goes to show how wrong glances and first impressions can be because as I emerged from a bus packed full with smelly teenagers carrying bags full of unwashed clothes I found myself telling everyone who hadn’t been on my trip about the kayaking. Even more shockingly so, I realized that I was referring to the experience my gut reaction had told me was going to be ‘ordinary’ when I was asked for the highlight of my trip.

 

 

 

So what made it so special? After all I have already mentioned that it wasn’t exactly the most hair-raising or adventurous activity that we did during the WeXplore. In all honesty, I can’t be completely honest because I don’t know exactly what did it. But if I had to take a guess I would say it was the telling of all the stories that engulfed every rock, cave and wave where we were.

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imageThings are always more special when you know their back-stories. I noticed this same sort of phenomenon in Tanzania when we ate at an organic restaurant towards the end of the trip. The chef gathered us around before we ate and went into detail about every flavor, sauce and spice that had been considered in the making of our meal. He told us the origins of each food and their part in the diet of the native tribes to the region. Every meal up to that point had been equally, if not more delicious but it was by letting us in on the secret that made that meal a highlight.

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As we were being told the stories that shadowed every feature of the region we felt included. We didn’t need to wonder about the tales that blanketed the area because they were described to us in such detail that I could easily retell them to someone that wasn’t present. All vagabonds love new experiences, but sometimes it’s better to be let in on the secrets hiding behind some of the more mundane wanders. Mundane for us, that is.

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