It’s been cold, rainy, grey. The towering churches and cathedrals on every street corner seem somber and appropriate; the sea birds’ calls echo over the deserted city. The students are gone, the residents are bundled up or staying indoors. There hasn’t been much of a summer here, the locals say.
I feel it. This week has felt strange, off-kilter. I miss my partner, though traveling alone has renewed my self-confidence. My attempt at work-trade failed, though I did a good job there. I went to nine yoga classes in seven days but endured street harassment when showing some leg. I visited the Otago Museum and was overwhelmed with sadness at the wildlife that’s gone extinct, at Pacific cultures impacted by Western ambition.
It is with only a little regret that I leave Dunedin. I wish the weather had been warmer, that I might have explored the area a bit more, etc. But, in exchange, I am grateful to have had a week of focusing on self-care. After leaving the B&B, I set myself up in a cozy hostel and ate fresh food and took long walks and did tons of yoga. I read books and watched movies and did my best to stay warm. Now, I feel eager to get on a bus and head north toward Nelson, to see my sweetheart and spend a leisurely week on the beach and in the mountains.