A recent adventure I embarked on upon coming to New Zealand last December; was a visit to a stunning lodge based in Apiti, Manawatu in the North Island. Makoura Lodge hosted a spectacular day in which myself alongside a large group of friends attended, filled with an array of activities overlooking the stunning valleys and rich greenery of the countryside.
The family owned business provides a variety of services and functions such as wedding events, family and friendly holidays and retreats as well as a wide range of recreational and sporting activities. The area is located just outside of Palmerston North and overlooks a magnificent landscape; filled with exotic trees and of course, New Zealand’s scenic mountain views.
Having had the entire area booked specifically for us; we were met with a tremendous welcome and the staff’s incredible hosting. We kicked off the day with a photo scavenger hunt as we split into 2 large teams in competition against one another; which bought me back to basics as I haven’t really participated in family driven activities like that for so long! With the seemingly mild weather suddenly turning into torrential rain; it was rather amusing attempting to run outside without getting too soaking wet in order to capture the photos required.
Other activities in which we participated in included horseback riding through the gorgeous forests and valleys. It truly left me in awe; I had never seen hillsides and gorges so magnificent up close which honestly felt like magic. Alongside this, we played golf on the hills which I certainly failed at; missing the golf ball every time I attempted to hit it, as well as archery; which instead surprisingly, I was rather good at. Whilst normally I prefer to relax, I found these activities recharged me and reminded me of how fun it is to play!
I certainly encourage those in New Zealand to consider a fun retreat and to check out Makoura Lodge or other venues similar to this; and those not, to attempt to gather with loved ones somewhere where bonding through exploration and play is available.
(All photographs taken by myself.)
(Images courtesy of @kojakstudio.)
(Click here to watch Kojak’s ‘Trippin’ 2016 Fashion Film.)
(Shoot sponsored by Oppo Egypt.)
Assuming that I have not yet been forgotten by previous readers, I would like to greet you warmly once again, as well as bid further newcomers who have stumbled upon this humble website a sincere & heartfelt welcome. For what appears to be a horrendously long time to refrain from my previous, much appreciated hobby of tapping away at my keyboard as you may remember, of writing what ones heart pleases and displeases; I had long forgotten the pure joy of running this blog and giving readers insight into my personal universe. In fact, in just over two weeks, I will have reached one, non-surprisingly and stupidly short year upon publishing my last WordPress post – which had marked the closing to my writings and ending to my previous gap year.
Unfortunately, one had stopped writing for a variety of reasons throughout the previous period. I chose to let the ending of my gap year dictate my lack of continuing, for it was what had originally inspired me to begin with. The second it had ended, I felt like my motivation was long gone and forced from then onwards in this particular field. I am not implying that having a year off meant being at my peak level of creativity, but it had proved that spare time allowed myself to explore further my surroundings without the pressure of deadlines. Considering I had just started university, I felt like it was necessary to end that chapter as well as focus on my studies – which suggests that I had no spare time whatsoever when of course in reality, I did have plenty. Sometimes however, I often felt that simply, there was not really much to write about at all.
Previously, I let the non-practicing of my talents cause me anxiety. I often felt like I was a slug or some relative creature – extremely lazy and that my existence on planet earth was completely pointless. However, instead of pressuring myself, I chose to embrace it in return for peace of mind. I chose to allow my writing, or any particular talent in fact, come to me in waves, like those of an ocean. I chose to either peak at the highest tide, being my most exciting periods of inspiration, or instead, embrace the sea at its calmest measure. Rather than forcing a non-existing current, I chose to bask in the glorious, clear waters until the waves feel to crash again. For when they do, I am positive that what is to come is better than it ever was before.
Having strongly missed the support and love I had gained previously for my writings upon this blog, I believe that now is the most perfect time to return. I see a slow rise in the ocean’s tide and I long to make the most of it and to exploit it of the goods it chooses to bring. I am slowly and steadily taking on the current so I do not drown. I hope that both old and new readers gain a pleasant reading experience here and I wish that my return proves to be as glorious and as inspiring as I intend it to be. All in good time.
What is happiness? A question that one has always pondered upon, happiness is something which we seem to try to reach for on a daily basis and every breathing second in which we live. Happiness is supposedly the opposite of sadness; or the feeling of emptiness and morbidity. It is an emotion in which we have the ability to feel through aspects such as joyous occasions or a general sense of well being. Happiness comes in a variety of shapes and forms; objects and items, loved ones, relationships, perhaps that hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning or a squeeze given when you hold someone’s hand. Happiness is a lot of things, I do not think that happiness and it’s very broad definition can actually be narrowed down to solely one thing or item. For me, I personally believe that happiness is defined by something that is ever so simple. What makes me smile, what makes me smile like a fool or cackle when I laugh so loud that I disturb others around me. I am not going to recite every single affair that seems to make be blossom from inside; purely because a lot of what I have to say is either cat related or something über artsy. But I am going to stress that happiness may not require a lot to be found, but just the right people, the right company and a good heart. Happiness isn’t money; but you need money to have a good time. You also need good friends. It’s all about balance… But finding happiness is feeling contempt with the little that you may have or may not and finding pleasure in everything you love to do.