Home is where the heart is…for most people. So where is home, when your heart is that of a nomad? Where is home when you get the itch and all you want to do is unplug and travel? During medical school, I did exactly that - unplugged, visiting New Zealand during the Christmas holidays. Fast forward a few weeks later and I was disembarking from the Air New Zealand plane at Auckland!
Excited, I set off to explore Hahei beach and Cathedral Cove by boat on the Coromandel Peninsula. Cathedral Cove was where the opening scene takes place in The Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian. Seeing it from the boat was no less captivating. The boat journey took a total of about 3 hours, venturing out fairly far and taking the time to stop, admire and take pictures. Chugging along, we passed natural rock formations created by lava some thousands of years ago.
Passing by the rock formations, we were eager to catch a glimpse of Cathedral Cove. Luckily, we caught a break and the sky cleared up for a little bit, right when we were arriving at Cathedral Cove. Pictures of this place certainly did not do it justice. There were people on the beach and in the water, swimming, kayaking, and exploring the smaller, newer caves created by the action of the water.
The more adventurous climbed up on the rocks, taking turns to launch themselves off with spectacular results. The boat drifted into a large cave, revealing some of the rock formations inside. While everyone was looking towards the inside of the cave, I turned around, snapping a picture of the cave's mouth. Minutes later, it started pouring, and we knew then that it was time to head back to shore.
Experiencing so many new wonders, when the time came to leave, I realized that my wandering heart was finally captivated. Being a diehard Tolkien fan, I was't sure if I was leaving my heart at Bag End in Matamata, or under the starry twinkling lights of the glow worm caves in Waitomo. Maybe it is standing somewhere under the night sky, delighted that the constellations are inverted in the southern hemisphere, or maybe it is enjoying the raw beauty of Piha beach. I had fallen in love with New Zealand, convinced that I would definitely return some day.
I asked earlier, where is home when you're a nomad? Even now after travelling, I don't really know the answer. Hearts grow and expand without measure and find solace, beauty and joy everywhere. Mine is itching to find new places to explore and new things to be enthralled by. Our hearts can easily make room to be captivated and love-stricken with new places. The best answer I have is that home is where the heart is happy to stop roving and be still, even if only for a short time!
Written by Ayesha Tabassom