When living remotely in almost full isolation is a choice... An interesting topic to explore, especially this weekend, as we joined the official Mailboat Cruise to deliver post and packages to people living in one of the most beautiful, and probably most remote spots in the world - all the way into the Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand.
The nature, yes, it's incredible and breathtaking - beyond words, as you will see. But the stories! Thanks to the amazing crew, we learned a bit about the people, too, who chose tho explore this lifestyle, living almost in complete isolation. For a moment, we could experience, first hand, the remoteness, the challenges and the opportunities that come with it, as well as witness a bit how they connect to the world.
The Pelorus Mailboat delivers 2x a week in summer, 1x in winter. We were lucky to join the trip and cruise into pristine waters, magical bays nestled in this beautiful part of the world called Marlborough Sounds.
Most of the residents were so excited to see us show up on the horizon, waving and greeting us as we appeared. We witnessed families, old and young, dogs and humans, equally wait on the pier, to pick up that precious mail or boxes (or treats) they’ve been waiting for.
And a smile, a short conversation, a human connection with other people doesn’t happen everyday - I’d imagine, it’s special, too.
No shops, cars here and roads, off the grid, often no neighbours at all. It’s literally in the middle of “nowhere”. Everything has to be delivered by boat. And probably ordered online. Or home grown, home made.
But why would people want to live here, and how is it possible long term, some of you might ask? Well, I reckon the connection to the untouched nature, the peace, the silence, the slowing down, the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves and the birds... indescribable, really.
School for the kids, or working from here, maybe another topic. We met people who homeschool - and yes, the school exams, lessons sometimes might arrive via post. Or some take the boat 3x a week to commute to their work, that is back on the mainland - a nurse, for example. Or run a resort and welcome tourists and visitors who are looking to disconnect from the everydays, and reconnect with the nature. Or, some work from home, like a Maths & Physics teacher who teaches his students online, from paradise.
In a moment when big part of the world is starting to face isolation, and yet not living so remote, but it might feel very remote from a neighbour or family member some can’t visit due to different reasons or limitations... When people are starting to understand the implications and consequences of the situation as of today, for their private or professional lives, for their families, communities and business, in many parts of the world, I wanted to share this experience and stories.
Remember just 30 years ago, if we wanted to communicate with others living in different locations, we could only write paper based letters to each other. They were delivered by post.
The post still delivers today. So does the mailboat. And, today, in many lucky countries, we have access to the Internet, too.
In times and in situations we might feel further away from each other than ever before, a mail via post, a phone call, and the Internet, and yes, Social Media, can connect us more than ever. We can be messengers. We can communicate. We can share. We can converse.
This trip was a good reminder for me that there are different ways we can connect and support and keep each other company, no matter where we are.
It reminded me of times when I was little and loved writing and receiving letters via post. It reminded me of my childhood and the rare occasions I could speak to my Grandparents when we were living overseas, only via phone, and not for long.
It makes me cherish the times and conversations I can have today on the Internet, via Social Media, with my family and friends who don't live in the same corner of the world as I do. No matter time zones and kilometers, we can Facetime, Messenger, WhatsApp, join a Facebook Group, Dm an inspirational post via Instagram, learn via LinkedIn, join conference calls, attend trainings and workshops and learn live through streaming, Zoom and other channels. We can share moments of our lives, we can support and lift each other up. We can listen, learn, share and grow.
Technology is an outstanding tool many of us can and are able to use today. If we are lucky to have access to it - also a good reminder that this is not a given in every part of the world... It can be a way to bridge the gap and connect in times of isolation. As individuals and a businesses, too.
I wonder if these stories might spark some more ideas how to adapt to the changes we face, and the opportunities that will arise. I feel there is a lot of room for creativity and innovative solutions to emerge. I feel there is a huge opportunity in building a presence online. And I feel there is an even huger opportunity to connect on a deeper level. Go back to basics. See what truly matters. Connect with each other. With ourselves. Cherish, enjoy and care for the nature. And the people around us.
Will we find these opportunities? Will we use them? Will we create them? They might already be somewhere on the horizon...
5 more things that inspired me along the way:
1. Delivery to Maud Island. If you enter, wash and clean your shoes. Nature is so special here.
2. Nature conservation. But what are those dead dry trees? Well, mostly pine trees that are not part of the native bush and they spread super fast. Instead of cutting them down with a saw that might lead to 30 new seeds sawn quickly, many volunteers join the Department of Conservation and inject the trees so they dry off. Lots of work but a very special way to encourage the natives to grow.
The next picture shows a part of a reserve, this is how the real native New Zealand bush looks like.
3. Everything is a constant change and cycle. Just like tides. They come and go. So when the tide is high, it’s time to jump! Seize the moment! :)
4. Things are best in a good company. I enjoy these moments. With others. And more and more, with myself. I am always there as an option:)
Thank you Mary for the wonderful trip!
5. And finally, a good laugh is always good. Can you spot the toilet with the best view in the world? The land owner surely was creative! Let's laugh more if we can! Good for the body and soul. :)
Which one was your favourite? Do you have a thought or idea to share? Please comment below.
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Have a great day! :)
Hi, I'm Bea!