I spent the start of the week down in Queenstown attending a meeting of the Association of Public Library Managers. It was nice to come together as group to discuss the issues facing public libraries and where we need to be heading. It's always great to reconnect with colleagues and spend some time thinking about the wider profession. However, that is not what this blog post is about. This post is about the beauty of the country we live in and how it is good to be reminded just how special New Zealand is. I have been to Queenstown many times, but this was the first time I had flown in to it. I knew what to expect, but the mountains are still breath-taking and coming in through them is spectacular. I had a colleague sitting beside me who had never been to Queenstown and for her I think descent was even more breath-taking. When you feel you could reach out and touch the mountains as you descend, you know you are flying into somewhere special.
Queenstown really is a spectacular setting and once there it is easy to understand why it is such a popular place for tourists. This of course comes with its drawbacks. I certainly don't want to be there in the height of the ski season, but boy I can see why people do. The mountains and lake make for spectacular sunrises and sets. We were lucky enough to go on a boat trip one evening and watching the sunset over such a vista from the lake, was amazing.
All this has set me thinking this week how even though I have been lucky to see some amazing parts of the world and enjoy international travel, I must remember to take time to reconnect with the New Zealand environment and the spectacular nature of that. That all around me is a country which is so diverse that I can experience it and not grow bored from repetition. The South Island is such a vastly different landscape than the North and the people and cultures are also subtly different. I cold lose myself in Central Otago for a month and not grow bored, of that I am sure. The Central Plateau, Fiordland, the Far North, East Cape, the Marlborough Sounds, all offer vastly different experiences which are special and breath-taking.
So, if you haven't recently, take a moment to pause and appreciate what we have around us. It's pretty bloody special.