Category Archives: New Zealand

A new year – what a great excuse for a change!

Time for contemplating. Lake Manapouri, New Zealand. Photographer Kati Kalkamo.
Time for contemplating. Lake Manapouri, New Zealand, November 2017. Photographer Kati Kalkamo.

The turn of the year makes you ponder on life and think about your choices and what you are hoping for the future. It may be the most genius invention after birthdays in terms of chances to make changes, change directions, break bad habits and make choices and renew yourself. Some decisions and promises may not last but others may change your whole life and even the whole world.

I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions but for the last year I’ve lived through times of changes, letting go and constant new decisions. One of the most important decisions, that I’ve carried with me through this past year, has been to keep my values and matters that are important to me involved in my decisions every day. Instead of letting my self to be caught up with habits and old customs, I try to stay true to myself in every decision I make. Finding your own purpose can bring happiness to your life, even though the conditions may not be what you were hoping for. We all have our own difficulties but we also have our own strengths, although it’s easy to forget this during difficult times.

New Year is a great chance and excuse to make changes for better or encourage yourself to start from the beginning. Have a happy New Year and good luck to your new year’s decisions!

Memories and memory cards from New Zealand

Lake Rotoiti
At the shores of Lake Rotoiti, New Zealand.

Inspiring landscapes of New Zealand are quite literally inviting to take photographs. Stunning landscapes look like they are taken straight from the pages of a storybook.

Photo above is from the shores of Lake Rotoiti in New Zealand, in November 2007. We were on a three week journey around the New Zealand’s main islands with my husband, and we traveled around by a campervan. The Kerr Bay campsite located by the Lake Rotoiti was in the middle of our journey. We arrived to the campsite in the evening, and the reception was already closed, but fortunately the fee could be paid in the next morning. Luckily we also got our campervan in to a place with an electrical outlet so there were no need for wearing beanies during the night. Descendants of Pet rabbits ran around the place, and in the forest nearby, which is a part of Nelson Lakes National Park, could have been possible to see kiwi birds in the wild. Idyllic settings of the Lake Rotoiti, surrounded by the mountains, made the campsite along the lake definitely one of the best experiences of our three week journey and top places to visit again.

Digital photography has created a new need for concentration to refrain myself from taking pictures and truly experiencing the views and landscapes. Careful and calculative use of film has reversed into quickly fulfilling gigabytes of memory cards. When I become inspired by every subtle nuance around me, and the memory card fulfills its own purpose with joy, I sometimes have to remind myself to stop and enjoy the views and allow my every sense and cell of my body to absorb the surrounding experiences and views. This leaves not only images to remember from but also exhilarating memories and something to dream of in the future.

Three weeks in abundant picturesque landscapes of New Zealand was well recorded into memory cards, but above all, stopping in front of inspiring landscapes of New Zealand and enjoying the views and experiences are still carrying my memories. Including phenomenal views and landscapes, on the top of my memories are the breathtaking wind that was seasoned with sea salt and sand, meandering steep roads, unbelievable peacefulness, and countless sheep, about 45 million of them! And during this whole three weeks we had only three CDs in our campervan that were imprinted as travel music due to the nonstop playing during the journey across the country. These still remind me about the amazing three weeks and the beautiful New Zealand.

Art of seeing close

See near as you would look far away. When far away, see as you would look close to you.

Several years ago when traveling in New Zealand I was sitting on a tourist boat admiring landscapes and sea views by the North Island. In the same boat there was an elderly man from New Zealand. He said that even though he lived so close to these amazing landscapes and wonders of nature he had never taken time to see these. We were as astonished by the landscapes only his journey to here had been about 45 hours and several thousand kilometers shorter.

I wondered how easy it is to ignore one’s own surroundings even when in such an amazing  settings as in New Zealand. And how much easier it is to think discovery of new aspects and views to be a part of traveling far away and in to new surroundings rather than near by and amongst every day living. Observing surroundings close by and in the middle of every day living and considering them as astonishing and as new as when traveling comes also often with great frustration. Unique beauty is easy to be overcome by plain and ordinary and even obvious wonders can be unseen.

When traveling it is much more easy to tune in to wondering and enjoying of simple and common things. However even then can the spirit of location and the essence of uniqueness be passed by with the obvious.