Our trip to Taranaki was exceptionally bittersweet. While a week away with your best mates in a beautiful beach region should be nothing but perfect, we all had extremely mixed emotions. This week way would perhaps be the last time that all of us were together before 2017 played out.
My friends are like no other young people you’ll ever meet. All so different, yet all so similar. I wish I had words for how much they’ve meant to be, but I’m yet to stumble across a way to explain it. While some of them have been my friends for 5,6,7 years, a number had also just come into my life within the past year, interestingly it didn’t seem that way. These are the sorts of friends you ready about in cliche John Green novels. The kind that use metaphors to express themselves, write poetry and live life through vintage Instagram filters – the most extroverted introverts you’ll ever meet. After graduating high school side by side, it was time to spend out last summer together before we all headed different directions. Some off to Victoria, some heading down to Otago, Canterbury, up to Waikato and of course myself off to Massey Manawatu.
Taranaki it was. A beautiful place to spend New Years and have a blast before we all headed in our different directions. A cheap (yet excruciatingly long) ride on the Intercity bus service saw us right to the holiday home we rented out, just a short walk from both town and the beach. All the couples reserved their rooms, friends bunked up and we were set – a week to relax, explore and reminisce. As well as partake in the must dos of Taranaki, such as head to the beach, eat out and visit the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park, our week in New Plymouth was exceptionally lazy, on the contrary to Taranaki’s hardcore brand.
Every night was a different version of the previous – all of us confessing our drunken love to the others, usually ending up in tears, laughs or a combination of both. But these nights were held in a euphoric fashion, the kind where you share memories, play drinking games that result in bonding and only become closer, despite the fact you’re about to drift apart. A little bit of teenage angst was also welcome though, making out under the moonlight at 12.01am on the 1st of January, playing with sparklers, getting piercings and taking shots until you can’t stand, but the trip was nothing but beautiful.
At the back of our minds though, we knew this was it. Perhaps our last set of drunken antics, our last meals together and our last time laughing as a group with no cares in the world. I wish I could put into words how incredible the week was, but a short blog post will have to do for now. Without a doubt it was the best way to end the most amazing year, and hopefully start another exceptional one.