Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: technology

Rangitoto Island and WWOOF

I explained this hike in my last post, and here are some photos to show the amazing views. Only a two hour round trip hike, and it was a nice way to start my stay in New Zealand.

I bought this nifty cool adapter from Amazon– a “camera connection kit” that has 5 little ports for different kinds of memory cards on one side and a plug thing that I can plug into my iPad charger port on the other. So I took all the above photos on my digital camera, not my iPhone, to see if I could get better photo quality. Then I took out the memory card, used my connection kit, and they were imported on to my iPad! I don't have my laptop with me on this trip– way too heavy. So I'm hoping that between my iPad, iPhone, and digital camera, I can make do with limited technology. The key is if I have wi-fi connection on the farms where I'll be going, and that's not a guarantee.

So today, I'll be heading back into downtown Auckland to walk around a bit (my legs are quite stiff from all the walking yesterday). And then I take a bus to New Plymouth, down the west coast of New Zealand, about 6 hours from Auckland. I'll be spending two weeks in that area WWOOF-ing at two different farms. I'm not sure how much technology I'll have access to. So I may not end up blogging for some time.

But in case you don't know, WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming. It's an international community of sorts. According to the New Zealand website: WWOOF New Zealand is part of a world wide community that promotes awareness of ecological farming practices by providing volunteers with the opportunity to live and learn on organic properties. WWOOF is an enjoyable, educational and safe way to explore and get to know the people in the country.

So I'll be farming for the next month or so. Living on the earth, getting to know how farming works. I'm doing this not because I think I'll become a farmer but I want to learn more about how people have taken principles of taking care of the earth and families and communities and translated that into their everyday lives. Some terms that get used in this “world” are permaculture, biodynamics, sustainability… I think growing your own food is one way to give back to the earth and also to oneself.

It will be interesting. I'm sure I'm going to be sore for a few days. Weeding and gardening at home always made me sore for days! But working several hours a day and then getting a half day to rest each day should be interesting.

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#36: Backpack Basics

I’m slowly checking items off my checklist in preparation for my trip.  I bought a backpack today from REI.  I love that place and the great customer service they have.  Why can’t customer service be so good everywhere where people care about their job and about the customer, are respectful and knowledgeable, and are not out to cheat you or sell you the most expensive thing?

So I bought this pack.  It’s a Gregory Deva 60 Backpack.

But literally in the middle of this post, I was surfing (and posting at the same time) and I found a better deal for an older version of this backpack that’s $100 cheaper plus I found a free shipping coupon which worked!  So I just bought it.  It’s a different color but it seems basically the same.  The dangers/ joys of internet surfing.  Finding cheaper deals.  Then I guess I’ll have to return this backpack even after getting such great customer service.  I’ll feel bad, but saving $100 helps me get over that feeling.

The joys of having the world wide web is being able to do all this research and find good deals.  But the danger is that you can sometimes spend hours researching and if you’re like me, you end up taking all these detours along the way and buying other things you don’t need and even forgetting what you needed in the first place!  I’ve got to stay disciplined.

It’s no wonder kids these days have ADD– it’s not really ADD but technology.  I’m feeling it myself where I can’t focus on one task without reaching over for my iPad, iPhone, or laptop to look up something related to what I was reading, doing, watching, or thinking about.  It’s really bad for focusing on one thing at at time.  I guess this is where meditation would help one focus one’s mind.

#9: Serenity

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It’s been hard to feel at peace and serene for a long time now.  Things just get busier and busier.  How does one find peace and serenity in a fast-paced world?  Technology has really sped things up for all of us.  Email, social networking sites, texting– all of these technologies make it an expectation that you get an instantaneous reply when you contact someone.  There is no more lag time of calling, leaving a voicemail, and waiting for a response.  Now, if even a few hours go by after an email or text, there are worries about something being wrong.  And all this happened in the last 5-10 years, really.  The speeding up of the world.

So how do we find peace and serenity in this fast-paced world?  Some things I try to do (or at least WANT to try to do):

  • set a response message on my email that says, “I am taking a break from email because it’s making my life crazy.  I will be able to get back to you in the next two days.  Thank you for understanding.”
  • take deep breaths with eyes closed and think about a serene scene, like the beach pic above.
  • step away from the computer, stretch, take a short walk, and then reset.
  • keep technological-connection on weekends to a minimum.
  • practice yoga regularly.
  • take a long walk at the beach.
  • listen to music that soothes the soul, like jazz classics.

I need to find better ways to find the peace and serenity in everyday life, so I don’t get to a point like I am at now where I’m leaving it all behind and going thousands of miles away!  Any tips?

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