I travelled to over fifty-something towns and cities last year. Maybe more. It was the greatest experience of my entire life. I’ve been home for about five months now, but there is never a minute of the day where my mind doesn’t venture back to someplace, or someone, on that incredible journey. Often, I find myself asking, “Was it even real?”
It must’ve been because I saw the unfathomable size of Tokyo with my own eyes, the city that bends the curvature of the earth. I saw the endless valleys of light in Mexico City, resting between the high mountains struggling to contain it. I met the Red Skywalker in Merida, she had red hair and came to me in a dream, only I didn’t realise who she was or what she was saying until I had woken up and she was gone, forever. I hobbled between blues bars in Chicago on a warm summer’s night before making my way down to jazz bars in New Orleans. I found myself once again cast into the ever-accelerating Manhattan stratosphere, the island that turns the world. I looked down in curious horror at the sprawling monster that is Los Angeles, the edge of the world and all of western civilization.
Of course, that was just last year. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel before then as well. I once went to San Francisco with a girl I loved. I once stood in the ruins of the Eternal City. I went to Dublin in the summertime of 2009, it rained everyday and everyday I drank pints of Guinness in old wooden pubs.
Drifting from place to place, I always heard the cutting words Bob Dylan sung in Like A Rolling Stone:
How does it feel, how does it feel?
To be on your own, with no direction home
A complete unknown, like a rolling stone
However, it’s Wellington that has always called me home. Or rather, it’s Wellington that I have always called home. She was recently named the best city in the world and New Zealand was ranked the most prosperous country on earth, so we must be doing something right down here in our quiet little corner of the South Pacific Ocean.
With all the exotic excitement of all the faraway places, it’s easy to forget the value of your own hometown sometimes. So, for my benefit as much as yours, allow me to share this unique collection of photos that I’ve taken over the years of my city.