Hitchhiking New Zealand Day 12-13: Surfing Kaikoura, Kaikoura-Picton

What is Mitchy Wilder grateful on this beautiful day? THE OCEAN! Yes, that’s right, the big, beautiful, powerful, majestic Ocean.

Let me give you a little backstory real quick. I started traveling internationally about a year and half ago. Before that, I spent two magical years in Hawaii on the Island of Oahu. During my time there, yes, you can probably guess it, I LEARNED TO SURF! I’m sure many can say that they learned to surf in Hawaii, it’s a great spot for it. But, I was lucky enough to be living so close to the ocean that I could throw a seashell into the water from my studio. AND not only that, I learned to surf from a professional surfer and was fortunate enough to shred the local spots that not many people know about. Not saying that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy surfing Waikiki beach either, it was just nice to mix it up. I was surfing everyday in Hawaii, sometimes two to three times a day.

I left Hawaii and I went looking for more surf around the world. And I ended up in Indonesia for a month surfing Bali and the surrounding islands. From there, I went to New Zealand. And when I first arrived just over a year ago in December of 2018, YUP, you guessed it, I found a nice little surf town called Waipu in the North Island and surfed there for a couple months. But I’m gonna be honest with you guys, I haven’t surfed in almost a year now and I feel it! I’ve been itching to get back in the ocean to get my wave dance on.

Waipu Cove Surf Beach
North Island
New Zealand
January, 2019

Okay! Thank YOU for letting me get through that backstory of my passion for surfing. And I promise it has relevance for what I’m about to share with you.

So, the other day, the delightful, Misha, and I finished our mountain hiking adventures in Kaikoura and figured that we travel up a couple hours, by car, north to the town of Picton. Picton is pretty much the northern most town in the South Island of New Zealand and is also where the ferries are located to cross The Cook Straight to get to the North Island (about a 3.5 hour ferry ride).

Kaikoura-Picton

We stood in a busy traffic spot in Kaikoura expecting to have a pretty easy ride to get to Picton before sunset. But, there we stood for 45 minutes without anyone picking us up. It was crazy to us because during this whole hitchhiking extravaganza we’ve never waited more than ten minutes for a ride. WE EVEN BROKE OUT OUR SECRET WEAPON. We made a sign that we held up that said, “WE HAVE CHOCOLATE”. We only use it for serious situations. Usually works every time, but still nothing!

The ole “We Have Chocolate” Trick
Kaikoura, New Zealand

After about an hour of waiting, a beautiful woman with very kind and relaxed vibes came walking down the sidewalk and asked us what we were doing. We told her and we conversed for a few minutes. During the conversation she asked, Do you guys surf?”. I think that I yelled out, “YES!” super quickly. She responded with, “Cool, a few of us are going to head out for an evening surf. Do you guys wanna come? You can just stay at our place tonight and we’re heading north tomorrow for a day trip so we can take you where you need to go, if you want.” Misha and I looked at each other and both said, “Why Not?!”, with smiles on our faces.

The girl’s name ended up being Jade, and her partner’s name was Drew. That evening we all went out for an epic sunset surf. They gave us boards and wet suits and they took us to a super local spot where no one else was besides us. The backdrop of the surf was actually of the mountains that we had been hiking the days before. It was a super special moment.

Surfing Kaikoura-“Manga’s”
South Island, New Zealand


The mountain summit in the top left is Mt. Fyffe

We got back to Jade and Drew’s place that evening and enjoyed really nice conversation along with a beautiful dinner. The next day, they drove us the final two hours of our South Island journey where we arrived at the harbor town of Picton. Yes, that actually happened.

Each and every moment of this trip humbles me more and more. Life is creating miracles everywhere Misha and I go and in everything we see. Some may consider what we’re doing as reckless or absolutely crazy. And I don’t blame them. From surface view, it is. But, it goes so much deeper than that. What Misha and I are trying to do here is to experience for ourselves what the world really is and what it is not; So we can form our own beliefs and ideas about people, places, and experiences. And so far, we’re lucky enough to be experiencing massive amounts of Love, Generosity, and Compassion everywhere we go and within everyone we meet. And because we receive all this Love, we are overwhelmed with the urge to spread that Love and Generosity everywhere we go. And THAT, right there, is something we strive to do every day along our beautiful travels.

Thank YOU so much for reading and I appreciate YOU so much.

With LOVE —-Mitchy Wilder

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