Reconnaissance is basically a preliminary survey to gain information. This has been the main intention of our trip to The Land of the Long White Cloud, we surveyed much of the west coast region as well as taking a quick road trip down the centre of the South Island and a broad loop through Southland. With the expectation of the Moeraki Boulders (Image 1) we avoided the main tourist sites instead aiming to see the place from a local perspective.
We made it to the end of the road, dwelling for a short time amongst the southern bays, enjoying the soft light and subtitle colours of the land. Now we're making our way back to more familiar areas of the state with our thoughts focused on the future. We've begun the quest to find a new home base, somewhere to settle and create a new mode of life. The search is broad in geography but narrow in parameters. It'll mean more travel and most likely some harsh compromises.
As we start the 6th week of our disconnected journey, we've been reviewing our plans and reflecting on our motivations. We've found it harder to focus on creative endeavors than we had expected and have to acknowledge that a mapped site we can call "home" or a long term base is definitely something we want sooner that expected. Exploring the geography of the state of Tasmania and visiting friends in different corners of the state is enjoyable in the moment but it doesn't offer us an ongoing lifestyle.
Over the last couple of weeks we've criss-crossed from east to west and back again, and are now veneering below the 42 parallel.
As we approach 4 weeks of disconnected home life, I have a few reflections and new motivations. But words are hard to come by to really articulate the sense of life I am experiencing, I have aimed to journal daily but it's been a few days since I last put pen to paper. And everything I have written seem so banal. I have yet to find an strong photographic focus, but have enacted a policy taking the time to photograph the mundane things that catch my eye as I drive or walk around the state. There is no hurry, so just stop and take the photo if it catches the eye.
I wondered today how I managed to fit a job in to my life.
In late July 2023 a long brewed plan of selling our house, storing our belongings and going traveling in our motorhome finally became a reality; for an undefined period of time. The whole process from listing our house in February to moving out in July was a test of will and endurance, many times it seem too hard and we questioned our choices, but once the sale process was enacted there was no going back.
Now two weeks into our experimental phase of motorhome living we've begun to find some of the peace and disconnection we had been aiming for. These last couple of weeks have involved maintenance to the camper and fit out jobs we could have dome anytime in the last 3 years, but didn't. Mostly based close to our former base in Railton, where we still have to go to check the mail. I also made a trip to Rowallan Dam to photograph it spilling over, something the only briefly happened in the 3 years that I was photographing The River- this winter it has been running over from several weeks.
Time seems to be moving differently and the weather is much more integral to our daily life than when we had a fixed roof and walls. I'm looking forward to seeing how that shapes my photography over the next few months.