…is probably the type of question you might get asked at least once during your stint in your resort-town of choice. The seasonal nature of the characters that keep municipalities such as Queenstown well-oiled and running does mean that we have a high turnover of personnel. Add that to the millions of tourists that bless our nook of the world on a yearly basis and Queenstown can start to feel almost temporary. The seasonaires have temporary jobs, temporary cars, temporary housing and temporary phones, whilst the “day-walkers”, “cash-cows” or “holiday-makers” (depending on which bias you’re looking from) have a temporary amount of time…and money.
It is, however, the temporary relationships that seem to cause the most amount of unrest within the community. Whether it’s the one-night-stand you just dropped back to their hostel, the snowboard bum who became your jaeger-bombing bro-mosexual throughout the winter, or the significant other who has finally decided to rejoin the real-world and leave you’re wallowing posterior – relationships come and go like the bitter Antarctic wind that strafes it’s way through the Southern Alps. No one likes goodbye’s – regardless of how good the party is that quite often accompanies them – and the deeper you drive the metaphorical nail that is yourself into the hearts of others, the harder it can be to pry you’re rusty arse out for the rest of us.
So really there’s 2 ways for us “lifers” to look at the scenario we’re faced with on the daily. One could get bitter and twisted, resolving that unless someone has been in *insert destination here* for X amount of time, then they’re simply not worth yours. These people have taken their losses too deeply, and have essentially chucked in their “friendship towel” in a futile attempt at preventing further pain and “wasted” time. Don’t expect them to come to your going-away soirée, nor any bar that tourists frequent for that matter. They’re beyond the initiation conversations and need a deeper experience that you can’t offer, you flake.
Alternatively however, one could take the stance that it is not the places you go or things you do that necessarily have the most profound effect on you, but the people you meet along the way. Our relationships have shaped us into the individuals we are today – from the very first interaction out of the womb, to the person that served that coffee an hour ago. We are molded by the touch, sight, smell, taste (too far?) and sound of those around us. Whether it’s a 5 minute chat to the lonely backpacker across the bar, or the torrid yet romantic affinity you’ve had with your better half for the last 4 years, we are all just products of our physical environment. So when you’re travelling, or likewise when you’ve stationed yourself too long in a holiday destination, don’t discount those interactions with others too quickly. They may not be your eventual one-and-only, they may not be able to provide dream-job opportunity, and they may not have just won Lotto and have thus been burgeoned with an undying necessity to bequeath a hefty portion of cash on the next unsuspecting soul willing to talk to them – but what if they are, can and have?
*this post is dedicated to all of those we have loved and lost – god speed you beautiful devils. We know you’ll be back*