I remember having a conversation with someone in the first month or so of my travels about how much I enjoyed the "Kiwi outlook" on life because everyone is so laid back, no matter where you go. There is a Kiwi saying "she'll be right" that explains this well - everything will, eventually, turn out okay... whether or not you actually do anything about whatever the current circumstance. I think the concept is based on a "don't worry" sort of attitude (because we all know many of us worry waaaay too much), but the person I was discussing it with (a Kiwi) said he thought it was borderline laziness and nobody ever got anything done.
I haven't really agreed with him until I tried to make plans for this week. I have planned for a while now to join Dave and some of his students on their "South Island Trip" to go rock climbing in Paynes Ford (abut two hours away from Nelson, where I have been staying). The only question was how I was going to get to Takaka (the nearest town). I decided to ask at the rock climbing wall and it turned out that lots of climbers head to Paynes Ford when they have a chance because it is some of NZ's best outdoor climbing! I was offered a ride from some who were going up Wednesday to climb for the day, but weren't sure if they would leave Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Well, Nelson, one of the top two sunniest places in NZ, decided Tuesday was a good day to rain for the first time in ages. This postponed the plans to go up Tuesday night (and made me find a new hostel to stay the night since the other was booked) and when it was still rainy this morning, the plans to climb today were cancelled completely.
I was told there would definitely be someone headed up over the weekend, but when nobody was quite sure of who or when, I booked a bus ticket and left this afternoon. I am staying at a backpackers tonight and hopefully meeting up with Dave & Co. tomorrow evening whenever they arrive.
There have been several other (usually minor) circumstances along the way that have caused some frustration or anxiety in the moment, but it always works out in the end. I was just talking to another Kiwi about it and mentioned how the laid back attitude can be welcoming and... he added "infuriating?" Yes, infuriating is a good word.
I have loved the flexibility and spontaneity of my trip at times, but I usually like to have a general idea of plans for what is going to happen next. I like to know where I am sleeping that night (if not a few days in advance) but this becomes more difficult when planning around other people. For this reason, I am once again happy to be venturing into the world of "solo travel" since I can always make sure I have what I need, whether or not others are involved! I have been accused in the past of not being much of a planner, and in the grand scheme of things this might be true, but I have met a lot of people in NZ whose priority of planning is at least a few grades below my own! I enjoy the generally laid back attitude of Kiwis, but somehow in my mind, you tend to get more done if you take a little action rather than waiting for things to just "work out."