Places do not lose their identity, however far one travels. It is the heart that begins to erode over time. - Joanne Harris (Chocolat)

Places begin to blur into each other. Perhaps that's the brain's way of organising memories, by attaching them to those that are already present.

The novelty factor is not there, if you've seen something similar already.

- The houses built on hills, same in Launceston, same in Hobart, same in Auckland and Christchurch.

- A cloud descended below a mountaintop, the same in Japan, the same on the drive away from Picton.

- Bare trees that look like bones without flesh, on the wild roadsides of South Island. The same grim yet beautiful scene in Wilson's prom.

- A lookout from high above, breathtaking the first time, then all the same thereafter. From high above each city: Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, New York... become indistinguishable.

Moving rapidly through each site, you can only appreciate the place's aesthetic value. But a holiday is not about seeing places; rather, slowing down and doing something you don't usually do, take a break, have a walk, enjoy the company of those you're with, sleep in a comfortable hotel room and enjoy the local cuisine. That's my very lazy idea of a great, slow holiday. After all if it's by sight alone, just turn on your TV or flip through a travel booklet.

How difficult to satisfy and ungrateful we are! And having lived with my family day in day out for the last 10 days, I wanted nothing better than to sit back and enjoy a bit of quiet and time to organise what I need to do for uni. But now, I wish for nothing more than to be surrounded with people, because it's awfully quiet, awfully lonely.

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