That's a bit of a surprise; I didn't expect to be here so long. It's been nice to have no time pressure. This leg of the trip has been the most vacationey, I think. New Zealand is culturally easy and naturally pretty.
It's been rewarding too. I learned I can bike a long distance and that I can do productive work for at least a week at a time. I've caught up with family a bit and seen some sights. I've met a few excellent Kiwis and absorbed a bit of NZ culture. It's all "shallow" culture (Cricket! Marmite! "Sweet as"!) but if you dig deeper, our cultures are really similar anyway.
I've got an exciting 3 days ahead: WLG-AKL-SYD (catch up with friend Anika)-LAX (catch up with cousins Jessica, Matt, and Colette)-IAD-ATL (see the city with friend Brad and visit Georgia Tech).
And then, here I come back to the States, inspired again. Inspired by a couple of fresh canvases, of the next few months and the next few years, and the confidence that I'll paint awesome stuff on them. Inspired by all the grad schools I'm going to visit, and the chance to work with some people who will help me turn my enthusiasm and energy into actually useful things. Inspired by an increasingly constant notion that everything is okay, and an urge to create and hopefully inspire creation and otherwise forward progress in others.
And let's not lie, inspired by some more great coffee. (Seriously. All over NZ it's good-to-great, but I think Wellington rivals Seattle. New favorite: Brewtown in Newtown, next to, and affiliated with, People's Coffee.)