Thursday, November 28, 2013

LIVE from New Zealand, the book launches in Wellington!

Vol. III, No. 8

Signing LIVE from Mongolia for the dream-following juggler
WELLINGTON — Last night, LIVE from Mongolia launched in New Zealand. As many of you know, I moved here recently with my husband (who is "Bunkle" in the book's epilogue) and our little girl. We moved here because it's always been his dream to return home from living in London and New York to live in Wellington, where he grew up. So last night when he introduced me at my own book launch, I wasn't at all prepared for what he would say. I was prepared for him to gently poke fun at me in retribution for my 2010 wedding speech, which outed how romantic he is (he wore a tuxedo to our first long-distance date, which was on Skype). Instead, he spoke about what it meant to him and his family that I'd strayed from my own single-minded path of adventure to share in his adventure here in Wellington, and share in the adventure of family. Let's just say his was a tough act to follow, and not just for what he'd said about me and about us. But for the backdrop of his country, and for the crowd.

My husband, making one helluva speech
Anyone who knows even the tiniest tidbit about New Zealand knows that the country was built on a foundation of adventure. Commercial bungee jumping was invented here. The world's tallest official bungee is here. The world's most famous mountain climber is from here. The deepest sinkhole in the southern hemisphere is here, which means the spelunking is some of Earth's best. And, the weather is occasionally from Antarctica. As in, weather reports say stuff like, "A strong southerly will be coming in today from the Antarctic." Come on, that is cool. (Quite, actually.)

Anyway, to be in New Zealand in The Land of Adventure talking about my adventure to follow my dream was humbling. But to be in a crowd of people introducing themselves to me, saying things like:

"I've been to Mongolia, and my friend and I cycled 1500km from the Mongolian town of Moron in the west to the other Mongolian town of Moron in the east. Here's the book about our adventure; it's our gift to you." -Tama Pugsley

"I'm an anthropologist and linguist from Russia. My first taste of vodka was in Siberia in -42C
Book blurbs from 60 Minutes' Rosen & New York Times' Sipher
weather, and I drank it only to save my life."-Olga Suvorova

"We'd never been to New Zealand before moving here. We just wanted the adventure of living somewhere new." -Lissa Carlino

"I've been to Antarctica. Several times."

"My Christmas will be spent in the sub-Antarctic." -Jock Phillips, my father-in-law

I mean, these were the people I was speaking to. Not just about adventure, but about following dreams. And as I said in my speech, never before have I unearthed so many people in such a short space of time pursuing so many incredible dreams as I have in New Zealand. And so it was with last night's book launch.

Celebrating with my co-pilot and her cousin
The launch was held at The Preservatorium, owned and operated by Peter Thomas who spent two years working day and night to realize his vision of the gourmet cafe it would become. The beer was from Parrot Dog, a craft brewery whose owners are passionate about doing their own thing their own way, and they're really passionate about flavor. Best of all though, there was a juggler. Craig McDermott taught himself to juggle when he was twelve years young, and has just realized his dream of joining Circus Aotearoa! Craig the Juggler offered to juggle with fire and knives, but we alerted him to flammable babies, so he juggled with softer things instead.

All this is to say that the crowd at the book launch was full of adventurous dreamers, and I am incredibly honored to live in this place, to be surrounded by dreamers and adventurers, in this land of unrivaled beauty (especially when it's sunny). Thanks to all who came, for sharing your dreams, and for listening to mine. Especially Bunkle.

Photos taken by Lissa Carlino, the dreamer mentioned above who sold everything to move to New Zealand, although she'd never visited!

Patricia Sexton is the author of LIVE from Mongolia, the true story of what can happen when you follow your wildest dream. She's anchored the Mongolian news, worked for CBS News, hosted Sinovision's WE Talk, and authors this weekly blog about dream-followers and adventure. 

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