By KATE HUNTER
Remember Gilligan’s Island?
Such a great show, such a simple concept: What happens when a millionaire, his wife, a professor, a farm girl and a movie star are marooned on a desert island with a sailor and his ‘little buddy’? Genius.
I watched episode after episode as a ten year old, stretched out on the lounge room floor, my chin in my hands.
Last week, I walked the Milford Track in New Zealand and thought about Gilligan’s Island a lot. Stay with me here.
Sure, the environment was different, about twenty degrees colder than Hawaii, and more mugs of soup than coconut cream pies; but the dynamics of what happens when a random bunch of people are thrust together in a remote location, was just as fascinating to me as the waterfalls and ferns. And there were some pretty awesome waterfalls and ferns.
As I get older, I seem to meet fewer new people. I don’t have enough time to see the people I already know and like, so I sort of avoid strangers. I read on buses and at parties, I stick to people I know. I’ve lost the energy for small-talk.
In my twenties, I was well up for making friends, getting out there, meeting new people. Also, I was single so I always had an eye out for ‘the one’.
But then ‘the one’ showed up and soon we were five and we cocooned. We saw our friends and our family and know our neighbours, but opportunities to get to know people different from ourselves didn’t present themselves, and I didn’t look for them.
And until last week, I’d forgotten what I was missing.
A guided walk isn’t my first choice of holiday, but Jim likes that kind of thing (active, outdoorsy) and once I’d established there were beds and bathrooms and wine, I was good to go. A holiday without the kids can’t be all bad.