Mike is a Canadian in his early sixties and he took us sailing in the Bay of Islands. Most of his life Mike lived aboard a yacht, together with his wife and four kids. All of them sailed across the world for decades. He took his children on the sailing trips as early as six months old. On the South Island of New Zealand we met Juanita a Mexican, who is about the same age as Mike. She used to hitch-hike on yachts when she was in her twenties, together with her husband. In the mid-seventies she, her husband and two friends bought a piece of seaside land for 6'000 New Zealand dollars. They settled down and built their own house. He works as a builder and she as a potterer.
Everywhere in New Zealand there are people like Juanita and Mike. They seemed to have wonderful stories to tell and enjoyed their lives. And they grew up during the flower-power era of the seventies. Today they own small businesses, are farmers or teachers and love New Zealand. The hippie spirit lives on with them. This might also be the reason that quite often people in New Zealand walk barefoot. We came across teenagers, trampers, adults and native Maoris who prefer to walk around barefoot, come rain or shine, downtown or out-of-town. It seems to be a legacy of the hippies who settled in New Zealand over thirty years ago combined with Maori lifestyle. And the tradition lives on. I met a young New Zealand plumber who told me that he only wears shoes at work.