“I’m going on an adventure!” said Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit. Kia Ora New Zealand! Kia Ora means “hello” and comes from the indigenous Maori language. New Zealanders (Kiwis) also greet each other with the Hongi (touching noses).
I’m on another adventure in a new area of the world for me and my last hurrah before returning to the real world, reality and a new job. I’m going to cover as much ground as I can and at this point thinking my longer stops will be in Bali and Vietnam. There are a couple of bucket list items on this trip ~ setting foot on all 7 continents (as soon as I land in Sydney, Australia) and seeing the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I was home after the PCT for 6 weeks and those weeks at home were really nice. I spent time with my young man, chatted with my parents and hung out with my girlfriends. I bought a bike, changed some habits and starting losing weight (12+ pounds and counting), relaxed with Myrna in the hot tub and happy hour on the patio at Buco, hung out on the deck with Mavia and Duke, cleaned and decluttered my home some more, exercised, shopped, rode bike with Debbie, went for lunch/supper often with Donna, Linda, Nadine and Dawn, saw a few movies and lunched with Bryan and in general enjoyed my time. Ladies, I wore rompers almost every day and you all need many of these in multiple styles and colours (www.smashtess.ca) and men these would be great gifts. As Donna says, “Throw them in the wash like a rag”. Doritos also had another limited release of Ketchup Doritos and believe me I stocked up! I have enough to last me a year. I made the right choice leaving the PCT when I did.
I deactivated social media for a few weeks and honestly enjoyed not being distracted by it and I didn’t miss the negativity at all. I made decisions, closed doors and opened windows. I worked on my resume and LinkedIn profile and have it ready for when I return home. I hate to say such a thing, but I’m looking forward to working again. I need new work clothes.
I had a fabulous flight to Auckland and relaxed in my little pod with wine, heated nuts, slippers, my Kindle and my head literally above the clouds. I think I might have been snoring. I’ll be heading home from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam on July 28.
My first glimpse of New Zealand!
New Zealand is in the South Western Pacific Ocean and has two main islands ~ North and South. The city of Wellington is the capital and on the North Island. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit sagas were both filmed on location here. I am in Auckland which is on the North Island. My must-do is to see Hobbiton, the set of the Shire from the movies. Yes, I’m a massive fan and have watched both repeatedly. I have a ticket to Hobbiton tomorrow!
Hailing from Canada, I’m also a huge hockey fan, my team is the Edmonton Oilers. All that I know of sports in NZ is that the All Blacks rugby team are from here. I don’t know if it’s rugby season or where they play, but if possible I’ll take in a match.
I’ll be staying in hostels this trip. I spent too much money last year on hotels. We’ll see if I change my tune when I encounter a gross bathroom that I have to share. So far so good with the Hobson Lodge. The girls next to me have their clothes all over the floor. It’s making me batty. One just got up and showered and is smelling all her clothes right now deciding what to wear tonight. Oh to be that young again. Not.
Some miscellaneous NZ info …
- New Zealand Flag 🇳🇿
- Currency ~ NZD
- Tourist Visa (Travel Advice for Canadians) ~ Not required up to 90 days ~ you do need an onward plane ticket and if required the appropriate Visa to enter that country (eg. I have my ticket to Australia and my approved Electronic Travel Authorization)
- Seasons ~ Spring (September – November) Summer (December -February) Fall (March – May) Winter (June – August)
- Driving ~ Drive on the left hand side of the road; the driver is on the right side of the vehicle
I’m going to try to blog as much as I can! Hope you come along for the ride and enjoy my posts.
But right now … Kia Ora Middle Earth! I’m here! After such a long flight, I walked around this afternoon and got my bearings. New Zealand is very green and looks gorgeous from the air! I headed to the waterfront first thing today and felt very peaceful. People bungy jump from this tower and I thought about it for all of 5 seconds.
It’s only 5 pm, but off to bed for me now as everyone else heads out, I’m old and tired lol! Hobbiton tomorrow!!
Happy Travels 💕
🌏 🍷 👠
Jackie is “Mom” to one amazing son, an IT professional and an obsessed traveller. She spends her time reading, golfing at Ladies League and implementing software projects. Jackie has travelled to all 7 continents and 93 countries and is always planning the next destination and adventure!