After you’ve been traveling for a while, there’s always a question people ask you. They ask which countries you’ve been to that you’d love to return to. I get this question a lot. I’m thinking you do, as well. Maybe you have to think before answering, or maybe that answer comes quickly. I’m sure you have an answer, though.
For me the answer always includes New Zealand! A few years ago I spent three weeks in New Zealand, and despite it being one of the rainiest seasons they’ve ever experienced, I absolutely loved it.
The story behind why I even went to New Zealand is an interesting one. At that time, my golf buddy would tell me about the years he spent in New Zealand while on sabbatical. Picture this: my buddy is over 6 feet tall and a guy’s kinda guy, yet when talking about New Zealand tears would well up in his eyes. When someone talks with such passion about a place, well, I gotta see for myself. So that was the motivation for the trip.
I did get to explore both the north and south islands, drove around, and took intra-country flights, too. I even got to experience an earthquake in Christchurch, but that terrifying story is best left for another time. The Kiwis are warm, funny, love to eat good fresh food, drink wine, and enjoy coffee. In other words, my kind of people!
They were amazed that I was focusing on New Zealand for the whole three weeks, as their experience of many tourists is that the tourists go to Australia and then maybe go to New Zealand for a few days as a side trip. My all-New Zealand trip got me quite a few brownie points and, in fact, at that time I hadn’t been to Australia, which really surprised and pleased the Kiwis I met.
Because of my affinity for all things New Zealand, I stay in touch with the news and happenings over there. And while New Zealand might be on MY map of extraordinary places I’ve been, apparently the country is NOT on other maps!