"I love my country but I think we should start seeing other people”.
I am a walking talking lover of my home land. Spreading the love of Ireland to whoever will listen. The Irish tourism board should be giving me commission at this stage. You can imagine how heart breaking it can be to fall in love with other countries, cities and remote lands when my heart is some where else. I think this is the case for many people of my generation where thousands of young people have had to immigrate to foreign lands such as Australia and New Zealand for work.
Each time I return home my heart is full and I promise myself ill move home soon. Not having to miss one more of my friend’s weddings, missing family funerals and most importantly spending time with my family. The pull of the homeland and family against the awesome lifestyle at the other end of the world can be a pretty difficult task to jungle. However from my travelling over the past few months and stepping on Australian soil again has made me realise that home will always be there.
Now is the time to keep exploring, wandering and living life. A recent adventure has brought me to New Zealand. New Zealand is one of those special places that eases the guilt about my infidelity to my home land. This country has made me realise how much the natural landscape and sights can bring such happiness. How funny with all the materialistic things in this world. Don’t get me wrong while in Melbourne a few weeks ago I was pretty happy to buy some new clothes get dressed up and eat out in a nice restaurant but mostly outdoors, hiking and exploring is where I can find true happiness peace and a connection to the world.
On this trip, some countries I’ve visited have been about the cultural experience, seeing how differently people’s lives are from mine. New Zealand however is more about the sights. And not for a second is that any lesser of an experience. New Zealand is a magical, amazingly sculptured country. I had a lot of expectations coming here and New Zealand has most defiantly lived up to all those expectations. As well as standing out with its own uniqueness New Zealand reminds me of other gentle beautiful places . Bay of Islands on the North East Coast reminds of Halong Bay in Vietnam. Much of the landscape is like the highlands of Scotland, the lake area of Austria, Slovenian dairy farms, green pastures in Ireland and the snowy mountains of Switzerland . If you haven’t travelled much, a trip to New Zealand will give you the feel of so many countries and experiences in one.
Over the past few months I have took trains, buses, ferries, tuk tuks, bikes, helicopters, planes, walked and hiked to see the sights. To visit New Zealand’s most iconic sights I decided to rent a campervan. Which is one of the most popular options for tourists visiting New Zealand. After five weeks of Campervaning I completely understand why. Why is Campervaning the best way to see somewhere? Besides spending a lot of time in tourist offices, very long hours driving, researching, getting lost and deciding where to go to next. Campervaning is the ultimate travelling experience. Campervaning means you can go to sleep beside amazing sunsets, wake up to waves crashing against the rocks. Sip champagne in the comfort of your van with the window open while listening to the local rock music festival. Eating dinner at dusk at the base of snowy peaked mountains. Campervaning is singing to Adele ‘hello’ at the top of your voices while driving around some of new Zealand’s oldest wineries, finding hidden gems not on the tourist map, spending as long as you want in places you love. It definitely makes for a road trip to remember.
Some more highlights of the road trip around New Zealand for me were Wanaka in the South Island. A small town with the most magnificent views over Lake Wanaka, lots of mountain treks and walks and a few nights were spent in the busy bars and clubs. The coastal drive in the south west of NZ is one of the greatest wildernesses of the southern hemisphere , snowy capped mountains, rivers of ice, blue lagoons, deep still lakes, brown velvety hills and grasslands of exceptional beauty . No wonder it’s a world heritage area. Driving through here was like being in a movie. It nearly didn’t seem real.
From visiting the oldest winery in Napier the art deco capital of the world to the 20km Tongariro crossing(which ranks among the top then day treks in the world) to visiting the film set of the lord of the rings to taking a ferry on the Milford Sound( which has been described as heaven on earth) to buying last minute tickets to a Fleetwood Mac Concert, to doing a skyline luge over the top of Queenstown. New Zealand is by far one of the most unique countries Ive been to on this trip so far. I cannot wait to get back for more. Visiting New Zealand has continued my infidelity and inspired to keep exploring and wandering. As my travel funds quickly diminish my priority now is to get the biggest wage package to allow me to continue this trip. People said this would be a trip of a lifetime. But this is only the start.