New Zealand: A Perfect Ending, A New Beginning
Sometimes it’s easy to write these posts, and sometimes it’s not. It’s funny, because New Zealand is one of those destinations that you can’t seem to get enough of. The natural beauty is just extraordinary. After such a positive experience in the stunning country, we expected our thoughts to flow effortlessly into blog-post form. Instead, we found ourselves struggling to put into words how we felt at the end of our trip to New Zealand.
It is said that pictures are worth a thousand words, but we’ve learned that neither words nor pictures will help us convey the reality of the moment. The beauty of New Zealand is literally indescribable, and endless. We drove 3500 km from Auckland to Christchurch over two weeks – and stopped about 3500 times too. In many parts of the country, it could be difficult to drive just 5 minutes without feeling compelled to pull over and take it all in with our eyes and camera lens. After a while, the words “wow” and “holy s*%#” get a little overused. We found ourselves wondering how it was possible for one country to contain so much pure, unadulterated beauty. Driving through Fiordland National Park was the epitome of scenic, and the most incredible destination to cap off both our trip to New Zealand and this big adventure.
Part of the reason this is a difficult post to write may also have to do with the fact that when we left New Zealand, we weren’t just saying goodbye to a single country, we were saying goodbye to this adventure as a whole. March 9th was a farewell to life on the road after a year of an unconventional travel lifestyle. Even though we fell in love with New Zealand, and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to end off the trip, we were ready to go home and were looking forward to our return to family, friends and a more structured daily life.
As the last country on our itinerary, it was inevitable that New Zealand would hold a special place in our memories. World-class wineries in Hawkes Bay and Marlborough, painterly mountain ranges and turquoise glacial waters across the South Island, and thrilling adrenaline activities in Queenstown also made it one of the most memorable places we’ve visited. As if all that weren’t enough, it was also the setting for one of the most important moments in our entire lives. With the Southern Alps of Fiordland National Park as the backdrop, we committed ourselves to a lifetime of adventures together in the future.
Of course, saying goodbye to a life of travel was bittersweet. We will miss the spontaneity of choosing our next destination and the feeling of awe that comes with seeing the icons of the world. We will miss being able to meet new people from all over the globe and try new foods from every culture imaginable. Winter weather in Canada will take some getting used to, and we’ll probably daydream about white sand beaches and warm ocean waters. Thankfully, the end of this trip does not mean the end of travel for us. We were lucky enough to have shared all these experiences together, and to have changed and grown as travellers at the same pace and in the same way. If anything, this trip has shown us that the world is bigger and more beautiful than one could possibly imagine. The amazing thing about this is that we will never run out of inspiration and ideas, new things to try, dreams to chase, and destinations to explore.
The Attic Backpackers, Auckland, $27 per dorm bed/night – Recommended
Cruzy Campervan, Auckland pickup-Christchurch dropoff, $133/day – Recommended
The Admiral Motel, Christchurch, $135/night – Recommended
Both Stephie and Eric: Charcuterie platter at Elephant Hill winery, Napier, $39