I don’t know where the idea came from, but somewhere along the way I decided that I needed to visit all the continents except Antarctica by the time I turned 30. I made it to 5 continents by the time I was 25, followed by a bit of a travel lull – too busy getting engaged, married, moving to California, etc. I suppose. However the lull is over! Tomorrow night at 10 pm Than and I are departing LAX for our next grand adventure…the final continent to mark this off my bucket list – Oceania…or as I was taught in elementary school – Australia (even thought it included more countries than just Australia…)! More specifically, we are traveling to New Zealand. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been 30 years old for 2 months now, so I’m slightly behind on the “by the time I turn 30” aspect…but close enough! It’s really quite incredible. I always felt like this dream was a little bit out there and I am amazed that we’re actually fulfilling it! Our bags are packed, yet it hasn’t really sunk in that we’re actually going! That 13 hour plane ride will probably be a good dose of reality for me. Ample time to let it sink in!
When you tell people you’re going to New Zealand, so many people automatically put you in this Lord of the Rings fanatic category. Yeah…let’s just say I’ve only seen the first LOTR movie and I slept through about half of The Hobbit in the theater so let me just get it out there that is NOT why we are going to New Zealand! We are going to experience the incredible scenery and nature. I’ve heard New Zealand described as one of the most beautiful countries in the world and from the photos I’ve seen I have no reason to question that statement!
After a few months of research we finally decided to do a tour with a company called Flying Kiwi. It has fantastic reviews and seems to be the perfect combination for us, as it’s a tour with lots of flexibility. We’ll be departing from Queenstown on the South Island and working our way up the west coast of the South Island, then we’ll take the ferry to Wellington and then make our way back up north to Auckland. We’ll be camping along the way in some incredible national parks. The diversity of landscape sounds pretty incredible. In the course of one day we get to experience a rainforest and a glacier. Wow! We are anticipating that one of highlights will be the heli-hike we are taking on Fox Glacier!
Aside from our honeymoon to Mexico this is our first big international trip together, though we’ve both traveled fairly extensively before we got married. For both of us it’s our first time in this part of the world. Our first time camping together. Our first Christmas in a tent! No doubt we’ll return with stories to tell and many, many photos to share. I’ll be sure to post about our adventures when we return in a couple of weeks!