I have been home for a week and I am still in complete awe over what I experienced over my two weeks in New Zealand and Australia. This trip changed me in so many ways but, mostly, I think that I am braver. I did things that I never would have thought I would. I was talking to a Scottish mother and daughter on the Sydney Harbour Bridge (as one does) and I had an epiphany-I, terrified of heights, was on top of the bridge on my terms not because someone else pushed me to do it. I chose to do it even though it scared me. Now mind you I have told someone I would be open to skydiving in New Zealand if he took care of the details, so baby steps!
This trip came about by accident. I was trying to think of where to go and I decided to find out how expensive it would be to go to Australia, somewhere I have wanted to go my whole life. Fun fact, I had a visa to go as a kid but we did not make it (but hopping around Southeast Asia is not a bad conciliation). So 30 years later, I finally made it! Anyway, I went to the Australian tourism bureau and it linked me to About Australia. So I look up the trips and I sent in for a quote. It was a great price and I text my dad (because I still need reassurance I’m making the right choices) and he said, ‘I guess your headed down under!’ That was a Friday and I submit in my information. Immediately, I regretted not including New Zealand…I mean I was going all the way down there, I may as well go all out! I emailed that weekend, was given another quote and said yes. So that is how I planned my trip. It was more money than I have spent on anything other than my car but worth every penny! They worked out everything, In addition to things that were included, I was provided a list of additional things to do. At this point, I’m just like take my money, so I filled up my itinerary. I don’t regret it.
Packing for this trip was a bit tricky. I was going to three different climates: cold, moderate, and tropical. So I brought a lot more than I would have ordinarily. I did bring a lot of what I took to Iceland: Danner boots, my favorite Levis, rash guard, my trusty Lumix. This trip, I did buy a North Face TriClimate jacket and it worked perfectly! I wore each piece together and separately. Being said, when I got to Queenstown, it was much colder than I anticipated (I’ll go into all this in a later post), so I did buy a couple items. I’ll go into more specific items when I talk about each place as a whole (in addition to separate stuff that I did).
The flight was daunting but not nearly as bad as I anticipated, so yay! I dressed way more casually than I would normally…sweats, comfy t-shirt, birkenstocks. For 30 hours of air travel, you need to be comfortable. I do wish I had brought more food because airline food is terrible and my layover in LAX was about 15 minutes. By the time I landed for another layover in Sydney, I was starving and spent $25 on pancakes (they were delicious). I was quite the sight afterwards of travel but, fortunately, I did not run into Chris Hemsworth!
I cannot wait to share my journey with you! I saw some of the most beautiful sites, went on a speedboat, climbed a bridge, snorkeled in the Reef, saw some penguins, fed a kangaroo, petted a koala, spent time by my favorite place…the Pacific Ocean, and oh, so much more. It was life altering. The photos included are just a taste of what is to come!