On the Road; the Twisty, Backwards Road

Driving can be an art in the best of situations. So try driving in a foreign country, where everything is backwards.

Taking the Plunge

A narrative about bungy jumping in Taupo.

Identity Crisis on Cuba Street

Get a feel for my favorite spot in Wellington — Cuba Street.

Election ’08 From the Other Side (of the World)

During the 2008 presidential election, I found myself in New Zealand, watching the historic election play out half a world away. It was interesting to see things from a different perspective, but, ultimately, the election and all the excitement and drama surrounding it caught up with me in Wellington.

A Red Carpet Weekend – ‘Lord of the Rings’ Tourism in Wellington

While in New Zealand studying abroad and searching for inspiration for my senior capstone project, I tagged along with Red Carpet Tours’ “August 2008 Fellowship” as they experienced a “Lord of the Rings”-filled weekend in Wellington.

Chasing a Woolly Dream

Sheep need hugs too, right??

Missing New Zealand

A guest post at Twenty-Something Travel.

“Missing New Zealand for me is kind of like missing a childhood friend who has moved far away. For the first few months, you think about them often, perhaps look at photos of the two of you together, and daydream about the next time you might be reunited. But as the time passes and you get used to being apart, you start to move on. You call less and less because you both become wrapped up in your new, separate lives, and the time difference starts to matter. You drift. The closeness you once shared is lost somewhere in the intervening miles. …”

Hakas, Rucks and Scrums, Oh My! Attending a NZ Rugby Match

Rugby is the national sport in New Zealand. And, even though I’d be lying if I said I understood all the rules, I got sucked in while living there. Read about my very first rugby match, watching the NZ All Blacks play their biggest rivals, the Australian Wallabies.

Milford Sound: Eighth Wonder of the World?

Milford Sound (really not even aptly named, as it’s actually a fjord — or fiord as the kiwis spell it — and not a sound at all) is New Zealand’s most well-known tourist destination. It’s a gorgeous fjord on the west coast of the country’s south island that you can sail through on ferry boats or hike around, rain or shine. Read about my experience here.

Doubtful Sound: Milford Sound’s Underrated Little Brother

Milford may indeed be stunning, but if you’re looking for something just as beautiful but a tad more remote and much less touristy, you can’t miss Doubtful Sound.

Climbing the Steepest Street in the World

The steepest street in the world is located in Dunedin, New Zealand. And I’ve conquered it.

Being Blown Away at Castlepoint

It’s one of the windiest places I have ever visited anywhere in the world. But the seacliffs at Castlepoint are also some of the most beautiful.

Hobbits For a Day: A Journey to the Shire — Part 1

Part 1 of 2 of a travel narrative about a visit to Hobbiton, AKA Matamata, New Zealand. Including the history of the “Lord of the Rings” filming location, and arrival.

Hobbits For a Day: A Journey to the Shire — Part 2

Part 2 of 2 of a travel narrative about a visit to Hobbiton. Including dancing on the Party Field, and standing inside Bag End.

How a Bag of Rotten Food Changed My Life

A guest post at Spunky Girl Monologues.

Moving to a strange place where you don’t know anyone can be daunting. And then what happens when something goes terribly wrong?

The No Umbrella Phenomenon

When I first moved to Wellington in 2008, I began noticing an interesting phenomenon taking place in the city every time it rained: Hardly anybody used an umbrella. Eventually, I had no choice but to adapt.

The Maori Legend of Lake Wakatipu

Learn the local story behind one of New Zealand’s most well-known lakes.

Hiking New Zealand’s Queen Charlotte Track

New Zealand is known for a lot of things — its beautiful scenery, its adrenaline-inducing adventure sports, and, of course, its wide variety of superb hiking options. The Queen Charlotte Track is just one of many hikes worth trying in NZ.

Things I Forgot I Missed About Wellington

I knew that I loved Wellington. But, after having been away from the city for 2 and a half years, I had forgotten just how much I loved it. It was surprising to re-discover some of the things I had almost forgotten I missed.

Akaroa, Je T’aime

Join me as I explore the French-infused town of Akaroa during a season when few other tourists are around.

Going Wild For Wildlife on an Akaroa Harbor Cruise

The little town of Akaroa is know for being quaint and cute, but it is also known for one of its marine inhabitants — the rare Hector’s Dolphin. But the wildlife in Akaroa doesn’t stop there… There’s plenty more to see, including penguins, seals, and lots of sea birds.

Christchurch — A ‘Munted’ City

This NZ town was devastated by an earthquake in February 2011. I toured the city 3 months after the quake, and share my observations (and photos of the damage) in this post. To say that this was a sobering, moving experience for me would be an understatement.

Christchurch — A Fresh Start

As a follow-up to my first Christchurch post, this one looks at how optimistic the city’s residents were 3 months post-quake. They are one resilient, inspiring bunch!

Riding the Rails in NZ — The TranzAlpine

The TranzAlpine train journey between the South Island cities of Christchurch and Greymouth is supposed to be one of the best scenic train rides in the world. And you know what? I think I have to agree.

Adventure on New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier

Glacier trekking is popular on New Zealand’s rugged West Coast, and I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a guided hike on the Franz Josef Glacier. Hikers get really up close and personal with this icy bohemoth — and it’s awesome. Check out this post to see what the experience is like.

I Wanna Be in Wanaka

I’ve passed through the small South Island town of Wanaka many times now. And, each time, I want to stay and never leave. This town is beyond beautiful.

Conservation on Kapiti Island

I almost skipped visiting Kapiti Island altogether. But this beautiful bird sanctuary off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island turned out to be one of the highlights of my trip. On a perfectly sunny fall day, I took the ferry out to this little island to get up close and personal with its native bird life.

The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done

I’ve been bungy jumping before, but NEVER like this! The Nevis Highwire Bungy in Queenstown, New Zealand, is terrifying — yet extremely rewarding.

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