In case you were wondering – we did actually come back from New Zealand! Time for a very overdue update…
It was awesome.
We had the most incredible 7 weeks – quite simply the best thing we’ve ever done. We packed in loads, covering over 3,400 miles across New Zealand. We didn’t quite make all the points I’d marked on the map – but we weren’t far off!
Starting in San Francisco we had four days to do all the usual tourist things – a trip to Alcatraz (amazing), the open top bus tour, Lombard Street (the most crooked street in the world, with eight hairpin bends) Fisherman’s Wharf, and the highlight for me, running across the Golden Gate Bridge!
Flying onto New Zealand our road trip started in Auckland. We picked up our campervan from the airport, with no plan as to where we’d go first, but we decided heading south was probably a good idea – after running the Color Run in Auckland that is! What a great way to start our NZ holiday!
So normally I like to plan. A lot. List upon lists, where we’re going, when we’re going, how we’re getting there… The freedom of the campervan, and not planning ahead – was a total revelation to me, and I found I actually enjoyed it! We’d just sit every evening with the map and guide book and decide where to head towards the next day. No commitments, no ties and no one to answer to. We loved it.
We went whale watching, downhill mountain biking, flew up a glacier in a helicopter, kayaked to a remote beach and camped overnight, saw penguins, went to Hobbiton (the home of Lord of the Rings), visited glow worm caves, saw amazing scenery and met so many wonderful, interesting people.
Five weeks just wasn’t long enough.
Our last stop on the way home was Tokyo. What a fascinating city and culture. Such a departure from the previous five weeks! And soooo busy! The technology was incredible (who knew operating a toilet could be so technically challenging?!), but most of all I was fascinated by the people. So very polite and disciplined. They took queuing to a whole new level. It was the perfect end to our fantastic trip.
On returning home, getting back to normality was difficult. I had expected it to be hard, but hadn’t anticipated it to unsettle me so much. New Zealand made me question everything. Was this what I wanted to be doing – with work? with life? Was there more to life than I thought? We love our life in Scotland so maybe a bit of a mid-life crisis, but I’ve never had a place make me question everything! Even now, having been back over 7 months, when I look at our photos I get that ache you get when you really miss something. It certainly touched my heart and I can’t wait to go back.