WHOOOOOOOOO. That’s me right now. WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! It’s the first hour of my 13.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Auckland so I’m sure the WHOOO will turn into zzzzswhatomgsotired. But for now… WHOOOO! I am a whoo girl because the next time I stand on Mother Godess’s sweet sweet soil, it will be New Zealand soil. So, WHOO.
Ok I’m done.
I thought it’d be fun to capture my prep-work for the trip and my projected path while I’m there. Because I’m sure the comparison from projection to reality will be hilariously laughable. And I’m always down for a good laugh.
But first – Air New Zealand’s attempt at a cool flight safety vid was lol-worthy. Valiant effort I say. Safety rap set to Willy Smith’s Men in Black. Whatever, it worked, I paid attention.
So here’s the tentative itinerary. The plan as it stands now is to drive the whole route. There’s some significant driving along portions of this itinerary, specifically closer to South Island. This excess of driving makes me nervous. As of now it stands as follows:
Day 1: Adjust to jetlag in Auckland
Day 2: Visit the thermals and Cousin Anne in Rotorua
Day 3: Hobbiton
Day 4: Waitamo/Taupo
Day 5: Tongariro (a.k.a. Mt. Doom)
Day 6: Wellington
Day 7: Journey to Abel Tasman
Day 8: Abel Tasman
Day 9: Abel Tasman
Day 10: Franz Josef
Day 11: Franz Josef
Day 12: Queenstown
Day 13: Milford Sound
Day 14: Queenstown/Wanaka
Day 15: Fly hoooome
What did I bring?
Not much, yo. I like to travel light. And I didn’t do what I wanted to do which was only fill my bags 75% of the way. I filled them about 105% of the way. That said, I brought a tiny suitcase and a backpack. So technically I packed light. Shrug. Pretty sure that’s going to bite me in the butt eventually. Here’s a sampling of the stuff that’s coming with.
- New Herschel little America bag – this thing is SICK so far (so ya it’s comfy and fits well under an airplane seat… ).
- This speaker. Needed a portable guy and I can’t live without my podcasts. Bought this at the airport last minute and when I looked on Amazon post-purchase I saw that it received mixed reviews so we shall see.
- 4 books. Actual books. To be fair 2 of them are travel guides. The other two? Well The Fellowship obvi, and the second is Stephen King’s On Writing of which I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews. I also brought my Kindle Paperwhite, and will be reading The Chamber of Secrets and Anne Marie Slaughter’s Unfinished Business.
- My precious: beautiful gold 12” Macbook that will be my bestie – the Sam to my Frodo – as I capture this journey
- Bullet Journal. Cannot go a single day without that thing. #BuJo (shoutout to fellow BW BuJo afficionados)
- A new pair of maroon 6-inch Timberlands. This will probably go down in history as one of my stupider life decisions. They are marginally worn in. And by that I mean they’re not. And I’m using them for hiking… face palm.
Things I didn’t do that I wanted to do that I didn’t:
- Clear storage on my phone. I’m going to be taking all the pictures. Need the space. Didn’t do this. Dumb.
- Learn exactly how to use my international phone plan. Here’s hoping I don’t get home to a $500 phone bill.
- Pre-rent a car or a single night at a hotel or hostel. Flying by the seat of my pants, k?
Things I hope for:
- That I finish The Fellowship while I’m in New Zealand so I can start my favorite in the trilogy – The Two Towers.
- A fairly consistent log of my journey via this blog and my personal journal.
- Load up on enough breathtaking pics to change my desktop wall every day in 2016.
- Be the extroverted version of my introvert: meet cool people, strike up conversations, learn about the locals.
- See a Kiwi bird! And some seal pups. And some other wildlife.
- Do all of these: jetboat, bungy jump, skydive, canyon dive, zipline.
Things I’m fearful of:
- Driving on the left side of the road.
- Over-traveling and not soaking in some key spots. My itinerary is pretty aggressive.
- Serial killers + wasps, not necessarily in that order (shh… these are forever fears).
- Running out of money b/c I want to do all the things.
- Not being as bold as I want to be.