There are specific portions of my time in New Zealand I hold above all the rest, which can only be described as “moments everyone should experience once in their lifetime.” Those moments include such things as skydiving, visiting Hobbiton, attending Sevens night, and going to Art Deco weekend in Napier. Now, added to that list, is the Tongariro Crossing, which I had the pleasure of completing two Mondays ago.
For those of you who don’t know, the Tongariro Crossing is a nineteen kilometer / twelve mile hike across a lot of mountain ranges, and it’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Hey. Remember when I said at the start of the year that I was gonna write more blog entries and be more involved with people about what I’ve been up to in New Zealand and be more responsible for what I write?
Hah. Hilarious, right?
To be fair, not much has happened this the start of the year. I mean, yes, things have happened. Relationships have changed. Friends have been gained and lost. Work’s been going on. I met two Hobbit actors. I caught up on The Walking Dead. I’m officially starting a podcast. Of course things have happened. But nothing to write home about, y’know? I just haven’t felt compelled to write a blog entry in a long while. (Well, except maybe about the Hobbit actors.)
To make up for my absence, I come bearing tales of new adventures and photographs galore! Let me tell you about the week Beckah came to visit!
Two days ago I bid farewell to 2013, the fabulously amazing year that it was, and helped usher in 2014… Well, okay, that’s sort of a lie. I’m fairly certain I was passed out drunk when the new year rolled around and I missed out on the big moment. That’s what too many shots of vodka will do to you.
But the point I’m trying to make is that this was a big year. The biggest year of my life, in fact. It wasn’t an easy year though. Some of you might remember my struggles with anxiety back in April and May, which was a day-to-day battle that took a physical and mental toll on me and put me in the hospital at one point. But overlooking that two month hiccup, the rest of 2013 managed to be extraordinary.
I graduated from university with cum laude honors – something I would never have thought possible back in high school. I took second place in my first ever poetry slam, and then went on to take first twice in a row. I went to my first ever convention, LeakyCon, with one of my best friends on this planet, and met several amazing celebrities. I had an art showing for my photography. I finished both Capstones. I corresponded with William Kircher a bit. I wrote more articles online. Everything was coming up Julia.
But there was one other thing that happened this year. Now let me see, what could that have possibly been…
Kathleen here, usurping Julia’s blog for another guest entry.
On Sunday, Julia and I fulfilled one of our personal life ambitions — to visit Hobbiton. It was, hands down, one of the most exciting and emotional things we have done on this incredible journey. However, I am going to avoid talking about that particular adventure and leave it to Julia to share with you at a later date. But have a few teaser pictures first!
This entry is a bittersweet farewell to a country that I have so quickly fallen in love with and a reflection on my two short months traveling with Julia.
I’ve been diligently trying to keep a catalog of all my favorite and least favorite places in New Zealand stored in the back of my mind. I’m well aware Wellington, Paihia, and Nelson rank near the top and that Dunedin’s dwindling at the very bottom, and then everywhere else is sort of floating around in the middle. I’m hoping to compile an actual list at some point, probably after Kathleen takes off.
Anyway, these last several days have been spent in Queenstown and it has been, hands down, one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been. It may very well be tied with Wellington for my favorite New Zealand city thus far.
Today I’m coming at you from the beautiful city of Nelson (adios north island, and hello south!), which we arrived in about six hours ago. We’ve yet to explore, but we’re already having a great time here with our WWOOF Hosts. More on that in a bit.
This post is going to be another excuse for me to fan girl about a couple things. It’ll be very similar to my Weta Cave entry two weeks ago. It’s going to be made up of a ton of pictures – just fair warning – lots of which are going to look a little something like this:
If you thought I couldn’t get any nerdier before, you were obviously wrong.