Sunday: Wrapping Up My Travels

All right, ladies and gents, dogs and frogs and bears and chickens and whatnots, this entry’s dedicated to covering the last month and a half of my travels. I take off in less than two days now, so being short on time means I gotta cover a lot more than I’d normally take on in an entry.

(Random sidenote: I may or may not have stayed up till 6:30am last night with James Whitehead watching old school Sesame Street clips and behind-the-scenes Muppet stuff, as well as The Great Muppet Caper and Little Shop of Horrors twice (once without commentary and once with). Please assume the jealousy stance to your leisure.)

All right. Forty-two hours left in the country. No time to waste. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get crack-a-lackin’.


Continue reading

Thursday: Lazy in Stratford, Farming in Te Kuiti, and Kittens in Hamilton.


So, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure, this blog’s been on a bit of a hiatus. However, this time it hasn’t been out of laziness. The exact opposite! I’ve made my way back up to Paihia, and life’s gotten pretty busy! Making lots of friends and doing a bit of adventuring! I’ll talk more about it in the next entry.

This entry, however, is gonna focus on everything that happened between leaving Tongariro and getting to Paihia. Not a ton has happened, but still enough to warrant sharing.


Continue reading

Monday: Keeping it Simple.

Well tonight’s entry is going to be rather straight and to the point, partially because it’s 12:30am and I don’t have the energy to write something descriptive, but also because our last couple days have been sort of uneventful…?

I mean, not really uneventful. A lot has happened, just not a lot of major interest. So I’ll keep it simple and try to do a quick sum up.

  • We WWOOFed in Invercargill for four nights, mainly doing inside cleaning work – which was a really nice change from all the weeding/moving heavy objects that we’ve been doing.
  • Our host family was a family of four (mother, father, daughter, and son), who were all wonderfully nice to us and very much into rugby, rowing, basketball, running, and just about every other kind of sport. The two kids of the family are hoping to make it to the Olympics someday, which the parents were incredibly supportive of. I’m not exactly the most sports enthused person on the planet, but it was interesting to kind of get a view of the lifestyle.
  • The family had a cat, two dogs, three horses, some chickens, and a ton of sheep and lambs. My favorite was the cat (whose name I never learned), Zach the dog, and Molly the (absolutely gorgeous) horse.
  • We cooked for the first time for a WWOOFing family. We stuck with something easy, ie. a build your own taco/burrito bar. The two teenagers had never had a taco before, which we found sort of amusing because they kept asking us if they were preparing their meal correctly. I also made a mediocre cheesecake.
  • I rediscovered the joys of electric blankets. Fantastic.
  • Didn’t take many pictures during our stay. In fact, I took zero with my camera. All the pictures I took were on my phone.
  • I finally got a of Snapchat, and have primarily used it to send Kathleen pictures of me making ugly faces and of her own butt.
  • Speaking of Kathleen, we both got sick. Nothing major, I don’t think. I have the better of it, wherein I just have an annoying sore throat and that’s it. Kathleen’s a little worse for wear. We’re hoping her bug will give way soon. If it’s still around by the time we get to Queenstown in three days we’ll probably have to find her a doctor.
  • We didn’t see much of the city. We were driven around one afternoon and saw a lot of the bush, neighborhoods, and one awesome beach, but that was really it.
  • Green Lantern is a shitty movie.
  • I’m kind of in love with Chris Parnell and Benedict Cumberbatch all over again…?

We’re in Te Anau right now, which is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to snap some pictures to share in my next blog. We’re gonna explore the town and try to find a hike or two to go on tomorrow, then the next day we’re going on a tour of Milford Sound. Fun times all around!

JGask out.

Friday: Goats, Quake Wreckage, and a Giant Hugh Jackman.

Coming to New Zealand, I told myself not to get too wrapped up in the goings on of the addictive fiend that is the Interwebz. When I’m back in the States, chances are I’ll spend a third of my day scrolling through Tumblr, checking in on Facebook and Tough Pigs, and watching pointless videos on Youtube. Basically, I’m an expert at wasting a day. For the most part, I think I’ve done a fairly good job of not depending on Internet while I’ve been here. Oh sure, I check in with all the sites I frequent daily, but I feel I’m much better at going out and actually living for a change. The world wont end if I don’t scroll through my entire dash. Nothing’s going to implode if I don’t “like” a status. The world will keep spinning.

That being said, staying in WiFi-less locations has proved to be a bit of a challenge. Not impossible, but it does complicate things. The Internet is my one real way of contacting people back home. I start to get a bit homesick when I can’t email my dad or Viber Nick. I mean, it’s fair to say homesickness hasn’t been an issue for me at all so far – at all – I do miss people on occasion, and being without Internet tends to emphasize that.

Anyway, enough ranting. I’m now back in a place with WiFi and I can, at long last, update you all on what Kathleen and I have been up to as of late.


Continue reading

Wednesday: Cost-Effective Travel Advice.

Today’s entry is a little sparse – at least on the travel-update front. As I mentioned in my previous entry, we’re WWOOFing right now, and unfortunately that means not too much has happened that’s worth writing about.

Oh sure, we’re having an absolutely great time. These are the best WWOOF hosts we’ve stayed with by far; they’re amiable, funny, intelligent, insightful, and just downright fun. The food here is great, the best accommodations we’ve been given hands down, and the work is undeniably easier than all the other places (ie. weeding, and possibly some painting tomorrow). While this is all well and good for us, it does mean that there isn’t much of interest to write about in depth. Even our trip into town today wasn’t all that interesting

Although we are staying in a place surrounded by wild goats. So, that’s pretty bad ass.

Don’t do it, goat! There might be a troll under that bridge!

So, instead of writing about what we’ve been up to these last couple days, I decided to impart some words of wisdom on a majorly important part of travel: MONEY.

Continue reading

Friday: Touching Umbridge’s Butt.

Well hello! Long time no blog entry!

Sorry that I fell a bit off the band wagon this week (and by that I mean I missed two entries). I wish I could say it’s been a hectic week and that’s why I missed blogging on schedule, but it really had more to do with the fact that I was completely WiFi-less earlier this week. Anyway, let me now regale you with tales of WWOOFing and our time back in Wellington.


Me with some fine New Zealand cuisine. Delicious!

Continue reading

Monday: Nestled in Napier.

Well – after the briefest of brief hiatuses – I’m back!

Before I dive into what all I’ve been up to these last five days, can we just appreciate this for a moment:


While I am slightly bummed that The IT Crowd‘s Richard Ayoade is not going to be 12, I must say I’m pretty damn excited for Peter Capaldi to take on the role of the newest Doctor. While I’m sad to see Matt Smith leave Doctor Who, he did have a pretty good run and I’m glad he’s not overstaying his welcome. I think Capaldi’s gonna be good though. He looks like he’s gonna bring back some of that Eccelston sass that I’ve been missing oh so much over the years. Plus he’s the most British looking person I think I’ve ever seen. Here’s hoping this Doctor wears a bowler hat and has a Corgi for a companion.

Anyway, moving on, let’s look at what I’ve been up to!

Continue reading

Monday: Paihia Paradise.


Well, gang, it’s official. Kathleen and I have been in New Zealand for one full week now. I’m glad the time hasn’t gone by too quickly; the days have been going by at a pretty slow pace – which is great. We’ve been filling up our days with loads of things to do and seeing a lot of the country. Only one week in and I’m certainly in love with this place already.

Last Saturday we bid adieu to Auckland and snagged a bus up to the Paihia region of the Bay of Islands.


Continue reading