Kia ora, everyone! I know this is rather unexpected, since I made no lead-up to it before I left, but I am in fact in New Zealand! I made it to Auckland yesterday, and I’ve been seeing the sights here until heading south to the rest of the country!
It’s been a heck of a ride thus far. That pun was most certainly intended, because I decided to rent a car while I was here, and yes, New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road (!!!) so that has been a learning curve. While I’m in the cities, however, I do intend to use public transit because if I could barely handle city streets in the US, there’s no way in oblivion I’ll handle city streets while driving on the left-hand side of the road (also, I don’t want to pay for parking if I don’t need to).
It’s been quite interesting figuring out where I’m going and where I’m staying. Since my attention was focused squarely on class prep in the weeks leading up to the trip, I’m still booking a decent chunk of my travel arrangements. The good news is, I’m planning to be here for a month, so that will give me time to visit a lot of the country (and let my Lord of the Rings geek spirit run full-blast; at this point, there’s no use denying it). This will definitely be an interesting trip, but hopefully the spontaneity of it will make it fun as opposed to stressful.
As well as being in New Zealand, I spent the last few days in Sydney where one of my best friends lives. One thing that I love about Sydney and New Zealand is that they have focused so much on environmental protection; I’ve been to so many places like stores and museums that had books about sustainable living and zero-waste items like reusable water bottles, drinking straws, and coffee cups available for purchase, and I’ve never seen this philosophy shown as prominently in the States.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up with the blog and take you guys with me! See you then!