New Zealand or bust

Let’s be honest…if you like traveling, even a little bit it’s on your bucket list…it’s New Zealand for crying out loud! It’s Hobbiton, Middle-Earth, Narnia, all those beautiful scenes why wouldn’t you want to travel there? So we started looking into it as our next big adventure coincidentally, around the same time, one of my closest friends, who was originally from Christchurch, had just gotten engaged. When we started talking about our plans she told us that they were thinking of having a second wedding for her family in New Zealand about the same time we were planning our trip so this got us very excited. We were not only going on a huge trip across the world but also attending her wedding (again) as well! So planning started and our trip of just packing a bag, renting a van and winging it for a couple weeks, our typical adventure, turned into a much more detailed and planned itinerary.
Don’t get me wrong I am a planner, I can’t help myself, I need to be organized and know for the most part the direction we are going in and make sure all our t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted but for the details I can let them go. I have traveled enough to have figured out not to plan too much because you will get disappointed and if you read too much about all the things you are going to miss out on because you can’t afford it or you don’t have the months it will take to actually see everything. So we make a rough outline and usually spend time with as many locals as we can when we get there, then plan our trip according to what they recommend. We haven’t been disappointed yet!
This trip will look different, we are growing from just Justin and I to a family of five. Adding three more, two newlyweds and a 14 year old soon to be model will be interesting for us to say the least. These three are what you call city folk, they do things like laundry and take showers regularly. They insist on good night sleeps and 3 meals a day, they enjoy warmth and comfort. You see when Justin and I travel we look at it as like an adventure, an expedition, if we don’t shower for two weeks it’s not a big deal…hopefully we got to jump a lake once or twice but if not it’s part of the experience. We understand it is not how most, pretty much everyone else, travels but we enjoy roughing it, hell we live full time in our RV which is most people regular vacation so maybe that explains something, I don’t know…anyway. So this trip to New Zealand will be different for us because it will actually look like a real vacationish.
Our trip will be broken up into two parts, the South Island and the North Island, we will get to spend about a week in each. The South Island will include a couple days in the Christchurch area and the wedding and reception for Hollie and Marc. Then a 4-day trip in a van just Justin and I trying to see as much of the South Island that we can. This will be our fix to what is about to happen in the North Island. In these 4-days I am assuming we will hardly sleep, not shower, eat poorly but often and seeing and doing so much amazing that the adrenaline and excitement keeps us going. When we arrive back in Christchurch we will catch a flight up to Wellington to join our family. At this point we will start an actual trip that is suitable for real people, so for us this will feel like a vacation from our vacation. We will spend a week traveling around the North Island on a well planned and thought out itinerary in a rented car. Each night after a day of fun filled activities we will head to a home we’ve rented from Air BnB and get a good night rest, do laundry, or stretch our legs and relax. It’s like we are on a tour really but no just traveling with those city folk who like to stretch those legs of theirs. And I will be looking forward to stretching my legs, that 16 year old is lanky and space in the car will be a fight I probably won’t win.
We leave on Saturday and come home April 15, the third week will be spent in Cairns, Australia getting scuba certified on a live-abroad for five days. We figured we couldn’t go half way around the world and not stop at the Great Barrier Reef, it just seemed silly not to. On our way to New Zealand we also chose a layover in Sydney for 13 hours from 6am to 7pm which gives us a day in Sydney to be a tourist. So we will get a taste of Australia as well. We plan on taking tons of pictures to share so get ready for your fill of New Zealand and Australia over the next month!

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