After two and a half months in SE Asia, Adam and I arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand a few days ago, zipped around the South Island in search of sauvignon blanc and adventure, and are now waiting patiently in Auckland for ogres-in-training Sarah and Dylan. Here’s a quick rundown of some of our recent adventures and a few spoilers about future blog posts.
Before New Zealand, we spent a relaxing two weeks in Bali, first on the quiet north side with Adam’s Dutch relatives Wim and Nel, and then on the busy south side learning to surf. Staying with friends and family was one of the highlights of our US road trip last summer and I never expected to have the same in southeast Asia. Luckily for us, we were able to match our plans and meet up with Wim and Nel. They were amazing hosts we enjoyed fantastic local foods, beer, massages and dolphin watching. They even connected me with a local guy who fixed my computer when it couldn’t find it’s own hard drive. It was the most relaxing part of our trip so far.
To keep it non-traditional, we went scuba diving for Thanksgiving. And to keep in character, we also hit up a local gym. There we astonished the locals by becoming the sweatiest people in Bali.
After sadly leaving our little slice of paradise, we headed to the other side of the island and did some surfing in Kuta and Seminyak. More on that to come!
So, now we’ve made it to New Zealand and it’s been a shock to our systems in a few notable ways. Everyone speaks English, which we almost always understand. It’s not 90 degrees here, so we’re not sweating all the time, and I’ve experienced a chilly breeze for the first time in months.
Weirdly, it feels like we are back “home” after our time in SE Asia. We could be back on our US road trip, except that there’s a lot more sheep and we’re driving on the wrong side of the road.
We are experiencing a bit of sticker shock on prices compared to SE Asia. It’s still a great time to be spending US dollars, but we regularly see entrees here that cost $30 NZD ($20 USD) and $10 NZD beers. Yeouch! Fortunately the delicious wines, like those we found at Cloudy Bay, almost entirely make up for it.
Since we arrived almost a week ago, we zipped quickly around the top half of the South Island, stopping for a day of biking and drinking wine in Marlborough, and doing some more serious hiking at Abel Tasman National Park. More to come on this beautiful beach park soon.
Stay tuned for these updates, plus more tidbits on packing and traveling.