When I decided to backpack in New Zealand for a year, practically everyone I shared my plan with responded with an enthusiastic “Wow! Go for it!” This was really encouraging, and honestly played a role in launching me on my adventure: visa in one hand, one-way plane ticket in the other--and for the first time,… Continue reading Three ridiculous things people said when I decided to move abroad
We slept in our van for the first time in the parking lot of Piha Beach. By the time we arrived, the sun was liquefied copper on the horizon, pooling on the waves, turning the black volcanic sand to rose gold. The white cliffs glowed as if they were hot to the touch. Lion Rock… Continue reading Fiery nights and waterfall hikes at Piha Surf
It started with Rob shouting for us from under the house. Lauren and I looked up at each other over the table, dropped our bits of breakfast back onto our plates and scrambled over chair legs, out the door, and around the side of the house, ducking through the wooden doorway that led under the… Continue reading The WWOOFers Guide to Exploding Machinery
I was wedged into the back seat of a car with people I’d just met, hurtling through the dark. We’d been road-tripping for three hours, with two more to go, due to arrive at our hostel near Tongariro after midnight. As we slung around another curve, I felt the Chinese leftovers I’d inhaled in the… Continue reading Storm on Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Two days after arriving in Auckland we experienced Anzac Day (April 25th), one of the country’s few major national holidays, and we celebrated the day by joining a dawn service and, later, hiking a volcano.
I was sitting in a natural hot spring with a total stranger, in complete darkness, having a conversation that would change my life. It was raining lightly; I sank up to my neck in the warm, sulfur-scented water, and tried to make out his features. I couldn't. I could get murdered out here, I thought, but… Continue reading Hitting the road