Well, the votes are in and it’s the land of sheep, chilly bins, and some of the most stunning landscapes in the world for me!
YUP, IM HEADING TO NEW ZEALAND!
A few weeks ago I asked you all to vote which country I should visit next. And this is the final results:
As you can see Papua New Guinea, Russia, and Philippines gave it a good try but hobbit-land won out. Which is awesome, because if you’ve ever watched Lord of the Rings (really, has anyone NOT seen it yet?) you’ll know NZ has some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. And I’m going to go photograph them!
So What Now?
Well now it’s research time.
There is so much to do and see in New Zealand, I have to figure out what I want to do. Obviously hiking and photographing are on the top of my list. So is delving into Maori culture & history (but I have zero desire to do one of the touristy Maori ‘day tours’).
And of course learning more New Zealand slang, like how “chilly bin” is Kiwi for “drink cooler“. (Thank you Kate Voyage from RTW Travel Guide for teaching me that!)
Oh, and then there’s all those crazy kiwi ‘let’s jump off high things’ adventures….
When Am I Going?
Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, I’ve already determined the best time to go is in February. This month is shoulder season (aka: not high-busy-touristy season, but still nice weather and costs are starting to drop). And since I have plans already for some USA fall travel (and the TBEX conference), waiting until February means I have no plans to rush back for. In case I want to extend my trip. Or jump to another country for a bit.
How Long Am I Staying?
I mean, if I’m going to spend all this money on airfare to get to that side of the world, I see no reason to rush back and not explore. I will be staying in New Zealand for at least one month. But I can get to Australia for under $100 from NZ. And Indonesia is really close to Australia. So is Papua New Guinea. So we’re just going to have to see what happens once I get there.
As has been my travel motto. Show up. See what happens. Go wherever I want.
Like to Taumatawhakatangihangaoauauotameteaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu.
(Try saying that 3x fast…or once)
Thank you to everyone who voted. Turns out leaving my fate up to you is really fun! I’m super excited for this trip and can’t wait to share it!
If you have any ideas or requests for things I should do in New Zealand, let’s hear them in the comments below.
All photos courtesy of NewZealand.com. Photos are used with permission from their media vault.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.