After weeks spent in rural towns, Dunedin came as a bit of a shock. It seems like most places on New Zealand’s South Island are barely big enough to qualify as towns, let alone cities. So coming into a big city like Dunedin is a bit of an eye-opener.
At night the stars no longer shine, the city lights too bright. The rolling green fields vanish, replaced with wooden houses on tidy streets. The buildings grow upwards, looming over you, covering the sky. For once you’re in a place where people out number the sheep.
Continue reading Nature Tours on the Otago Peninsula
The more popular something is, the less inclined I am to enjoy it. Maybe I’ve always been a hipster at heart. Snorting with derision at anything popular. Or maybe I can never be satisfied by something with high expectations.
Expectations were the reason I couldn’t really enjoy Milford Sound. Continue reading Milford Sound – One of New Zealand’s Biggest Disappointments?
It seems to be a general rule on New Zealand’s South Island, that the further South you get, the more tourists there are. Or rather, the closer you get to a location from the Lord of the Rings, the greater the amount of people you’ll see. Either way, as you travel south the amount of tourists continues to grow.
We got our first real taste of the negative energy of other tourists when we found ourselves in Lake Tekapo early one afternoon. With its turquoise blue water, hemmed in by mountains on almost all sides, Lake Tekapo is an obvious lure for tourists. Add to that the fact that it’s slap bang in the middle of a dark sky reserve – perfect for star watching – and it’s almost too much to resist.
Continue reading Getting Annoyed by Tourists at Lake Tekapo
To understand the problems of a hagwon, you must first understand the impossibility of teaching in one.
In a hagwon, the teachers wield less power than the children. When an especially bad child comes along they can make your life unbearable. These are more than just children, they’re the babies of Satan. The worst I ever taught was a girl named Serah.
Continue reading One Year in a Hagwon: The Student From Hell
Why is it that if we live close to a major landmark, we never have the energy to go to it? It seems we’re all so lazy about exploring our local area, maybe because it holds no surprises for us.
Since we moved to Wellington in June, we’ve been living a 15 minute walk from Zealandia. Arguably New Zealand’s biggest eco-tourism attraction. With the nature reserve basically on our doorstep, we’ve always put off going. There was always something else further away we could do. Zealandia could wait. Continue reading Wellington Walks: Visiting Zealandia
Over the last few years, Jamie and I have started a tradition. Each year, between Christmas and New Year we’ll head off on a trip somewhere for a few days.
This year we decided to head to the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand’s North Island for a few days. We’re leaving the North Island soon and we’ve yet to travel up the east coast and knew this would be our only opportunity. We decided to spend a few nights of camping in Napier exploring the surrounding area. Then another few nights in what used to be Te Urewera National Park.
Continue reading Visiting Lake Waikaremoana in Te Urewera National Park
With one year ending and another beginning, it’s a good time to look backwards and forwards. To take stock of our lives and gain some perspective. Continue reading Looking Back On Our Year in Travel, Looking Forward to the Next
If you’d asked me a few years ago whether I was looking forward to Christmas, I would have spat in your face and screamed, “Bah humbug!” As a kid, I loved Christmas. Christmas meant presents, and what child doesn’t like a house filled with new shiny toys?
As I grew up – and the appeal of toys waned – my excitement was soon replaced with something else. Anxiety and stress.
Continue reading The Introverts Christmas – Expectations and Pressure Over the Festive Period
The world of travel is a scary one, whether it’s going up tall buildings, flying in airplanes or simply trying to cross the road in Vietnam. There’s plenty of things out there to fear.
One of the greatest fears for many of us though is something that we’re confronted with every day – even at home: other people.
Continue reading Tips for Travelling with Social Anxiety
After my previous post about Competitive Travel Packing, you may have assumed that I don’t have the most positive views when it comes to traveling light.
Funnily enough, I actually prefer it. For years now I’ve been happily enjoying countries with nothing but my 38 liter pack strapped to my back and barely enough underwear to last me a week.
What I take contention to is the people who have turned bag packing into a sport. These people have large sets of rules and anybody that fails to follow them is an amateur and condescended to.
Continue reading Arguments For and Against Traveling Light