For all of you who included New Zealand as a destination in our upcoming extended holiday … you were right!
Even though we have Round the World tickets, most of our time will be spent touring New Zealand. While I usually book flights myself, this was one instance where I saw the benefit in working with an agency to book the many flights we will be on while we are away for eight weeks.
John has handled all the arrangements, bless him for that … for most of my travel life, I have been the one to take charge of the big and small details and it is so different to relax and let someone else do it. Having been to New Zealand in 1996 for six weeks, John knows exactly what he is doing and how to get the best experience for the money.
I would never have known that buying Round the World tickets were the way to go since I associated the RTW expression with the mega wealthy who might go for six months at a time and stop in more countries than the four that our toes will touch down in while we are away. Remember when I said we would be in four countries, well … one was to throw you off a bit as we will only be refueling there during the 22 hour first leg of our journey.
We can hardly count Thailand as it will only be a quick stop, but we will spend a few days in Sydney, Australia before moving on to New Zealand. If you live in Sydney and want to meet for a cup of coffee or a bite of lunch let me know. We are staying near the Botanic Gardens while we are there, but plan to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing after we recover from our long flight. If you have any suggestions for places around Sydney that we should put on our ” Must See list ” please leave them in a comment below.
Some of you guessed correctly that America would be on our list as well. After about seven weeks in New Zealand, we will fly to Atlanta to spend Christmas week with my family. I am really looking forward to showing John what Christmas with my family is all about and it feels like the perfect way to end our trip.
Getting back to travel research, we have gone through guide books both old (from John’s 1996 trip) and new, The Rough Guide To New Zealand, but none of these have photographs that do proper justice to the beauty of the country we are going to see.
The slightly unorthodox ” travel guide ” below has done more to get me excited about what we will experience than all the words in the books above.
Billy Connolly is a comedian who I find screamingly funny at times, but has such a potty mouth that some of you may find him offensive. I know a lot of comedians can get pretty tacky on stage and he tends to put me off a bit with his bad language and constant references to sex, but when he talks about New Zealand (off stage) and shows us places he visits during his ” Too Old To Die Young ” comedy tour he shows us his softer side which is my favorite. (Off topic: I also think he is a fine actor and I loved him in the role of John Brown in the movie, Mrs. Brown with Dame Judi Dench)
John ordered the New Zealand World Tour DVD set above and we have been watching it for the last few days. It is broken into series of eight shows that mix New Zealand travel with segments of his shows performed in towns on both North and South Island. The country looks as magnificent as I have heard and I cannot wait to get there.
I will as you might expect be blogging from the road so don’t be a stranger as I won’t be completely away.
If you are a reader who lives in New Zealand and would like to meet for coffee, just give me a shout through email (found on my “About Me” page at the top) and I will get in touch. Suggestions from readers about what not to miss are always welcome so feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below.
We still have a few days before we go, but the house is such a wreck in places that I feel a little overwhelmed. I don’t know if I feel more obliged to leave it spotless as our housesitters will be family or if strangers would make me feel the same need.
What about you … would you worry more about order and neatness with family or with folks you did not know well?
Hello Elizabeth .. you are one very very lucky lady, to have a husband like John, who arranged this fantastic holiday. My husband cannot even tell me where he would like us to go or even bother .. so now I have cancelled this years holiday .. !!
Wow, you are taking my dream vacation. I can’t wait to hear more. I’ve always, always wanted to go to New Zealand. I’m envious!!
On my list of must see places too – along with Antartica. I think if your house sitters are neat freaks, it’ll be spic n span when you return; and if they are not, it’ll be just like you left it…so don’t worry either way!
Can’t wait to see your pics. Safe travels!
Between the end of May and the end of September, I was home only about three weeks; first I was gone for vacation and some house-sitting of my own, and then I spent a month back East due to a family member’s serious illness.
I had two house-sitters. I had, um, some interesting discoveries when I returned. You can read more about it here:
Hope your house-sitters are less idiosyncratic. And that they use less toilet paper.
New Zealand sounds like a wonderful place to visit. You’ll probably work your camera half to death.
I would probably be more concerned about order and neatness with family. When we are gone I mainly try to make sure there is nothing that would attract bugs and things are sort of dusted and cleaned up so I wouldn’t have to come back to a mess.
What fun it must be researching for your trip. Billy Connolly’s travel logs are our family favourites. Like his New Zealand, but my veryvery favourite is his Australia tour.