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I’m back and about to leave for New Zealand

It’s been a long time since I posted here, but as I am about to embark on a two and half month trip to New Zealand (and a short stint in Australia) I thought this would be the ideal place to keep people updated on my adventures.

I am sitting in my favorite coffeeshop in Brooklyn, buzzing on coffee and worrying about all the tasks left to complete before I leave town.  Feb 17th.  9 days.  In one of those amazing coincidences it looks like my subletter for the months of March and April will be a couple visiting from New Zealand.  I hope that works out.  For both financial and karmic reasons.

This may very well be the first time in my short tax-paying history that I finish taxes _early_.  This is probably not fascinating to you, but I am proud.

What else to do?  In another astonishing first I may already be packed – 9 days early!  I plan to do a lot of camping and hiking, so I bought a nice, light 2-person tent (the embarassingly named “Hubba hubba“), a comfy sleeping bag and some of the camping extras like a lightweight, quick-drying towel, waterproof pack-liner, random stuff bags, LED headlamp, first-aid kit, a couple cups etc etc.  For those interested I will post an exact pack contents listing.  It has taken a while and some consultation with camping afficionados to come up with a list of items to bring.  I got a new camera (the Canon G10) and a little solid-state laptop (the Dell Mini-9 Inspiron running Linux Ubuntu) for a non-obtrusive communications kit.  My brother lent me his awesome Kelty backpack with aluminum frame, and a roll-up foam mat. I am definitely bringing my 3mm wetsuit and booties after a brief, completely insane thought that I would leave them behind.  Crazy.  I want to surf as much as possible while there.

I fly into Seoul on the evening of Feb. 18th (my sister Kerry’s birthday!).  After a layover of two hours I begin the next long leg of the journey.  I will fly into Auckland the morning of Feb 19th at 10:30am.  I decided to treat myself after the 24 hour journey to a private single room in the YWCA.  After that there will be much more roughing it.  I will be looking to buy a car – something in the station wagon variety.  Haven’t owned a car or driven much in the past 6 years.  Should be interesting.  I hear they drive on the left side of the road there….I will rent a USB satellite internet connection for a couple months.  Take a look around, drink some espresso and then immediately head west out of Auckland to the surf town Piha.

The ladies of Black Sands Lodge have a rugged little camper van on the beach which I will stay in in exchange for 3 hours work a day.  I am hoping for gardening and outdoor activities, but will clean bathrooms and make beds if that is what is needed.  I am crossing my fingers that they have a few boards around that I could borrow, as well.  Though buying a board might be in the cards as well.  Strap it to the top of my new car and drive south.

I am nervous and excited.  I haven’t left the country in over four years.  Not since my Uncles’s wedding in Austria in the summer of 2004.  My passport had expired for two years without my noticing.

I have heard nothing but good things from people who have travelled to New Zealand.  Spectacular scenery, ample budget accomodations, friendly people.  My sister Kerry and her husband Rick spent there honeymoon touring the South Island.  I have butterflies.  So much to get done this week before I leave.  Back to my taxes….


  1. reading this got me excited and i’m not even taking a trip!

    did you buy any of those flat bowls that fold into bowls with snaps? i am fascinated by them but have no use.

  2. woo hoo!

    Man are we excited for you! We’ll be looking forward to your updates.
    Love, Kerry
    My backpack is a little sad to miss the trip. 🙁

  3. no flattening bowls for me

    I think I will be doing a lot of raw food eating, as opposed to cooking at campsites. I will see how that all works out when I get there. I am sure there are good outdoor stores where I can get more involved in the cooking/eating implements if necessary…

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