Rangitoto Island, aka “Auckland’s most iconic island”

Unlike Waiheke Island, which, though technically a Maori name, was named incorrectly (read about that here), Rangitoto Island is apparently the real deal. Rangitoto’s name has been translated to mean “the day the blood of Tamatekapua was shed,” relating to a major Maori battle at Islington Bay about 1350. – Rangitoto.org Congratulations, colonists, on using … Continue reading

Travel Writing: On Pink Pangea: Don’t Talk to Strangers, and Other Advice You Should Ignore

I’m on a roll, folks! My second piece of travel writing was posted on Pink Pangea this week, this one talking about advice you should probably ignore. Look both ways before you cross the street. Don’t take candy from strangers. These sayings, children’s fairy tales, and other cautionary stories are shared as warnings against potential … Continue reading

Waiheke Island, AKA, another beautiful place Europeans misnamed

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of ferrying out to Waiheke Island, 19km/12mi off the coast of New Zealand’s North Island, eastward from Auckland. You may or may not be aware that the Maori are the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, and so many places are called their original Maori names (sort of). Great … Continue reading

Welcome to Parnell, Auckland, NZ

Warning: This is a post mostly about geography. Today is my fourth day in New Zealand. As I mentioned in this previous post, I jumped right into an apartment housesit situation, which is allowing me to settle into the country on my own terms and at my own pace. I’ve spent most of the last … Continue reading

Thoughts While Watching My First Live Rugby Game, aka, Go ALL BLACKS!

Prior to arriving, all of my research on New Zealand indicated that rugby is less of a national past time and more like the national religion. I can relate to this, as I have friends in Portland, Oregon for whom soccer takes a similar place in their lives. In fact, one particular couple is famous … Continue reading

Kia Ora, Welcome to New Zealand

It’s near-to-impossible to describe the exhilaration, disbelief, and surreal feelings I have at typing this from my current apartment housesit in AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND. I have waited years for this moment, and so to actually be here makes my head spin. There were several times on the plane – upon takeoff, once or twice during … Continue reading

5 Goodbye Gifts You Didn’t Know to Give a Traveler

What do you get your traveling friend when they’re about to embark on a journey? They’re busy paring down their lives, packing and repacking the one 50 lbs-or-less suitcase and personal carry-on item they’re allowed. You don’t want to shower them with impractical things they won’t end up bringing anyway. So what are your options? … Continue reading

GoFundMe in New Zealand

The time has come. Tickets are nearly purchased, belongings are being whittled down, and bon voyage birthday parties are being planned. Just one thing left, and that’s to raise funds from strangers so that I can avoid starving or running out of gas in the first few months I’m in New Zealand. If you’re able … Continue reading

Moving to New Zealand, Step 2: The BCVs of Moving Abroad

As anyone who’s ever left their house for any reason will tell you, it’s a little more complicated than putting on a pair of shoes, picking up your bag, and walking out the door. If you’re a shut-in, sorry for taunting you. When you’re moving away from the place you called home, it’s an even … Continue reading

Moving to New Zealand, Step 1

Let’s be honest here. The first step of moving to New Zealand is making that decision. Frankly, that decision for me was made SO LONG AGO that I don’t remember what first attracted me to the country. I said the same about Portland, Oregon, when people asked me why I was moving here almost 2 … Continue reading