Kia ora everyone!
Since five weeks I am on the road with my parents and so far it has been a very good experience! Let me share some of the moments with you.
After having visited family & friends in the Netherlands it was time for “the journey” to New Zenland. My parents were a little more anxious for this travel as it was their first time traveling so far with me. The first leg was flying from Amsterdam to Shanghai taking eleven hours and after a stop-over of 20 hours in Shanghai another twelve hours to arrive in Auckland. I did not sleep much during the first flight, however I (literally) hanged out (in my swing) a lot at the pantry in the back with one of my parents. Next to that there were many nice people giving quite some attention to me 🙂
In Shanghai we first had a six hour sleep and then went downtown to explore the city a little. Great place and cool to be in Asia! Going to put that on my bucket list as well. The second flight we were lucky, because there was a seat empty next to my dad’s and therefore I had my own place to sleep, which I did for almost the whole flight.
We arrived in Auckland and were warmly welcomed by Tim, Martha, Ben & Emely, family of friends of ours back @Zenerife. We stayed there the first five days in order to overcome our jetlag and explore Auckland a little and wrap-up some work related business (mainly mom).
The first impression were already very good. A beautiful spring day, beautiful nature and we discovered that the kiwi’s are very friendly people.
Afterwards we moved into our first campervan that we had hired for three weeks to explore the North Island. The first two days we took it easy in order for dad to understand to drive on the other side of the road with a vehicle significantly bigger than our fiat punto back home. I had my own seat in the back next to a big window, so I could enjoy the views or otherwise sleep comfortably in my chair. In the night I sleep in a nice tent that my friends Gijs & Willem have borrowed to me.
Nature on the North Island in New Zenland
I guess the pictures are sufficient? The cool thing is that each time the nature around us is beautiful. It just keeps on being different and special.
Although the beaches look beautiful it is still spring here and therefore the water is still pretty cold. Inspired by “the iceman” my parents took frequent morning baths in the sea (around 12 degrees C) and did some yoga / stretching /strength exercises on the beaches or other beautiful spots in nature. They recommend the cold showers to anyone, as it definitely increases your immune system significantly and next to that it builds character 🙂 Of course I wanted to join them, so I came up with my own innovative idea!
Furthermore, we have been stretching our comfort zones step by step in other aspects well. We started of with easy hikes and now we are making hikes of five / six hours as well. Traveling in the backpack is quite a lot of fun!
Family in New Zenland
We also had a great meet-up with my family (mom’s side) that emigrated to New Zenland in 1983. Last time they were in the Netherlands I wasn’t born yet, however now I was able to meet them in person. Thanks guys for the warm welcome!
In the last days we had a beautiful authentic experience at a Maori tribe (iwi). A new friend of dad in the Netherlands introduced us to a friend of his who is a Maori tribe leader. We were invited to visit them and we slept in the meeting house (whare runanga). We have had a great time with Kepa and his extended family (whanau). It was definitely an interesting encounter and very inspirational. Mom and dad became part of an online community of game changers, influentials and community builders called Tribeshift. Looking forward to what that is going to bring us in the future…..
So what’s next!?
Well, we have moved over to the South Island and as said earlier we are stretching our comfort zones and therefore we have rented a significantly smaller campervan this time… Still a lot of fun, we feel kind of minimalists and the nature just seems to get even better! Another interesting thing is that the majority of the tourists on the South Island are Asians, whereas we have only met European tourists in the North Island. Anyways, for that reason I am working hard on my career as model as our Asian friends are very trigger happy with their cameras!
Four weeks in our campervan and afterwards still two weeks to decide after which we will fly back after X-mas!