24 hours in Reefton gave me my first taste of New Zealand’s West Coast hospitality, in the form of pub crawls, Kiwi breakfasts and accidentally kind of hosting a horse race.
My first-ever multi-day hike went awry in many ways — rain, rats, miscalculated distances, strange hostels. But let me tell ya: it makes a great travel tale.
My last couple weeks working at the hostel involved a lot of friends, barbecues and beach selfies — you’ve been forewarned.
With a day off of work, what else was I to do but drive up to a hippie town, have an out-of-body cave experience and gaze at a real-life Windows screensaver landscape?
I agreed to a three-week stint working in Nelson, New Zealand at a backpacker’s hostel, practicing the art of chill — and learning how to properly fold laundry. Sort of.
With an impressive beer scene and more food and coffee options than I could take advantage of, Wellington won my heart many times over. Just go there.
A few meditative days in New Zealand’s Art Deco capital did me well — and significantly advanced my knowledge of wine, thanks to some incredible Airbnb hosts.
Trouble strikes on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, where I learn lessons about friendship, vulnerability and the surprising perils of flat ground.
Despite its sulfuric smell, Rotorua offers culture, adventure and an excellent Thursday night market for even the weariest of travelers.
A few adventurous days on NZ’s Coromandel Peninsula gave me an appreciation for long treks and small sleeping quarters — namely, the back of my Mazda.