I rarely repeat countries/destinations for my vacations. I believe there is too much of the world to see to double up trips if I can avoid doing so. Of course, factors such as places being on the way, time, and geography have to be accounted for in that philosophy.
I have made a huge exception of New Zealand. I feel in love with the country from the start. Culturally, it is not exotic, being a land of largely immigrants. They do have a significant indigenous Maori population which I found fascinating and rather well integrated into the country’s heritage.
What appealed to me was the sheer untrampled nature the islands offer. Its history and location makes it home to some of the Earth’s unique geological sites. Where sheep outnumber human citizens, the country is largely untouched. New Zealand’s advantage of being a developed nation too puts it in a well-postured position to protect its ecological treasures.
In my last trip, I focused on skiing in Queenstown. I maximised my time there, squeezing in some sightseeing, a lot of shopping, and a seemingly endless supply of wine-tasting. However, I never lost sight of why I was there- to ski.
I am gearing up to go back for a long drive around both North and South Islands. It will be a whirlwind trip and I’m scrambling to still prioritise my itinerary. Three weeks is long, but perhaps not long enough to see as much as I wish to. While I don’t need to psych myself up anymore than I already am, I can’t help looking at my pictures from my first trip and thinking if that trip is any indicator, how wonderful this next one will be.