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Expectations vs. Reality: New Zealand

I had grand expectations of my trip to New Zealand. I’ve been planning and fussing over the details for months. I have been in the country for 10 days and I wanted to share with you some of the realities vs. my expectations.

Expectation Number One: In the North Island it would be warm.

Reality: I’ve spent most of my time slogging through mud looking like a frozen gnome. It is not the warm, balmy Springtime I expected. Yes, Spring is just about here and it will get toasty up on the North Island, but not right now. Right now, with all of the rain I feel like I should be building an ark.

Rockin' my gnome look
Rockin’ my gnome look

Expectation Number Two: With WWOOFing Wi-Fi would not be an issue.

Reality: The Taliban has better access to Wi-Fi and the internet than most New Zealanders

I mean people practically pan-handle for wireless access here; “can you spare a 3g mate?”

My big, bold foray into the blogging world has turned into an expensive foray as I have to carry a mobile hotspot with me everywhere I go; I can practically hear they money debit from my account with every picture I upload.

Expectation Number Three: Easy public transportation.

Reality: Yes, in the public areas transportation is easy. However, most of New Zealand is spread thin. Roughly the size of Colorado there are only around 4 million inhabitants and there is A LOT of country in between towns. For example, my farm that I am currently at is 20 miles from town and there is no rural bus system (and most of the country is rural). For me to get out and actually see New Zealand and not stay in the muddy poo-patch mentioned above, I can either hitch-hike, rent a car or buy a car. Very unexpectedly I have decided to plop down $1000 a buy a car for the duration of my stay. Since I’ll be leaving at high season I expect to sell it at a small profit. Many backpackers buy cars here- something that totally took me by surprise. So, to actually get to see this beautiful country I’ll be driving around my very own 1990 Honda Logo. Woot.

Expectation Number Four: Having plenty of time.

Reality: No, there are still 24 hours in a day down in the Southern hemisphere, I just thought 2.5 months would be enough time to properly see the country. Hmpf, if I can speed through Spain in 10 days surely 2.5 months would be enough to see New Zealand “proper like.” Wrong. My own only stress inducing element so far has been trying to figure out how to see everything I want to see in the time I have allotted. Hence the car purchase, but even then I am going to have to limit the time spent on each WWOOF Farm and bounce around more than I would have liked too. Most of the other people I am running into are here for 8- 12 months. If you would have told me that in the states I would have thought you were nuts- “whaddya need that much time fer?”

Cape Reigna
Cape Reigna
So much to see!
So much to see!

Expectations Number Five: New Zealand would be pretty.

Reality: New Zealand isn’t just pretty, it’s life-changingly, take-your-breath-away, stunning. In all my travels around the world I haven’t seen such a beautiful landscape and we haven’t even hit the gem of South Island yet. The natural beauty here is otherworldly.

North Island Bay
North Island Bay
The very top of North Island - where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific
The very top of North Island – where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific

-Until my next adventure- Jo

At the edge of the World
At the edge of the World