How to have an adventure in New Zealand. Or to put it another way ‘get out of your comfort zone and go travel!’
So where is New Zealand you may well ask? Believe it or not I was once asked the following question by an overseas friend of mine “is New Zealand in Australia?”
I kid you not. No it is not in Australia. It is 3 hours flying time for Australia’s east coast. Some people need to get out more. So this is a travel blog about my daughter, Ally, and I spending a week in the beautiful south island of New Zealand. Which is not in Australia. I was really looking forward to a week away with Ally. I promised her a long time ago we would go away on a trip somewhere but never got around to it. Finally the day arrived and I was excited. Enjoy the journey.
Ally had come over to stay for a few days before we took off on our New Zealand adventure.
We had a great time at the beach and also doing some pretty full on boot camp type exercise. A little back ground here. For years I had been trying to get my kids to do a bit more exercise and eat a little healthier.
I would go running with Ally and I would always have to stop and wait for her to catch up or really push her to keep going. I would always try and get her out of her comfort zone and go to the next level. But regardless I would always finish first and run back and encourage her to finish what ever it was we were doing.
However on this visit from her I was in for a big surprise. Ally was a beast! A fit, motivated beast! I do a thing called 10 Hill Sprints which have morphed into Stair sprints. The idea is to run up a length or stairs, get to the top then run further up a hill and walk down the next lot of stairs that are around 100 metres further on. Once at the bottom you turn around and run back up them, and then head back down to the first set and repeat. So you run up the stairs a total of 10 times.
I really thought Ally would struggle doing this. Wrong! She blitzed me! I had done the first couple and was struggling for air and she is saying ‘Come on Dad, keep going.” What the? She was amazing and really showed me how fit she was. She completed the 10 and was hardly puffing!
I was really happy as I was waiting for the day one of my kids would be fitter than me. This was that day.
It was great fun and I knew going over to New Zealand was going to be full on boot camp when it came to exercise.
At the Airport
We arrived at the Gold Coast Airport in plenty of time. Checked in and got exit row seats. Yes! I need exit row seats with my long legs. Bonus. I kept asking Ally if she had her passport. I had been having nightmares about one of us leaving our passports behind. Fortunately it didn’t happen.
So we were excited about the adventure ahead and so when the announcement was made to board the plane I jumped up and signalled to Ally to join me. Cool as a cucumber she said ‘Chill dad. Why stand in line when we can sit and wait. It’s not full so sit down.” Right. Good point Al.
Eventually we boarded our Jetstar flight and sat back and relaxed in the comfort of an exit door seat.
The Aha Moment for my Book – Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye?
It was on the flight and whilst reading James Altucher’s book, Choose Yourself, that it hit me. I need to get a book that I self published nearly 7 years ago onto Amazon. My book, Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye? Birth, Death and Inspiration: A Man’s Journey, had been self published and only sold as a hard copy back in 2009/10. I had sold around 1,000 copies which was great but I never knew how to really push the marketing and get it on Amazon.
Reading Choose Yourself really inspired me and I set the intention to get it done asap, in fact before the end of December. To cut a long story short I got the book formatted for both Kindle ebook and hard cover for $30 using Upwork and had the book selling by the 17th of December. 10 days after I made the intention! Lesson learned? When you want to do something, don’t wait till you know how to do it. Ask someone to do it for you. Ask. Ask Ask. Do not be afraid to ask for help!
Buy your copy of my new book “Do I Have to Cry to Say Goodbye? by clicking here.
Landing in Christchurch and Being Attacked by Rex the Beagle!
It was a smooth flight and very productive book wise for me. We landed around 10.30pm and moved smoothly through customs and collected our bags. I had only eaten bananas on the flight (It is only a 3 hour flight to NZ) and left the skins in my backpack. Once we landed I had put them in the bins provided.
As we were walking through the exit doors of the airport with our bags and passports all cleared I started looking for where we ordered our pick up driver to take us to our hire car. I was looking around for the free public phone we were told to use when all of a sudden I felt an animal of some description basically jump up on my back! I thought it was an escaped monkey from the zoo! It scared the living daylights out of me! I turned around in sheer terror and there nipping at my backpack was the security dog, a beagle about 12 inches high with puppy eyes staring at me as though he intended to rip my head off because I was a drug courier!
The handler, who I thought may have said “sorry for Rex jumping all over your back and scaring the shit out of you” simply asked ‘Do you have any fruit in your bag?’ I said well I had some but its in the bin now. She obviously didn’t believe me and proceeded to open my bag and I watched in horror as Rex the timid beagle rifled through my bag with a fine tooth comb and staring at me with those detective eyes. He came up with nothing and gave me that look detectives give a druggy on TV of ‘I know your guilty. It’s just a matter of time!’
So glad I had disposed of my half a kilo of banana skin before he attacked me. Not sure what the penalty is for possessing half a k of banana skin in New Zealand but I’m sure it’s excessive. So I asked for a selfie with the handler and Rex but was told we can’t do that. Rex gave me a look of ‘I don’t do selfies with Banana Pushers.’
Our Japanese Airbnb
We got a lift to the rental car with the friendliest driver I think I have ever had. Miho was full of life and gave us plenty of tips on how to enjoy New Zealnd’s South Island. We loved her fun attitude so much we even got a selfie with her. She was far friendlier than Rex the security beagle!
We drove to our airbnb which was only a short 5 minute drive from the airport. When I first booked I advised the hosts that we wouldn’t get there till around midnight as we had to check bags, get attacked by dogs and get to our hire car. Ok so the dog thing I didn’t know about till we arrived. The host had no problems with that. Just asked us to take our shoes off at the door and don’t push our bags over the carpet. When we arrived Yayoi met us at the door. She was lovely and showed us to our room. We had a breakfast pack waiting on the bed and a Christmas card! Wow didn’t expect that. We were both pretty tired and hit the sack straight away.
You learn a lot when travelling with someone. I didn’t realise that Ally had to read for half an hour before bed to make herself tired. So I turned all the lights out and was getting comfy when Ally turns on her bedside lamp. (She was actually on a futon beside my bed) The light really annoyed me and kept me awake. So after throwing 2 pillows at Ally and begging her to turn the light off she put a pillow in front of the light. Problem was I could still see a bit of the light. After calling the police to have Ally removed…just kidding. She eventually turned it off and I got some well needed sleep. The adventure had begun!
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