End of February I’ve given a brief recap of the year so far and I thought it would be a good idea to give an update of my travel planning process.
University: The Beginning of the End
Since my post in February, I’ve completed my very last research paper for university and now I’ve started to write my thesis. This will be no surprise to anyone that my thesis will be about New Zealand. In short, my thesis will be an analysis of postcolonial intermediality in New Zealand. I’ve decided to document my thesis writing process because it’ll be a great way to have something to look back at in the years to come. Writing a thesis can be exhausting, but it is also very interesting to know what you’ve achieved. So on Instagram I’ll use the hashtag #mariawritesthesis in order to have a place for all my thesis related posts. You can view the posts under that hashtag over here.
New Zealand Travel Planning: One Step at a Time
There is still so much for me to do for my travel organization, but with each week one more and more gets crossed off my ‘to do’-list. I’ve booked the flight to NZ already in February, but I still need to apply for the Working Holiday visa. I wasn’t able to do it yet because I needed to apply for a new passport. Holy bejeesus these passports are getting expensive! On the bright side, I’ve got a decent picture this time. The picture in my last passport looked as if I haven’t slept in weeks and were on drugs when the photo was taken. This time, I look like a decent human being (YAY!).
The year so far has been rather expensive, but with the exception of a tablet I plan on buying for my trip, I’ve purchased the most expensive items so far. Now, I can finally focus on saving money!
So my plans for this week are to (finally!) apply for that Working Holiday visa, hoping that I’m not too old to get it approved. Don’t worry, I will write a post on how to apply for that Working Holiday visa giving you all the info you need to know. After that, I’ll need to apply for a new credit card because my current one expires in a few months. Then, I need to get a travel insurance and book an accommodation in Auckland. There are other things on my ‘to do’- list, but these are the most important ones.
New Zealand Travel Itinerary
My friend, her sister and I finally decided on an itinerary. As a reminder, my friend and her sister will visit NZ for three weeks and I’ll join them during that time. Afterwards, while they will fly back home, I’ll stay in NZ for further 5-6 months. Because their time in NZ is so limited we needed to pick a fixed itinerary ASAP. And here it is:
Our first stop is Auckland where we’ll land on October 22nd and stay there until the 24th. Then we’ll head to Rotorua for four days, trying to explore Rotorua and area. Before heading down to the South Island, we’ll stop in Wellington between Oct. 28th and Nov. 1st. On the South Island, we try to head straight over to Greymouth for a night, but will keep the option open to spend also a night in Picton if we can’t get connecting busses from Wellington all the way to Greymouth in a day. After Greymouth we’ll be in Franz Josef from Nov. 2nd unil Nov. 3rd. We’ll then stay in Queenstown from Nov. 3rd until Nov. 6th, trying to explore Milford Sound and other parts of the South Island that allow for a day trip. Then we’ll go to Dunedin for two days before my friend and her sister will fly back from Queenstown on Nov. 8th back to Auckland and then back to Germany. I’m not sure where I’ll go next after Dunedin, but the plan is to stay on the South Island and then slowly travel northwards. I’m not even sure yet whether I’ll try to stay in the Southland region, find a job and try to save some money. For now, I don’t have to worry about that and don’t want to worry about it.
London Travel Plans
Before my grand New Zealand adventure starts, I’ll stay in London for a few days. Last week, I’ve finally booked the flight. Even though I wanted to avoid travelling on my birthday, there was no other way. I’ll leave for London on Sep. 8th and go back home on the 10th. I’ve already mentioned how I’ll see on Sept. 8th the play ‘The Entertainer’ featuring Kenneth Branagh and John Hurt, but now I’m also going to see ‘No Man’s Land’ with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen on the 9th! I’ve already been overly excited to see Kenneth Branagh and John Hurt and now I can hardly believe that I’ve managed to get tickets for ‘No Man’s Land’ too’! My inner fangirl is fainting whenever I think of how I’ll celebrate my 30th birthday!
There is still a lot to do by then, but step by step I’m getting closer and before I’ll know it will be the night before my departure! In the meantime I try to post regular travel planning and thesis writing updates.
Do you have any travel plans for 2016? Any ‘must see’ places in NZ you’d recommend? Leave a comment down below!