I’m back! I’m back home in Germany and I’m back to blogging. It has been a while the last time I blogged and I’m, in fact, already back home in Germany for one month, but I’ve been so busy, and tormenred by agonizingly slow wifi, that I couldn’t write earlier. This involutary break from blogging gave me some time to think. In case you’ve missed my last blog entry, but I considered to abandon or close my blog. Looking back, I think I was just putting too much stress on myself as some of you have suggested in your comments (thank you so much for your support!). Before I go on sharing my plans for my blog in 2017, I want to recap December.
December Travel Highs & Lows
December, my last month in New Zealand, had so many ups and downs, I can still hardly believe it. All in all, my New Zealand adventure was amazing, athough different than I anticipated, but more on that later.
Cities Visited: Wellington, Whanganui, Taupo, Napier, Gisborne, Rotorua, Hamilton, Paihia, Auckland.
Highlights: Rotorua, a new tattoo; Taupo’s never ending sunshine; the Huka Falls; Gisborne’s kindness; newly made (temporary) friends from England, Sweden, and Finland; visiting the Maori Portraits by Lindauer at Auckland’s Art Gallery; Paihia and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds; etc.
Books I’ve read: Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood and Asimov’s The Naked Sun.
Travel Highlight No. 1: Rotorua & New Ink.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again, Rotorua is one of my favourite places in New Zealand. This opinion is, of course, only based on my experience as a tourist. Living in a place is always different than just visiting a place for a few days. For me, Rotorua has the best mix of nature, culture, and fun in New Zealand. While places like Queenstown outshine Rotorua in regards to nature and and adventure, Queenstown lacks culture. This time around, I’ve revisited the Whakarewarewa, also known as The Redwoods, in Rotorua because that’s how I roll. A lesser known gem in Rotorua, well lesser know to most tourists anyway, is the Rotorua Lakefront Walkway. My favourite route was to start at the Rotorua Lakefront (near Tutanekai Street) and head to the right past the Maori war canoe, leading to Sulphur Bay and to the Museum. I ended up doing this lovely walk more often than I having fingers to show you.
Growing up in Germany, New Zealand’s flora and fauna is just one giant place of wonders to me. However, the abundance of fern plants, especially tree ferns, are my absolute favourites. I’ve always love fern plants but this interest turned into an obsession after having visited NZ. This is why I chose a fern leaf as my third tattoo. I’ve wanted a third tattoo for four years now so this was a long awaited splurge. If you’re looking for a tattoo studio in New Zealand, Gallery 55 in Rotorua is a fantastic option!
Travel Highlight No. 2: Paihia & Waitangi Treaty Grounds
This was the first time for me to visit Paihia and I was blown away by its beauty. A fellow traveller I’ve met in Christchurch and then later in Wellington kept on talking about the beauty of Paihia that I decided to extend my time being there before my arrival. The initial idea was to stay only a day, but I’m so glad that I stayed 4. While there are plenty of activities for those with a coin or two, I preferred to only spend my money for a day pass at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. In short, at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, New Zealand’s founding document was signed. The day pass includes a guided tour, a cultural performance, and the museum entry. I’d highly recommend this to everyone!
Apart from that, I enjoyed a few walks at the nearby forest (what else, of course!) and parts of the Opua Coastal Walkway. Although, on the way back it became more adventurous than anticipated. The water level rose and I ended up walking knee-deep in the water where the coast used to be an hour earlier.
There were, of course, more highlights (and a few negative experiences) than I’m able to summarize in this which leads me to my plans for 2017. First of all, I’ll stop putting myself so much under pressure. This blog is my hobby, not a business. This will mean that I’ll probably post fewer blog entries. In my last blog entry, Gekitsu suggested in his comment to write in retrospective. I really like that idea so much that I’ve already got a few ideas on how to write more interesting, less based on most „top things to do in XY“ and „first I did this and then I did that“ travel posts. I will also keep on posting my art and favourite travel shots without my text.
In short, I’ll go back to focusing on what I’d like to see on this blog rather than on what others might want to see.
So here’s to a new year, focusing on the things that bring us joy!