Monthly Archives: January 2012

Auckland’s Coast to Coast walk: A 16km adventure across the city

I’m going to jump out of chronological order because I feel like talking about a journey I went on back in Auckland.

At this point, I had been there for around two months. I was thoroughly enjoying New Zealand, although I hadn’t done much. Auckland is quite an expensive city, especially for someone not working a full time job. So I spent most of my free time relaxing or exploring the great outdoors when weather permitted.

Victoria Park

I’ve noticed a trend in my travels, in my life, in myself. No matter the location, no matter the circumstances, at some point I always get bored with my surroundings. Various reasons are the cause of this. In the past, I have dealt with this affliction in not always the best of ways. Needless to say, after two months in Auckland combined with a few other issues surrounding me, I found myself falling into a bit of a rut. I needed something to break me out of it.

In life, we have to find a way to rediscover. Some people are afraid of change, others welcome it. Myself, I am addicted to change. I am in constant need of something new or different. While out on the road, this is easy to come by. However, settling into a certain location for any prolonged point of time can deprive you of that desired change. Routines form. Habits lock into place. You tire of things.

The solution: find something new to do. Find a way to rediscover your city, your surroundings, your life. For me, this was the Coast to Coast Walkway in Auckland.

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How to Get to Siem Reap the easy way

Seven days in Bangkok. I hadn’t done much in that time. Still somehow, I was exhausted. I needed to get out of there, but I was finding it hard to drag myself away. Finally, early Sunday morning after I returned the hostel door keys to the office (long story as to how I had the office keys), I was able to get myself up and grab a tuk-tuk to the train station.

Bangkok Train Station

Southeast Asia is very popular for backpackers. With loads of culture, delicious food, breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, and a massive party scene all for relatively cheap, it’s not hard to see why. Depending on your tastes and agenda, it’s easy to live off of $10-15 US a day. That includes everything. Putting your monthly expenses at around $500 means you can actually travel around Southeast Asia for cheaper than you can live in most places in America. And backpackers are always looking for the cheapest way to get from point A to point B.

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Auckland: Metropolis, Nature, and Rugby

After a short, ten-hour flight from Singapore, I arrived in Auckland, New Zealand. Going through immigration, I realized this was going to be a good next step for me. To tell this story, I’ll need to fill you in on a little background about where I was in my life at the time.

Before this point, I had been in Asia for about 17 consecutive months. Thirteen of those being in South Korea and the rest in other random parts of Asia. I have never been stared at so much in my entire life. I have never felt like so much of an outsider at any other point in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love Asia for all its quirks, food, and other weirdness. However, it does start to drain on you without a return to western culture. I couldn’t have been more excited about getting back to western culture.

Scene: New Zealand Immigration at Auckland International Airport.
Characters: Many grumpy immigration employees having basically the same frustrating conversation with everyone person that went before me. Most of them went something like this: “Why did you come to New Zealand?” The officers had to repeat this and many other questions in varying degrees of slowness. The answers were often incomprehensible to me, and I teach English. As I walk up to the counter, I hand the officer my passport and a copy of my working holiday visa.
She glances at it, says, “So you’re from the States, eh?”
“Yes, I am,” I reply.
“Welcome to New Zealand,” She said with a wonderful, Kiwi-style smile. Passport stamped. No hassle. I was already in a good mood.

Auckland Panoroma (click on photo to enlarge)

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