Photo above taken on our last day in Auckland, New Zealand.  The sun was shining warmly and spring was in the air.  November 2002.

Never in my life had I not wanted to leave a place and return home than during my two weeks in New Zealand.  The pure beauty and laid-back, carefree life of New Zealand was effecting me in an utterly positive way.  Going back was not only depressing but a dreadful thought.  For it was the start of a long, cold Minnesota winter and worse yet, I was heading back to perhaps the worst job I’ve ever had in my life.  Even more depressing of a thought!

Have you ever had a job that was so miserable that you could barely crawl out of bed each morning?  A job that left you in tears as you walked out the door?  That was the job I had back at home and the last job I have on my resume before becoming a full-time mom. It was one of those awful situations in which I was tainted forever about working for small companies.  I am thankful every day that I don’t have to go there and try to erase the entire experience out of my memory.

Anyway, if I could go back to New Zealand I would be sure to visit a few key areas that I never had a chance to see:  Cook Mountain, Abel Tasman National Park and of course I’d do the Tongariro Crossing.  Since the world is such a big place and there remains so many other interesting countries to visit, I don’t know when I’ll be back.  But someday I will!

Stay tuned…countdown to Guatemala is now five days.  I will be flying to Guatemala City and taking a bus (I am hoping now a “Chicken Bus”!) to Xela in the highlands.  I am doing a home stay, taking Spanish classes in the morning and volunteering “up the mountain” in the afternoons at an indigenous school.  I am also really looking forward to meeting fellow WordPress blogger Lucy Brown of LocaMotion!  See what happens when you blog!  Friends around the world and if you are lucky, you can even meet them in person!

If you don’t hear much here on this blog, I may be using thirdeyeworld instead to do some “postcards” while I’m away.  We’ll see! 🙂



  1. I was in New Zealand a long time ago, and although the weather wasn’t too kind I remember being struck by its sheer beauty. The trip was also memorable because it was the first time I ever saw snow; we were en route to Milford Sound and we just had to get off the bus to touch it! I’m looking forward to your posts on Guatemala – out of all the countries in Central America it’s the one that I most want to visit!

      1. Oh, well that’s an interesting question. I usually say Hong Kong – as it’s where I’ve lived for most of my life – but I was born in Singapore and grew up spending a month every year in Canada (half my family reside there).

    1. I would love to visit you! My parents went to Napier and truly loved it. I truly fell in love with New Zealand and the people. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful place! I will come back! My parents love New Zealand the most out of anywhere they have ever been and have visited eight different times! 🙂

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