Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Great Place to Live, But I Wouldn't Want to Visit There

Lately Alisa has been saying things like, "I don't feel the need to come back to New Zealand.  Maybe we should go to Micronesia for the cyclone season."

So stay tuned to see how that turns out.

It's a funny thing how we see En Zed.  I'll be careful here, as some of our very bestest friends began life as Kiwis (that would be you, Enki, and you, Akimbo).  Being American, I know how it is to listen to other people's opinions about your country - they (the opinions) always sound so incompletely informed.  And I am very aware of what a skewed and incomplete experience we've had of this nation.

But, well... this is one very tame place.  Nothing edgy about the whole country, as far as I can see, and aside from the saving grace of it being Polynesian, nothing particularly exotic.  What it does have is the friendliest, most hospitable people I have ever met.  Take that, and the aforementioned lack of edginess, and I could see us very happily living here in some later point in our lives.  But as a place to travel to...I think I'd recommend giving Alaska a try first.

The good news for the international Kiwi brand is that when I've tentatively tried explaining to the folks back in America that New Zealand hasn't completely taken our breath away, they've reacted as if I admitted to something a bit disgraceful.  From what I can see, New Zealand is still a shining symbol Americans' eyes.


Meanwhile, we've just checked the weather and agreed that we can't see any reason to hang around, bad mouthing the place.  So we're on the final countdown - Alisa even cleaned up our plastic portlights today, opining that being able to see out of them will make the motion down below easier to take.



  1. Heeeyyyy.... you might stay in the lower latitudes instead of heading back south? Come find us in SE Asia! We would love to share an anchorage for more than one night, that was just a tease. ;-) --great photos BTW. Really love Alisa & the boys in the forest- gorgeous! They do a pretty good job of selling a visit to NZ you know...

    1. Hey Behan - Yep, somewhere tropical is definitely the leading contender for next southern hemisphere cyclone season. Sounds like you guys aren't hurrying into the Indian Ocean!

    2. Well, not a lot of cyclones in the path we took, but you are spoiled for choices. We expect to stick around the region for a bit- the current thinking is to aim for a late 2014 Indian Ocean crossing. Someone once said... why rush through paradise?

    3. yeah, who said that about not rushing through paradise, anyway? We'll see what happens - we still have one eye on Patagonia, so don't want to get too far west, as getting back to the east becomes such a pain...

  2. As a country that has built a large percentage of it's tourism dollars as on of the world's leading action sports destinations. I'd say maybe you're selling the country short. Taste is where you put your tongue.

    1. Hey Bo - yep, as with all things travel, our experiences have been entirely subjective. A big part of our take on NZ was colored by the fact that we just spent a year in Tassie, and so are ready for something REALLY different - if we'd come here straight from the tropics, it would have all looked that much fresher to our eyes. The season has been constrained on both ends by family visits, and the short time we had we spent on doing a lot of sailing, and so missed out on the people interactions that would have really explained this place to us.

      And (!) - I just thought of this - we made the mistake of going back to Alaska in the middle of our time in NZ. Comparisons are odious...but seeing the Great Land again might have made the delights of this place a little easier to overlook...