Happy Christmas! As folks say here. My first Christmas away from home had me prepared for loads of tears, I’m pleased to say it was full of joy, joy, and more joy. Thanks to the International Date Line, I enjoyed two Christmases, one with my New Zealand family and one with my American family. All of this fun chaos reminded me how that day and everyday are full of such pure goodness.
“… And we’re off!” This became the day’s joke as we continued to find reasons to not leave. Once out that door, I had not the slightest clue of the grandeur I was on the verge of experiencing. Road tripping through the country is surely the way to experience this place. Though the destinations are glorious in and of themselves, the in betweens hold a special magic.
That place in me that yearns for the experience of new places and new people was awakened this trip as I trekked alongside Mt. Doom, made Na zdravi references with Czech friends, and laughed until my stomach cramped with the best company around.
As per usual, I’ll tell my story with photographs. Happy New Year! It can’t be 2015? Where’d that come from? Slooow down, world. All my love to yous.
Destination 1: Tongariro National Park – Tongariro Crossing (Mordor filming)
Forgotten World Highway 43
“To love and be loved is life itself.”