It's a cool, cloudy day here in Auckland, New Zealand. Yep, we made it! It only took a quick 26 hours of travel door to door, including a 13 hour flight from LAX to AKL on Air New Zealand. The flight was not that bad considering you actually get a solid amount of time to sleep, unlike a 7-8 hour overnight flight we would take to Europe.
The flight was also an exciting event as it was the first time either of us has skipped a day due to travel across time zones. We left the States on Oct 12th and landed in NZ on the morning of Oct 14th.
To look forward to, here are some things Auckland and the surrounding area have to offer: volcanic islands, the sky tower, black sand beaches and a fresh fish market.
While we rest a bit and get our bearings in the city here are answers to some of the common questions we've been getting about the trip:
1. Do you have a return ticket?
No. We have a rough itinerary that will put us in Vietnam in February 2016. That's as far as we've planned and we will see how we feel when the time comes.
2. Why so much time in New Zealand? What about Australia?
The more we researched New Zealand, the more it seemed like it was for us. We will soon see for ourselves, but according to guidebooks, the internet and people that have been there - it has everything: hiking, beaches, glaciers, fiords, wineries, seafood, stargazing, volcanos, glowworms, caving, zorbing, geothermal activity, redwoods, whale watching, as well as an interesting culture and food we've never tried before. And hobbits, of course. It seems to be very accessible by car (which we will be renting) and frankly it is not as expensive as Australia.
We plan to spend around a week in the Melbourne area as there are direct flights to Southeast Asia, but we are not planning on exploring too much of Australia. The cost and distance between everything was a big deterrent - it seems to be as expensive as NYC (if not more), and something like a scuba diving license can be obtained at a third of the price at a school in Thailand. Finally, the natural sites in NZ just really appealed to us more!
We felt the best choice was to spend the money to see the sites in NZ and then head to Asia where everything will be much cheaper.
3. What other countries are you planning on going to?
Based on our research, the countries that made our list are: Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We'll spend the bulk of the time in Asia in Thailand and Vietnam. Who knows where else we will end up!
4. Are you coming back to Brooklyn?
We did give up our apartment in Brooklyn and all of our stuff is being stored at family's house in NJ, so we will not be returning to our old apartment in Park Slope (tear, I know). There are no set plans for when we return, but rest assured we will visit all of your beautiful faces in NYC!
5. Are you staying in hostels?
We are not planning on staying in hostels. What we've booked so far have been a combination of hotels via Booking.com and apartments/rooms via AirBnB.
Airbnb has been really great for us in the past, even when traveling in other countries. If you haven't signed up yet - use our referral link to get credits for yourself and for us!
Booking.com has hotels but often also has apartments and can be cheaper than Airbnb. There are some areas where Airbnb just isn't popular enough to have cheap prices, so then we go this route. We will have referral links as well as some ads around the blog in the hopes to make some commission off of a service we already use ourselves!
Here are some shots of our Airbnb in Auckland!