Thursday, 25 February 2010

9 more reasons to love New Zealand, not that I needed any more

Last weekend we got our road trip on again – this time it was a three day mini-tour of the North Island.

There were glow worm caves (!), surfing escapades, vats of iced coffee and a day at a geo-thermal spa in Rotorua that so infused us with healing sulphuric properties that we are struggling to stop reeking of eggs five days on.

I have to admit that I love New Zealand. And I don't just love places willy nilly.

So what's so great about New Zealand? Here's a short countdown.

  • NZ reminds me of a Seattle meets Hawaii (Sea'waii - talk about a power couple) with it's green, hilly, rugged, coffee culture vibe and it's surprisingly tropical beachiness.
  • The food and service culture here is top notch. Last week I was in a cafe for three hours working away and, instead of glaring at me for overstaying my welcome, the manager popped out with a free latte. This is service. 

  • Beetroot! Beetroot is a great all-rounder condiment and the Kiwi's have nailed this, they put it on everything. I just can't get enough of the beetroot.
  • Space and the land:people ratio. I never realized how much I love wide open spaces until I moved to urban Britain. Even NZ's largest city Auckland is brimming with space.
  • Nothing phases Kiwis. Everything is going to be OK.

  • The country is so small that their media can get away with a lot. During the official Olympic coverage the anchor man started making fun of a Canadian curling player. They were pretty much mocking the games the whole time actually.
  • The pioneer spirit. I've heard lots of British people say that if they moved to NZ or Australia or the US or Canada they would miss the history, which is fair enough, because England's got some serious history going on. But I have now come to the conclusion that I feel the opposite. Even though I respect tradition and find history interesting (sometimes, let's be honest), on the tradition and pioneering spectrum, I definitely swing to the latter. I love being somewhere that feels new and innovative and being surround by the people who left the old world, because I'm a leaver too.
  • No expectations. I had never really given NZ much thought before we came here, so never built up unrealistic expectations.  So all of the above is a pleasant surprise.
Have you noticed how none of my answers revolved around Lord of the Rings?

Probably the biggest reason I love NZ is that we're in a season of rest. It's one of those seasons where everything is just going very well for some reason. I'm not working but doing what I love all day: writing. Things just feel easy and beautiful right now.

I've said this before, how important it is to remember that seasons like this do come. After seasons of roadblocks and endurance training, I'm so thankful that this Kiwi season is doing wonders to renew hope in me and just let me chill out.

Anyway, don't worry, I'm not moving here and we do have a flight booked back to the US in June. (We didn't work that hard to get a US green card for nothing!). I'll just have to enjoy every day of these last 14 weeks here until I can start to fall in love with Seattle all over again.


Jenny said...

i want to go to new zealand!!!

and can you PLEASE bring back a bottle of beetroot for us? i'm so intrigued, sounds delish ;)

i'm also so happy for you that you have 14 more weeks of amazingness- jealous!

alisha said...

Jenny, I want you to come to NZ! But in case you can't make it I will definitely bring some beetroot back so we can recreate it in Ballard. :)

Matt and Joey said...

I want beetroot too! I love beets... is it similar?

I so long for a season of writing and coffee and rest in a place of epic beauty like NZ. I'm happy for you, girl.

Matt and Joey said...

PS How do you get your blog so fabulously margin-free and your photos so large? AND what are you using to make your photographs round-edged and colored fun?

alisha said...

Actually, beetroot isn't as exotic as it sounds. I think it's just the same as beets. But beets are exotic in my book with their electric fuschia color.

In terms of margin-free bloggery, I think it has to do with my template being wider - it's just one of the basic ones, but not the 'minima' one that I think you use. As for photo fun, check out (That's from Jenny).

All my secrets revealed. :)

Nadine said...

New Zealand sounds amazing!! We've never been but it's on our places to visit. I wish flights were cheaper!

I LOVE that they gave you a free latte!! What a wonderful and welcoming cafe!!

alisha said...

Nadine, you feel so close being in Hawaii, but then I remember how big the Pacific Ocean is! So disappointed our flights to the States aren't going through Hawaii...

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