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Archive for January, 2006

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One month…

Monday, January 30th, 2006

So I’ve been traveling a little over a month now and while I’m sure some things are different depending on the country you are in, it is becoming apparent on how things work in the travelers world. In the States when you meet someone, the first thing you do is introduce yourself. Not so while you are traveling. In fact, it really makes no sense to introduce yourself or ask someone’s name. They will never remember it and you will probably never see this person again. You begin the conversations usually with some small talk about where you are going, or about the place you are staying at. You ask about where they have been, where they are going next, how long they are traveling for. You might get advice on your next destination or hostel to stay at and somewhere in there you ask where they are from. Never in there do you ask the persons name or give yours. You meet so many people that it would make it impossible to remember everyone’s name, and just wastes everyone’s time. Once you know you really like a person and maybe want to continue to travel with them, or even just spend the day with them, then you ask their name. It is an unwritten rule somehow that once you ask the name, then you know you will keep in touch or at the very least spend the next hour or so together.

[read on]

Highs and Lows

Sunday, January 29th, 2006

I am in Wellington right now, the capital of New Zealand. Today was a nice day. The weather was good, I saw a lot in my short time here, and am getting some things done. My time in Wellington did not start off so great yesterday, and I had what was probably my first “bad” day. When you travel for an extended period of time, you come to expect some bad days here and there; a bad meal, a missed train etc. I think that is the main reason many Americans don’t travel overseas for vacation. Since we don’t get a lot of time, we want to go somewhere easy, where they speak English, they have food we like, they pick us up at the airport and all that. We don’t have the time or energy to try and figure out the language or the public transport. So we go to resorts in Mexico or someplace similar so we don’t have to worry about anything. Which is perfectly understandable if you just want some rest and relaxation. However, since I am traveling for a long time overseas, I was sort of surprised everything was going so smoothly, until yesterday.

[read on]

The Lost World

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006
When I started to research my trip to New Zealand, I managed to watch a television show on the Travel channel in the States called A Royal Tour of New Zealand. The Prime Minister Helen Clark took an American journalist ... [Continue reading this entry]

New Things and Old Friends

Thursday, January 19th, 2006
I'm back in Auckland at the moment, staying with an old friend of mine from Oak Park, Walt N. It's his 30th birthday today, and he and his wife Jules are having a big BBQ for him tomorrow, so I'm ... [Continue reading this entry]

From Coast to Coast to Coast

Saturday, January 14th, 2006
After my last entry my day continued on in Auckland. I decided to go up into the Sky Tower, which offered an impressive view of the city. Auckland reminds me a lot of Seattle. It sits right on the water ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Other Down Under

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006
I am currently in Auckland, New Zealand right now. Just for anyone that is keeping track, New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of Chicago, just skimming the international date line. I arrived last night about 6pm on Air New Zealand, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Not quite backpacking…

Sunday, January 8th, 2006
Well, I finally saw a kangaroo, it only took 13 days. I was beginning to think it was some big tourist ploy. Even Denika and Jane were surprised we didn't see any on our drive from Sydney to Melbourne. We ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Big Merino

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006
These past 6 days have absolutely flown by and melded together. Today is January 5th, Thursday. Denika, Jane and I are driving south at the moment down the coast of New South Wales. The weather is crap right now, very ... [Continue reading this entry]