February 4, 2012
In so many ways, New Zealand has been incredibly easy compared to the rest of our trip. The natives share our tongue. They are welcoming and fun. The camper-van eliminates the need to unpack, carry and repack unwieldy luggage. We do not have to navigate unfamiliar modes of travel like tuk-tuks, subways, busses, trains, etc. Food is easy to order.
But this lovely country has proven harder on me in one unexpected area: this blog.
In Europe and Asia, every day brought unique experiences: different cities, cultures, museums, traveling errors, food adventures.
Here, the days start to blur together. Do not get me wrong, it is a lovely blur of bucolic beauty, but a blur nonetheless. I refuse to be the guy that reports on what we eat (unless it is crocodile or kangaroo) or where we drove unless that information leads to a story or insight I hope you will find amusing or helpful.
I also suspect that experiences that might have felt fresh 3 years ago seem a tad undifferentiated when compared to the adventures of the past months. After Koh Phi Phi, even the lovely beaches of the South Island pale.
Te Papa is a great museum, but it does not compare favorably to the British Musuem, the Louvre or the Forbidden City.
Sure, the politics of New Zealand are a little quirky (they are in an uproar because James Cameron is buying 2500 acres of working farmland), but after Cambodia or China, it seems essentially irrelevant.
Also, since the travel is easier and now a known routine, there are fewer chances for sibling conflicts. This makes for better days, but boring blogs.
In essence, New Zealand is like a week in Maine: lovely, serene and low on news.
With this in mind, I will fulfill my threat of several days ago. I am posting photos of plants and scenery; since beauty is this country’s greatest gift. I hope you at least get a feel for what we are seeing.