Tag: backpacking


My ‘Kiwi Experience’ Review

I got to New Zealand with no real plan for getting around. I knew a handful of things that I wanted to do, but how I traveled around was completely up in the air. There are a handful of companies who run backpacker bus tours in New Zealand, but the Kiwi Experience looked like the best bet for what I was after in to cover a good chunk of both North and South Islands. … Read More


Bazils Hostel – Westport, New Zealand

So far, I haven’t made a habit of writing about the hostels I’ve stayed at here in New Zealand. For the most part, they’re all about the same. However, I’m staying at Bazils Hostel today in Westport and it’s a much more pleasant experience than anything I’ve had for the last couple weeks since I’ve been here. It’s an actual, genuine hostel, not a chain like Base with mediocre rooms, cheap squeaky bunk beds, dirty bathrooms, and two power outlets for a dorm room of six people. … Read More


Tamaki Maori Village and Cultural Experience in Rotorua

One of the things I love most about traveling is seeing other people’s way of life, learning about their culture and beliefs, and seeing how they live. It’s eye opening, entertaining, and educational. If you’re looking for a fun way to learn about some of the native Maori culture while you’re here in New Zealand, I highly recommend visiting the Tamaki Maori Village. You won’t remember all the words they teach you or what everything is called, but you’ll have a hell of a time, you’ll walk away with a full belly, and for just a few hours, you’ll completely forget about everything else in the world. … Read More


Observations About New Zealand

Prior to this trip, I considered myself pretty well traveled back home in the States. Yet, being here in New Zealand is completely unchartered territory. That sounds obvious, but it’s incredible how much is different here when you stop to notice all the small things. Here are a few that jumped out at me. … Read More


The Kiwi Experience and Cathedral Cove

We left Auckland this morning, and Bridget couldn’t have been more thrilled. She doesn’t much care for Auckland, and doesn’t consider it “real New Zealand.” The city has more than 1.4 million residents, which Bridget said is more than the entire population of the South island. Only 4.4 million people live in all of New Zealand, so that’s a lot for just one city. … Read More


Exploring Downtown Auckland and Queens St. Backpackers

When I got to Auckland this morning, it was a dreary looking day outside. I got checked into the hostel and wrote this morning’s post, and by noon local time, the clouds had dissipated and the sun was out. It’s currently 67 degrees and wonderful. I did some exploring around the area and snapped a few photos (like the one above). For lunch, I tried a place called Mad Mex, what I liken to be the New Zealand version of Chipotle. … Read More


Days 3 and 4: The Bus to LA and the Flight to New Zealand

I woke up Tuesday morning in Las Vegas. The bus didn’t leave until 10:45am local time, and I was still on Kansas time. That meant my internal clock thought I should be up at 6:45. If you know me, you know I’m not a morning person. I decided to make the most of it, though, and caught my last sunrise in the U.S. for a few months as it came up over the Strip. After a long, hot shower, I went down to the lobby and got a coffee. Not a bad way to start the morning. … Read More

Las Vegas Strip in Motion

Days 1 and 2: Fabulous Las Vegas

First stop on my adventure: Las Vegas. The flight leaving Wichita was late getting in and leaving, but I ran into my friend Brittany at the airport, getting off the plane I was getting ready to get on. I finally arrived Sunday night around 11pm, grabbed my pack from the baggage claim, and hopped on the shuttle to the hotel. By the time I got checked in and made it to my room, it was after 1am, so I crashed for the night. … Read More


Exchanging US Currency for Foreign Currency Before Traveling

I’m not a fan of carrying much cash. 99% of my purchases are made on a debit or credit card. I like to travel that way, too. It’s safer, I have immediate record of it with my mobile banking app, and I’m protected against fraud by my bank should my card be stolen. That being said, there are plenty of instances where cash is required or just more convenient. … Read More


New Zealand’s Network of Hostels

New Zealand is known for being one of, if not the most backpacker-friendly countries in the world. With all the diverse topography and amazing landscapes, it’s not hard to see why. In 2013, more than 2.7 million people from every corner of the globe entered New Zealand, and travelers from the United States were the third most frequent tourists of all. In fact, of the total 2.7 million travelers who went last year, nearly 10% of them were from the U.S. … Read More