I have been very fortunate in my life to spend a lot of time traveling the world. This experience has been gained over a 35 year period and I think may qualify me in a small way to write about some of these adventures and times. I lived in New Zealand for over ten years and now have residency which will become invaluable in later life.
There are very few countries that have literally taken my breath away but I can honestly say New Zealand does this with its staggering untouched beauty, both the North and South islands offer very different views and landscapes due to the terrain. While the North Island is warmer and more cosmopolitan with most of the beauty centered around the coastlines, the South Island is a lot more rugged and parts of it seem to be lost in time.
When you first arrive in the country you will be greeted with warmth and friendship that is not put on or false, but a genuine handshake from a people who do not in any way seem to be as hung up as a lot of people in other countries, the greeting is genuine and they do like to know where you are from, what your plans are and will help you if they can, you have to realize that the entire population of New Zealand approximately 4 million is less than some states or counties of other countries, there is, therefore, a lot of space and if you love the outdoors like I do this is ideal.
A lot of people tend to compare New Zealand with Australia and the two could not be more different, for me the only similarities are how the people seem to be more laid back in attitude and that both countries are down under . When I lived over there it took me some time to adjust to this as I had a European must do now outlook on life and I am fortunate that this laid back attitude has stayed with me.
One thing I must mention at this point is that the Kiwis do have one overriding passion and that is Rugby !! the mighty All Blacks have kept New Zealand in the spotlight for many years and will continue to do so, this is surprising when you consider the population of the country, it is also something I did not mind too much as rugby is a game I played myself for many years, they are also known for downing a few which is also something I enjoy !!
Just about the only criticism I can think of with regards to New Zealand is that due to its location you can feel very isolated, it takes a long time to get there, but once you are there that this quickly forgotten.
If you dream of spending time in a place that is in many aspects, therefore, beautiful, carefree and a paradise just waiting for you to arrive, then visit `the land of the long white cloud.’ You will not be disappointed.