To the Other Side of the World

Emily and Jake spent three weeks traveling around New Zealand.
Follow along as they share their experiences.
 | @foosism

Jake and I have traveled all over the great state of Colorado throughout our years of knowing each other. This trip is another amazing memory to add to our growing repertoire. Our hope is to reflect on our experiences as individuals and then as a couple during our holiday in New Zealand…and all the future adventures we’ll have together to be shared with the Rock Meets Soil community. Here are the ins and outs of how we accomplished New Zealand in twenty days, enjoy!

South Island, New Zealand // Emily and Jake

South Island, New Zealand // Emily and Jake

New Zealand was never on my radar growing up, a foreign, far-away land that wasn’t practical to dream of. And the traveling in multiple airplanes for twenty hours doesn’t add to the easily obtainable factor. Yet when my mom and stepdad moved there I couldn’t get this idea out of my head…I had to check it out, their first year as new, vulnerable Kiwis. My boyfriend Jake and I spent our time in the States grasping the financial outlook for a trip this size. But it was happening; one way or another this adventure was slowly taking form…


My mom, Michele, and stepdad, John, are currently living in Palmerston North, New Zealand for two plus years. Michele is keeping herself entertained in this town by teaching pole dance workouts at the local gym to the farmer’s wives. John is currently working for Beechcraft; he helps train the New Zealand pilots on the piloting and maintenance part of the airplanes. Until John gets these guys up to par, they are enjoying the small community in the central part of the North Island.

I had a lot of ideas as to what we would do once we got to New Zealand. Jake was no help whatsoever because he was too excited about the trip to really pin point what his goals were once he was on the other side of the globe. I couldn’t blame him, I was in the same position. We took mom’s advice and decided that the best option (as far as transportation goes) was to join the “Stray” hop on/hop off bus system that spans both the north and south islands of New Zealand.

We did the Stray bus with Michele and John for the South Island portion, a total of eleven days. The South Island is what a lot of people see in pictures on the internet and think of when imagining this place. The Fiordlands, high elevations, and turquoise blue waters are a common staple in these parts. And yet, the North Island is also a sight to see. With amazing beaches, emerald green countrysides, and the cutest of sheep grazing along the highways, it makes for a straight up fantasy land.

The plan was simple: see as much as possible every day in the twenty days that we had, with help from trains, planes, automobiles, and buses and with our nights spent in hostels, hotels, or Holiday Parks. I think the Holiday Parks were my favorite. The plane tickets were booked by August and our seats on the bus confirmed. The biggest step was waiting until mid-December to make the voyage to New Zealand. Jake and I got our asses into high gear and started to prepare. We made sure our children (Nellie and Shire) were well taken care of in our absence. Thankfully we didn’t have to spend money on any kennels and instead had good friends and family taking care of the mutts.

In preparation for our trip, we tried to save some money on grocery bills by making tons of frozen crock-pot dinners. I think in the end I made twenty-two. It was quick clean up and a great way to get rid of the perishable items in the fridge.


Next step: what will we do on the North Island before our South Island tour? We were still wrapping our brains around the fact that we were going in the first place. Should we just wing it or try and reserve accommodation/activities/etc? There were five days that were waiting to be consumed with activity and discovery! The choice was to yes, definitely wing it.


The obtainable dream was taking form, and it all begins in the farm town of Palmerston North. Stay tuned for the moment our feet touch the Kiwi soil!

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