Writing Shenanigans In New Zealand (And a second honeymoon-ish!)
We’re currently spending nine days in New Zealand in the same area we got married fourteen years ago. The whole excuse for this trip was cheap flights and the idea that we would be able to get a first draft of a project we’re working on about expat life finished. We’re also kind of seeing it as closing out a chapter of our lives as we decided to move to the Middle East over a decade ago so we could afford to move to New Zealand one day, so we thought it’d be nice to celebrate the inspiration behind the current adventure we’re on! We might not want to move to New Zealand permanently just yet, but we can definitely appreciate everything it has to offer!
So far we’ve managed to get a bunch of the book done while still being able to revisit all the places we discovered on our honeymoon. There has been a lot of hiking and a lot of eating… and maybe just a bit of wine tasting too!
We eloped to Wanaka nearly fourteen years ago after Tony suggested it on a whim and we’ve never looked back! I still remember the first time I saw the mountains. Not to wax too poetic, but there’s something really special about New Zealand. After living in Scotland for a bunch of years, I was worried we’d come down here and it would feel a bit more-of-the-same compared to the Highlands (which I’m madly in love with) but it’s got it’s own thing. Being summer, the entire place is completely alive. There are camper vans everywhere, cherry sellers trying to get you to buy their fruit while being outrageously surly about tourists, backpackers and hikers lining up for coffee that as a rule seems to be so burnt that most people don’t drink it after they order it and enough scenery to make you want to stay forever.
Yesterday we drove out to the Rocks of Roy where we had the actual wedding ceremony (in someone’s backyard after our wedding celebrant suggested it) and jumped in the lake for a couple of seconds to remember how our batty wedding photographer wanted us to parade around in the water in our nice clothes. (It was freakin’ baltic.) We’re hoping to go back tomorrow to do some kayaking in an effort to avoid writing to the last possible minute… knowing full-well we’ll sit down and bang out a whole day’s word count in a manic panic in the evening before parking on the couch to watch Harry Potter, because, why not?
However, being true to form for any adventure, our trip hasn’t been without a few hiccups. I’ve managed to get food poisoning this morning from a cafe in Arrowtown. Luckily it didn’t last too long! And Tony’s gotten the kind of hay fever today that’s making him impersonate a snorting, snuffling bear with a sore head, but that’s all inconsequential because a bit of a sleep and some anti-histamines pretty much fix anything.
On the food poisoning front, the entire economy down here operates on backpacker labor and Tony was only mentioning over breakfast that it’d be smart to be careful about what we eat. And then I order a Salad of Doom (it’s always a salad that does it) and someone in the kitchen must have been swishing it around a puddle or something because it was the Salad of Doom that didn’t want to stay in my tummy.
But enough about that. Otherwise, our AirBnB is truly spectacular. We’ve got a view of a mountain pass, we’ve got a nice patio to work on and I’ve just popped a nice bottle of Otago Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge. There’s not much more to ask out of life really!