Early Reflection: NZ Edition

I’m sitting in an airport cafe in Melbourne, Australia awaiting a connecting flight to Perth, Australia where I will connect with yet ANOTHER flight that will take me to my final destination of the day: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.

I had to get up at 3:00 this morning in order to get things in order, get some breakfast, and get to the airport in Auckland. The flight was delayed for an hour, and it took four hours to get here; long story short, I’ve had a good amount of time to think about my time in New Zealand as a whole. Here are a few of the things that have stuck with me about this lovely little country:

The Maori. I had no idea the Maori people even existed before coming ashore in Tauranga. The indigenous peoples of NZ are treated with far more respect and equality than the Native American (then again, our manifest destiny took place over several hundred years; NZ had a war.) All government buildings are presented in both English and Maori languages, there are Maori language TV stations, etc. They are a wonderful people and I’m glad their culture hasn’t been eradicated.

Fitness. Kiwis are very proud of their national parks and walking tracks. They take excellent care of them and most everyone I met has spent time on them. As a matter of fact, I think I could count the amount of overweight New Zealanders I saw on one hand. Granted, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but the country as a whole spends a lot more time outdoors, eats/drinks less crap, and is in better health than the good ol’ U S of A.

Geographical Uniqueness. You can drive for a dozen hours in the US and the scenery barely changes. In New Zealand, you can drive for thirty minutes and go from desert to tundra to mountain to ocean. Just about any type of environment you want to be in is quickly accessible. Camper vans are in large supply and some folks rent them for MONTHS and holiday around the islands.

Extreme Activities! These folks LOVE their adrenaline. Bungy jumping, jet boating, sky diving, canyon ziplines, boat races, V8 Supercar races. you name it. People here aren’t content to sit and look at the abundant beauty of the land, they get out and DO. Not only do they get out and do it themselves, they try to convince everyone else that it’s the best thing ever.

I loved my time there. I made a lot of friends and learned a bit about myself, too. Indonesia is almost here and should prove to be an equally eye-opening experience.

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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One Response to Early Reflection: NZ Edition

  1. Lory Martin says:

    Arrrgghhh!! You don't remember the Great Smokey Mountains, White Sands National Park, the Rocky Mountains, the beach at Daytona, the Ozarks, the drive across half the country from Tulsa to Orlando, and from Tulsa to Fayetteville, NC, Grand Lake, Shangri La and the Blue Whale??? Okay, okay, you were only 2 for a couple of those, but don't you know it's the duty of every child to remember every place he/she has ever been with the parents??LOL. NZ sounds beautiful and Asia will no doubt be a beautiful culture shock, but also don't forget that while you've seen some of the most beautiful creations in nature, you've also seen some of the most beautiful creations of man in Florence, Rome, etc. Michaelangelo's David The Pieta, all the incredible, man-made beauty in the architecture.Another note – we may have taken longer to do it, but the native Americans were also conquered by war, from the French-Indian War to Geronimo and Chief Joseph, this land was conquered in a large part by war, helped along by measles, smallpox and man's absolute conviction that his way of life is the only one worth living.Love you dearly and looking forward to your further impressions and adventures.LoryMom

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