After nearly five months in Asia, I made it to Middle Earth New Zealand!
I applied for my one-year working holiday visa online and bought a plane ticket and now I am in the land of Hobbits (and elves and wizards).
Of course, the first touristy thing I had to do was go to Hobbiton—better known as Matamata.
After the conclusion of the filming of the Hobbit trilogy, the owner of the farm where the Hobbiton set was built decided to make the location a tourist area. Now, there are 44 hobbit holes immaculately maintained where all geeks are free to revel in their geekdom. Even for non-geeks, the beauty of the area makes the trip worth it.
Hobbiton is located three hours outside of Auckland and made for the perfect day trip to introduce me to this wonderful country!
And, of course, no trip to the Shire would be complete without a pint at the Green Dragon!
Had I known I would get a wicked cold after hiking Mount Rinjani, I probably would not have agreed to go taking a three-day boat trip from Lombok to Flores.
Things a person does not want to do when they are sick:
- Not shower for four days
- Sleep on a plastic mat without any blankets on a boat floor
- Be stuck in the scorching Indonesia sun without any possibility of aircon
I have always considered myself a solo traveler. Solo traveling is easier and better for me. I can go where I want to go when I want to go and not have to worry about stepping on anyone’s toes. If I’m cranky, I don’t have to worry that I will snap at someone (a common issue at home)–I can just curl up in bed and watch TV or go take a walk alone until I feel better.
I have heard many stories of people who traveled with their friends from home and how the trip nearly destroyed their relationship.
So, I decided to always remain a solo traveler. I would travel with someone I met in a hostel for a couple of days or even a week at a time and then I could say goodbye before I had a chance to get sick of them or vice versa. For the first month and a half I was traveling, this method worked well for me. I met many awesome people who I’m now proud to call friends.
My solo traveling adventure was going beautifully.
Then I met Sophie.