The city of sails met us with record high temps, two adorable Airbnbs, lots of cats for Nat to stalk, and plenty of adventures.
We’ve made it to New Zealand! The flight over was long and tiring, but after what felt like forever, we arrived, somehow managed to pick up our rental car (remembering to drive on the left), and made our way to eat a delicious breakfast in a trendy neighborhood while we waited to check into our Airbnb. The city is experiencing some record high temps, so our travel outfits of sweatsuits, sweaters and boots made it immediately clear that we aren't from the area.
Our Airbnb is lovely and is in the Westmere neighborhood. It’s filled with old homes, tree-covered streets and lots of cute little shops and restaurants. Originally, we weren’t sure how much we’d like Auckland since usually we prefer smaller cities and towns.
But after exploring, we discovered we really love Auckland. We still have more to explore, but it feels like it has everything you’d hope for in a city, but it's somehow not too crowded or hectic and manages to still have charm.
We did the obligatory tourist things like visiting the Sky Tower and wandering around Queen street, but we discovered that some of the things we loved most were in the smaller neighborhoods like Ponsonby, Parnell and Devonport.
I particularly loved the Devonport library. Unlike some of the libraries I've visited in the U.S. -- and we do tend to visit quite a few when we travel -- I found this library to be a cozy and inviting place to work and read for a few hours. It reminded me of a space that I'd love to help create one day.
While the exploring was lovely, it started to become increasingly clear that we needed to figure out some sort of plan for our immediate future. Our original plan has always been to buy a campervan and live out of it for about a month while we travel around and figure out where we’d like to settle in during our time in New Zealand. However, after seeing a few campervans, we decided it might not be the life for us after all.
In one campervan, what looked to be a beautiful and spacious space with twinkle lights and charm turned out to be a very cramped van without working air-conditioning and a cut up mattress that you had to move around to get to anything.
While we realize this isn’t the case for all vans (#vanlife is a real thing), it did cause us to quickly rethink what we are hoping for, as well as the potential stress of reselling a van during the off-season. After doing some serious thinking, we decided buying a standard vehicle was a better option for us.
With that all in mind, we’ve decided to head to Christchurch on the South Island to buy a car and begin exploring. Stay tuned!