Random observations on New Zealand

I visited New Zealand for the first time and spent 7 weeks there, mostly staying in people’s homes and cottages. Here are some random observations from my trip:

  • Bathrooms are astonishingly clean and nice, even many of the outhouses in the national parks. There are also heaps of public bathrooms.
  • On the South Island, you can drive for hours and sometimes not see another car.
  • Kiwis are generally humble about their country, up-front about its shortcomings, and proud of its achievements, but at the same time they are not patriotic.
  • When someone describes a place is “touristy”, that means there are great restaurants and they are open late.
  • It is far easier to understand the New Zealand dialect than it is to understand someone from the Deep South in the US.
  • I heard, saw, and felt no frustration, anger, or irritation from anyone. I never felt rushed.
  • Kiwis are sharply divided on their opinions of Queenstown, a ski resort town on the South Island. Some love it, some hate it. We hated it.
  • Ferns, mosses, lichens, and grasses are more stunningly beautiful than I ever thought possible.
  • The food here is excellent, significantly better than I expected, even in very rural or remote areas.
  • Kiwi guys are unquestionably hotter than American guys (but after much deliberation, I decided to stay with Eric).


Books have dedications at the beginning, so I thought I’d start off by dedicating this to the following people, in no particular order.