New Zealand. It’s a secret.

‘Those islands near Australia where all the sheep farms are’… Yep, I’m probably one of those small minded Americans, but that pretty much sums up my prior knowledge of this country. Livestock, green hills, good mussels, and white wine excluded, I really didn’t know much about this part of the world. It’s not really the type of place that makes the evening news. You probably are just now realizing how little you know about this place too. Don’t blame yourself, it’s easy for the eyes to pass by on a map, and the locals aren’t exactly screaming for attention. I now know why.. And they are brilliant people for it.

Here, the average person can still afford to own land nearby the ocean, commute into the city with ease on fantastic public transportation, live in a safe community, have access to all modern amenities of the first world, and be able to visit breathtaking public land within a few minutes drive. Mix that with a mild climate, clean air and water, and a social emphasis placed on quality home grown food and artistic influence, and what you have is New Zealand. It’s less populated, small, convenient, clean, and quite honestly- a bit luxurious feeling. In fact, I feel like I could exercise the thought of living here, if it wasn’t so very far away from the rest of the world.

New Zealand’s isolation has certainly kept it unique. It is modern without being flashy, cultured without being snobby. There is an honesty to it that I have never experienced before. It is a country set upon astoundingly gorgeous terrain and many regions boast weather that presents virtually year round access to enjoy it in. It’s isolation comes with a cost, naturally, but the benefits create a tempting balance. A smaller population puts the good life in the hands of the average person- and this is evident in every inch of the country we’ve seen thus far. Small businesses are still common, successful, and cherished, the small corner bookshop is still alive- it’s refreshing to see that places like this exist amongst our big-box corporate world.

We have just under a month to soak up the remainder of this stunning country, and

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