Sad Jo

The Top 10 ways Australia is kicking my ass

Australia: A country with more poisonous things in a city block than all of New Zealand. Actually, I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s the impression Kiwis get before they cross the ditch. Watch out for snakes… and spiders… and crocodiles… Well they haven’t managed to get me yet, but here are the Top … Read more

Family at Invercargill airport

That awkward feeling when nothing goes wrong…

Well, here we are in Brisbane. Our bags are with us; our room hadn’t been double-booked leaving us with nowhere to stay; our flights weren’t cancelled or delayed; we weren’t called over the airport intercom as the last ones to board our flight; we got on the right platform to catch our train to town. … Read more

Aaron celebrating caving success

Celebrating three years… and three weeks!

Yesterday was our third wedding anniversary, and today marks three weeks until we leave. Keeping both those things in mind, we needed to find something we could do to mark our anniversary, without blowing the savings account! For our first anniversary, we were in Samoa. It rained the entire day so we spent it in … Read more

Empty lounge

Chasing the sunshine

For anyone who knows the geography and weather patterns of New Zealand, a blog post about a trip from Wellington to Invercargill that has anything to do with sunshine must seem to be ironic. Invercargill is one of the southernmost cities in the world, and has a mean yearly temperature in the single figures (thanks … Read more

Basil stretched out next to the couch

Starting to say goodbye…

In this age of almost instantaneous communication – Facebook, Twitter, Skype, mobile phone calls and text – saying goodbye seems less permanent than it might once have done. Over the past few days and weeks we have seen, and said goodbye, to people that we are not likely to see again any time soon. But … Read more

Almost empty garage

Packing and passports

Our departure from Wellington is now less than a week away. We initially planned to move home to Invercargill in late January, leaving just enough time to unpack our belongings in Aaron’s parents’ spare room, attend my brother’s wedding and get on the plane. More recently, however, we realised that our rent, power, phone and … Read more

Mountains of junk in the lounge

T-minus three months

Today marks three months until we leave on our trip, so I thought it would be a good chance to reflect on our preparation progress to date. Before we leave for Australia we need to relocate our worldly possessions to Invercargill, where they will take up residence for the foreseeable future. Steps along the way: … Read more

Globe cake and jetplane

“Somewhere in Australia, sometime in February”

Having decided, early in 2011, to make travel a top priority, there were still the small issues of where and when to go. We had already scheduled my 10th Brass Monkey motorcycle rally (June), all of the Rugby World Cup pool matches in Wellington (September), and my brother’s wedding (February 2012). Subsequently, there was also involvement with four musical … Read more