New Zealand

Mountains pulled from the sea, reflecting pools, land of the hobbit.

New Zealand

Though crazy expensive, New Zealand is also highly beautiful offering nature, plenty of exercise and great food, and the people are super nice, too!

Where I’ve Been

New Zealand Placeholder
New Zealand

Currency = New Zealand Dollar.

The wonderful scenes of New Zealand…

Find Yourself Rating

Medium. Depending on the time of year, you’re likely to find a LOT of tourists. With so many people going the same places as you, it may be hard to find a haven to escape to. That said, the scenery is beautiful. If you can tune people out, then you can just immerse in nature.

Female Solo Travel Ranking

Excellent. This may be the safest place I’ve traveled yet. You can wonder off on your own, leave your bag unattended and find it when you get back, and find most people exceptionally helpful. Your bags will be there on the bus, too!

Touristy vs Authentic

A bit of both. The landscape is made by the forces that be, there’s no faking it! The problem is, what there is to see, everyone else wants to see, too. So it’s not that things are made for tourists, but I did have a sense that tourism is such a big industry that everything revolves around it. So, I didn’t get a true sense of where locals hang out or eat, apart from local parks where all the tourists are, too.

Getting Around / Transportation

Anything goes. If you’re traveling with someone, you may want to rent a car as your cheapest option to get around. Bear in mind that some roads can be windy and steep. My hostel in Dunedin had a driveway so steep you needed a literal running start to get up it! The local bus system is pretty good. Intercity serves most of the country, apart from a few areas where private companies, like Atomic Shuttle, service the area. Finally, Air New Zealand can fly you around the country if you’re pressed for time.

How to Save Money

Extremely difficult. Working your way round the country may be an option, such as in hostels, or Workaway. Otherwise, hostels may be your best bet, if you book early and split a room. It’s even hard to save money in supermarkets! Some places have food trucks that offer less expensive food. Otherwise, you may be stuck eating appetizers for meals and risk being a bit hungry as portion sizes can be small. If you stay in a hostel, ask about discounts on activities. For example, in Lake Tekapo I stayed at a YHA Hostel, and, rather than pay lots of money for a stargazing trip, a local guide came to our hostel and, for a few bucks, gave us a great experience with the night sky. Try the Flexipass with Intercity if you’re using the bus system a lot.

Negotiating Tips

Nill. This is not really a place to negotiate, though if you buy two or more tours with the same company, they may give you a discount.

Tipping

Not expected. Generally speaking, people in the service industry are well paid, and tipping is not expected. If you go to a better restaurant, you may have the option to tip, but mostly you pay at the counter and leave no tip. (Unless the service is exceptional and you want to, of course.)

WiFi Access

Excellent Every hotel and restaurant has WiFi and the connections were pretty good. 

Toilets

Great. Clean, flush well and have toilet paper! In fact, you will see signs everywhere telling you NOT to squat on the seat or throw your toilet paper in the bin. This is for Chinese tourists!

Insects, Rodents and Reptiles

Minimum. The only animals I saw were the ones I wanted – cows, sheep, horses and birds.

Passport, Visa and Entry/Exit Rules

A bit confusing.  It’s always a good idea to check the US government website (or your country’s local government if not the US) for in-depth information as well as the embassy website of each country. You most likely do not need a visa, but you may need a tourist authorization, called an NZeTA. If you do, make sure to use the official website or you’ll pay a hefty commission fee.

Health, Water, etc.

Excellent. You can drink the tap water safely, food is safe, and you don’t need any major vaccinations. 

Weather

Four Seasons. New Zealand is a bit like any island – weather varies immensly throughout the day. Best thing to do is have sunblock, an umbrella and a jacket on hand to be prepared!

Essentials to Pack

Hiking shoes, sunblock, sunglasses, gloves, scarf and a hat, at a minimum. A flashlight is a great idea, too, because some towns are a bit more remote and darker.

How to Make Friends

Put your phone down and make conversation with anyone next to you!

What to Do and See

The southern island has some absolutely stunning scenery. From Te Anau you can see Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. The drive from there to Queenstown is gorgeous and it’s worth staying in a few days because there’s so much to see and do. Lake Tekapo is lovely for the thermal bath and night sky viewing.

Where to Stay

Here are a few of the places I liked:

All in all, YHA Hostels around the country were a safe bet – clean, well maintained and friendly staff.

Learn about Heather and what set her on her world journey. She also explains why this life is not just for Millenials, it's for anyone that wants to create a life around what they love most in life. 

Listen to an episode of the video interview series that will inspire you to follow your heart. Whether you want to travel full time or have another calling, this series is for you.

See the amazing people I've been meeting on my travels and the fun stories that go along with the meetings.

Check out my travel photos from around the world to see the world from wherever you are.

If you've been thinking that there's got to be  more to life than work, or, you've lost your job, and wonder whether now is the time to do something you're more excited about, this quiz will help you. Answer a few questions and get a free guide to help you know the areas you need to work on, followed up with inspirational and helpful tips to put your dreams into action.

Traveling the world full-time may sound glamorous and exhilirating. (In many ways, it is!) But, it's not full-time fun. Before you decide to go, take this quiz to make sure you're ready, and, if not, find out how to bridge the gaps.

This fun quiz helps you understand what your travel personality is, and how to make sure you indulge it when planning your next trip to maximize your enjoyment!

This one is pure fun - test your transcontinental travel trivia knowledge. Hit the button below if you dare take the quiz and see your score! 

If you enjoyed the first quiz, see how you do on the second one! More fun, more tricks, Click the button below to test your knowledge!

If you want to see every post I've written, starting with the most recent, this is the place to start!

In 2020, I was traveling in New Zealand as the coronavirus pandemic brewed, and, got stuck there. If you want to read about what this time was like and traveling during this time, check out this page.

Many of my blog posts are about things I've discovered about myself or about being, while I've traveled. If you'd like to focus on posts that only have self-discovery themes, click the button below.

I've been traveling the globe solo, and many of my posts share thoughts and resources specifically for other solo travelers. If you're a fellow solo traveler, or you're thinking about solo travel, this is a collection you will find of interest.

Sometimes I write posts where I give insider information on certain cities I've visited, which may be more along the lines of places to go, how to save money, etc. If that's your main interest, check out this compilation of posts.

At the heart of international travel is learning about the many different cultures and ways of being around the world. The posts compiled on this page speak, specifically, about the cultural observations I've had.

If you're looking to read blog posts about specific destinations, click the country of your interest below to go to it's blog page and get country-specific reviews and thoughts.

Africa

Argentina

Brazil

Cambodia

Chile

Costa Rica

France

New Zealand

Peru

Portugal

Scotland

Thailand

Uruguay

Vietnam

 

11 + 8 =

Most of what's keeping you from what you want - full-time travel, a new business idea, a radical career shift - are your excuses. After one session with Heather, you'll understand which excuses are holding you back the most, how to get them out of the way, and you'll leave with an action plan that helps you set the foundation to pivot into the life you want.

You know you don't like your job, but you can't figure out how to survive without it. Designed for frustrated professionals the program focuses on teaching you the key steps to shifting your work and money mindsets, and giving you the money and work strategies to pursue, leaving you empowered to quit with confidence and see that it really is possible to live happily without a stable job.

Whether traveling full time was your dream before the pandemic, or after, this session will help you understand how to prepare, what you need to know, and how to get your finances in order to make it happen. It's the perfect accompaniment to the "How To Afford The Travel Life" eBook. You'll also get an understanding of both what's great about full-time travel and some of the challenges. You can also discuss planning help, and how to get the most out of your experience.

It's always been essential to understand your money, but if you've lost your job due to the pandemic, now it's even more important that you create financial empowerment. In this session, Heather will work with you to first understand your gaps in managing your money, then she'll help you with the framework on how to ensure you can afford the life you dream of. You'll get tips to save and budget, and also discuss ways to earn money that will shift you out of feeling like a victim of the times, to seeing the opportunities in front of you to begin making money in a different way.

You want to quit and travel full time, but when can you go? This eBook gives you all the formulas you need to calculate when you can quit and afford the travel lifestyle you want, in under and hour.

Thanks to the pandemic, we've all had a chance to ask the question, "what now?" If you've decided it's time to quit your 9-to-5 to travel full time (or take it with you while you live nomadically), this program will help you address the core mindset, money, and planning gaps you have. This is the program that will help you acknowledge and overcome your fears about what's next, figure out how to afford and sustain your travels, and feel confident about planning your adventure. Book your free session to see if you're a fit!

You're finally serious about traveling full time, but you cannot figure out how you'll afford it. Or, you're just curious whether it's really even possible to afford the lifestyle. Bootcamp is for you! We'll go dive deep into savings strategies before you go, how to save on the road, and how to sustain your travels, as well as look at lots of work opportunities if you want to work while you travel! Includes a 3-day build your budget challenge to get you thinking about how to replace dreams with real logical steps to make it happen.

You've dreamed about traveling full time for as long as you can remember, and now you've learned that it's a little more challenging than you thought. Get help getting through the initial shock and changes when you realize you're not on vacation. Learn how to manage those experiences where you meet parts of yourself long forgotten, and create a plan to help you have the best experience with your journey.