New Zealand: Glow Worms and Coastal Driving

Yesterday was mostly driving from Nelson to Greymouth along the beautiful west coast highway, making lots of stops along the way.

First we stopped to do the 1hr Braeburn track to a small waterfall, through a forest with black-mould covered trees and burnt orange leaves falling along the path.

New Zealand: Cancelled Flights to Nelson

It’s been a while! My mom’s best friend has been hassling me so much to include her in my blog that’s it’s put me off it entirely.

Two colourful cups of milk tea sit on a table between a plastic unicorn and dinosaur.

New Zealand: Bubble Teas of Broadway

I love bubble tea, but there’s an excessive number of shops in Newmarket. They seem to just keep on coming… which begs some questions. How do they all stay in business? How do customers choose? Is this somehow a highly profitable industry? Is it just an easy front for money laundering? How much better can one bubble tea be than another?
And so, in the name of science, my boyfriend and I have decided to investigate.

Girl overlooking lake from hot spring

New Zealand: Rotorua on Any Budget

Rotorua is one of my favourite spots to visit on New Zealand’s beautiful north island! There are tons of activities to suit every type of traveller, but we all know the cost of adventure adds up quickly. Luckily, Rotorua has options from luxury to free and everywhere in between. You just have to get past the smell…the natural beauty comes at a sulphur-y price.

New Zealand: Bungy Jumping and Flat Tires

So…guess I’m boutta go jump off a bridge. Of all the extreme sports/activities New Zealand has to offer, bungy jumping somehow seems the scariest. I could comfortably jump out of a plane with another human attached to me, I think parasailing and white water rafting look rad, but I’m not sure I can will myself to jump off a bridge. We’re about to find out.

Christmas in New Zealand

My wonderful family has come all the way from Canada to be with me on Christmas, which has become somewhat of a tradition since my first time living away from home in Australia 6 years ago.

10 Reasons to Visit Tonga

Tonga probably isn’t at the top of your travel bucket list – could you point to it on a map? I certainly had to Google it… but after spending 10 days there, I’m here to tell you why you should get out your atlas (and maybe a magnifying glass) to start planning your trip.

Here are 10 reasons to visit Tonga:

Tonga: Passports and Royalty

We have been picking up some shells to bring home because Tonga has some rad shells, and they’re free souvenirs. One from yesterday keeps going missing. I found it in the corner of a shelf last night and thought maybe it had rolled away so I put it back with the group. When we found it on the floor this morning, half way across the room, we realized there’s a little guy livin’ in there.

Tonga: Perfect Beaches and Kava

Our last full day in Tonga! I’m gutted. 10 days sounds like a decent amount of time but it flies by so quickly!

Last time we were on Tongatapu we drove most of the west side, so today we’re going to hit everything east. One of our priorities is to visit the flying fox sanctuary, but our hostel host tells us that a recent cyclone caused all the bats to move and it’s now closed, which explains why we had so much trouble finding it last time. Conveniently though, there’s a family living in the tree across the street, fully visible from our balcony! Ches is almost as nerdy about the bats as he is about the fish.

Tonga: Fried Chicken

While sipping our morning tea and coffee on the balcony of our Air BnB we hear our host’s grandson screaming below us. Not like he’s distressed or anything, but just because he can, I think. We lean over the balcony to say good morning, and he replies “hello palangi” which is the best thing that’s happened to me so far today.