Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener

As I mentioned the other day, there has recently been a movement in the blogging world called #Blog4NZ. In the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, interest in visiting NZ took a nosedive. You can't blame anyone really, I have to admit to thinking 'thank goodness we're leaving soon' in the shock that followed the disaster.
The thing is though, that us Kiwi's, we're survivors. As much as I struggle to know what to believe about the powers that be, only someone that has been here can explain the energy that comes from the earth beneath us in this damn fine country. I suppose if you've lived here all your life, you may not know there's a difference, but there is, and I have to say I think us Kiwi's learnt a thing or two from this land we call home.

New Zealand has a reputation for being clean and green. Most of the time, we live up to this reputation, but it's not so much the lack of smog and litter - the air, earth and water feel more pure the second you leave the cities and enter 'real' New Zealand.

This is the point that I admit I am not the best advocate for New Zealand. Why? Because I've seen so little of it. Growing up we explored much of Northland and the Coromandel, but if you look on a map, that's not much of the country at all. I can wax lyrical about Cape Reinga, our most northern tip, or about Pauanui, my favourite holiday spot. I can speak of long wild beaches and lazy beach towns. But until last year, I'd never set foot on the South Island.

I feel incredibly lucky that I saw Christchurch before the quake, and even luckier that I wasn't there several months later when the shaking started (by all accounts it hasn't really stopped since). I've seen Wellington twice, and Rotorua once but that's about the extent of my exploration.

On the flip side, I've explored Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth in Australia, and New York, Washington DC, Memphis, Nashville, Las Vegas and LA in the States. I've been to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands and as you all know I'll see 9 new countries this year when we tour Europe. So I'm a little ashamed that I know so little of my home.

Many of the #blog4NZ posts I've seen have been from Americans and Canadians, among many others from around the world. They speak so highly of our country and share so many amazing stories and pictures. So, after we get through Europe and settle in, probably after the Long Haired Boy finishes his degree, I have a feeling we'll be off to pick fruit in orchards, walk through national parks, taste our wines and see our southern most tip.

How much have you seen of your own country compared to the rest of the world? What is one thing in your own country you haven't done but really want to?