The Best Reading Spots in Auckland's CBD

If you're like me, you're always on the lookout for the best places to escape into a good book. While I was living in Auckland, I found quite a few. Here are some of my favorites... 1. Albert Park This was my favorite spot in Auckland. If you can huff your way up the hill, it’s worth it for the limitless reading spots, towering trees, and bright blooms. Grab yourself a coffee at the Starbucks on Queen Street, get a workout climbing the hill, and enjoy the Sky Tower views as y

NZ Adventure Chapter 13: Writer’s Block is a Beach

Some people argue that writer’s block isn’t real. They believe that it’s just a convenient excuse used by lazy writers who don’t want to do the work. They assume that if you just sit down and word vomit on the page enough, you’ll get something worth reading. But I disagree. Sure, there are people that say they have “writer’s block” and are either too lazy or too afraid of failing to do the work, but that’s not always the case. You see, I’ve tried to write Chapter 13 of this s

NZ Adventure Chapter 12: Things Texans Would Find Appalling About New Zealand

For all the adrenaline-filled, surreal, and extraordinary moments there are when you travel, there are an equal amount of mediocre, yawn-inducing moments. But it’s in these sepia-toned, sigh-worthy moments that you really notice things….like the fact that many Kiwis don’t know how to pronounce the word “Quesadilla”. While the last couple months of my adventure have mainly consisted of working at the burrito place I scored a job at and saving up for my future travels in New Ze

NZ Adventure Chapter 11: Getting Sick & Climbing Fences

In chapter one I wrote that, “…the most important part of any adventure story is the worst for the protagonist. An adventure is not an adventure without a struggle, without doubt.” God I wish I could punch past me in the face. You see, that sounds romantic and all, but when you’re on your own on the other side of the world, getting over a recent sickness, and endlessly job hunting so that you can afford to stay in the country, It’s a little harder to see it that way. You see,

NZ Adventure Chapter 10: Lollies, Utes, and Chilly Bins

It’s been a busy month… After lots of searching, I found a second job at a pretzel place and have been spending my time learning the intricacies of pretzel and manakish making (a manakish is a delicious middle-eastern dish) and settling into my new flat. What’s a flat you ask? Okay, maybe you aren’t asking but just go with me here- it’s an apartment. You see, Kiwis have their own slang and ways of saying things and lucky for you, I’m here to translate for you. Here are some t

NZ Adventure Chapter 9: The Worst Things About Backpacking

Remember how I was talking about weird transitional phases back in Chapter 6? Yeah, I’m experiencing another one of those and it’s fucking hard to write about. Really, I admire writers that can talk about the everyday like it’s a novelty. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to write about standing in line and have it be funny and interesting (how does Bill Bryson do it??). But for now I’ll lean on honesty and hope that counts for something. Since Fox Glacier I have jumped off a

NZ Adventure Chapter 8: Don't Overthink It

“So you like Panic! At the Disco?” asked the tall man strapping my legs together as I sat on a platform on Kawarau Bridge- known as the birthplace of bungy jumping- overlooking the turquoise water 43 meters (about 141 feet) below. “Yeah” I responded, glancing down at my Panic! At the Disco T-shirt, as he made the straps even tighter, getting ready to lead me to my uncertain death. “I like that album…uh…Welcome to the Black Parade” he added. “Oh…uh… that’s the wrong band. That

NZ Adventure Chapter 7: “This is beautiful and all but I thought I was getting paid”

So much of travel writing is basically romanticizing something that is inherently uncomfortable. No matter how hard you try to make it feel natural, you’ll still wake up some days surrounded by strangers in a hostel, wondering where you can get some decent coffee and wishing you had your coffee maker from home. You’ll still stand in the bathroom, dazed and caffeine-deprived, staring at all your toiletries on the ground that you dropped due to the inevitably non-existent coun

My Second Month in New Zealand

Well that was fast...here's some footage from my second month in New Zealand! #SecondMonth #Video #NewZealand

NZ Adventure Chapter 6: Diving into Paintings and Feeding Lemurs

The thing about real life is that the transitions between the “chapters” aren’t always smooth. Sometimes you get consumable chunks of time that seem to have a beginning, middle, and end- like a proper story-but then sometimes it feels like you’ve gotten whiplash and your life has turned into one those one-second-a-day videos where one moment snaps into another before your brain can register what’s happening. Everything seems to become both incredibly mediocre and important a

NZ Adventure Chapter 5: Peace Isn't for the Living...

“Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations” –Rebecca W

NZ Adventure Chapter 4: Happy Feet

There’s one thing traveling solo in New Zealand lacks- consistent dance classes. After my time at the Flower Barn, I was headed back to Auckland for a week to finally finish setting up my bank account and to get my IRD/Tax number (You know, so if I get a job they can actually pay me). Sure, I had a lot of boring stuff to do, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try to sneak in a little fun and even some dancing. After finally getting my money situation sorted (for now at l

NZ Adventure Chapter 3: WWOOFing, Wedding Dresses, & Where Are All the Napkins?

Baby boomers love to argue that millenials are killing all sorts of industries, including the napkin industry. Well I raise you this, you hard-hitting, justice-for-napkins-seeking reporters- It's actually the Kiwis. Really, one of the great mysteries of New Zealand is the lack of napkins. Where are they? How do you eat a Kiwi burger (which is delicious by the way) without napkins and NOT get it everywhere? It's sorcery, I tell you! Sure, it's better for the environment, but A

NZ Adventure Chapter 2: The World's Smallest French Press

The first couple weeks of any adventure are always so FAST. One second you're wondering if you'll make any friends at all and the next a week has gone by and you've got a whole new group of people to stalk on social media. Highlights of the past week and a half have included exploring Auckland, a Maori 'Haka' performance at the Auckland Museum, The Bay Of Islands, Cape Reinga, and SWIMMING WITH HORSES (still not over how cool that was...more on that later). I started the week

My First Vlog

Here's a little bit about how I'm feeling about my New Zealand adventure (I'm leaving TONIGHT) and what I want to do with my YouTube channel. Subscribe for more videos about my upcoming adventures! #Vlog #NewZealand

New Zealand Adventure Chapter 1: Running Away

I have no idea what I’m doing. ... I just wanted to clear that up in case you thought I somehow had my shit together. Yes, I'm freshly graduated from college, I have an idea of what I want to do and a plan to make it happen, but there are still so many things that can go wrong and so many ways I can still fuck it up. What I'm talking about is the fact that I'm moving to New Zealand in 23 days. I plan to be there as long as my working holiday visa allows- which is a year. And

Join The Dancing Backpacker Mailing list and

never miss an update!

Email