In the final post of our 9-part Where's Kyle? series, backpacker Kyle reflects on his amazing two-month adventure through New Zealand. Missed the series? You can read past posts here and here. A tremendous thanks to Kyle for sharing his travel experiences with iExplore!
The past two months have been filled with incredible experiences in New Zealand. I have done more than I ever dreamed of. Accomplishing six of the nine Great Walks, I walked in a mini tornado, a blizzard, and realized rain is just a part of hiking.
I am so glad I chose to hitch hike across New Zealand. I have met amazing people that would have never entered my life if I chose the bus route or rented a car. Standing in the rain or heat for hours at a time can create heavy thoughts, frustrations, and techniques to cope with boredom.
The landscape is beautiful everywhere. The food is delightful. The people are extremely genuine. I am pleased to have been welcomed into three different families, earning their trust and support. Growing close to strangers is easy for me, but it continues to blow my mind that it keeps happening.
I appreciate everything out here. Endless star gazing, including O'rien's Belt and the Southern Cross. The rare animals I have come in contact with are Fiordland Crested Penguins, bottle nose dolphins, fur seals, rare albatross, and heaps of New Zealand birds. I will never forget my experiences with the kea parrots and weka birds. Too bad I won't get to see a kiwi bird.
What's next? I found a job in Christchurch selling juice for a local company. The owner invited me into his home, assisted me with a van, and trusts me to take his product around selling to cafes and bars across the city. I've stayed at the family property 30 kilometers outside of Christchurch where I received delicious home cooked meals each day, had meaningful conversations, and enjoyed tremendous views of sunsets and the bright country stars. This family took me in as one of their own, even organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for me. I am incredibly thankful and indebted to them.
I spent Christmas in Coromandel with fellow travelers at a backpackers hostel. Moving forward, I will continue the south pacific trip to the indigenous islands of Tonga for the month of January. I'll arrive back in the states in February where the goal is still to hike the Appalachian Trail. When that ends in September, the wind will guide me to my next adventure.
Top 5 New Zealand Memories:
- Earthquake destruction and devastation in Christchurch
- Overnight cruise in Doubtful Sound
- Crawling through caves on Kepler Mountain
My travel style:
- Make dreams come true
- Plan trips with creativity
- Stay in touch
A note from Kyle: Thanks for reading. I will continue to discover new things about this world and myself. Life can be a free spirited adventure if you let it. To continue following my experiences, please visit Kylekrasney.com and please stay in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. A big thanks to iexplore.com for taking a risk on me and exploring a new idea allowing me to tell my stories to the world.