Thoughtful Fashion

Since taking the plunge from vegetarian to vegan I’ve done a lot of reading. Like a lot of reading. In my previous post (here) I mentioned how turning vegan has opened a can of worms for me. I’ve started to question a lot of my every day life choices and what I can do to reduce my negative impact on the environment. Sure I can’t completely erase my carbon footprint; everyone has one. But I’m committed to making mine as small as possible.

Thoughtful Fashion

I looove this. Sadly I can’t credit where it came from, I stumbled upon it on Instagram & no original credit was given so if you know where it came from hit me up!

Throughout uni I worked for a pretty famous fashion store, Topshop. Like most teenagers/girls in their early twenties I was obsessed with this fast fashion which was probably made even worse by working in this environment where we were always expected to look the part and dress a certain way (not even kidding, being a ‘fashion rolemodel’ is part of the job description). This meant I spent a lot of money on clothing and make up without giving a second thought to where it came from, how ethically is was made and how sustainable it really was.

I’m now making a very conscious effort to question where my clothes and make up come from (I’m going to be putting together a post on cruelty free and vegan make up soon so keep an eye out for that). I’m also thinking twice before buying clothes in general. Do I really need it? I went through this horrible phase during uni where I would buy something new for every night out. This quite frankly is ridiculous. I’m not saying stop shopping. I’m saying think twice before you that new dress for your big night on Saturday for it then to sit in your wardrobe because you couldn’t possibly be seen in it again too soon. I mean it would be truly terrible to wear it to two parties in a row, that would just mess up my Instagram feed completely…you’re hearing how ridiculous this sounds right?

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I’ve got a pretty limited wardrobe at the moment due to travelling & as you can see from my battered converse I find it pretty hard to say bye to well worn & much loved items…

I’m working on creating a small dynamic wardrobe made up of good quality, versatile pieces that I can source sustainably – I’ve been very inspired by the wonderful blog A Small Wardrobe. I’m not a millionaire though (unfortunately) so I have to work within my economical limitations. That pretty much means sticking to highstreet brands, a lot of which don’t have the best reputation when it comes to ethics and sustainability. So who am I going to looking to when adding to this wardrobe of mine? Zara (thank god, because these guys are my all time favourite highstreet brand), ASOS (who have an awesome eco edit on at the moment), H&M (who are opening a store in Christchurch soon, hurrah!) & People Tree. If I’m ever looking for anything more high end, which hopefully once I’m a fully functioning adult with a good career under my belt will be, I’m looking at Stella McCartney. She’s a lifelong veggie who doesn’t use any leather or fur in her products.

I’ve already began to collate a wishlist of versatile classics which prove just how easy it is to shop sustainably…

It’s only since turning vegan I’ve really looked at how much leather and animal products I own. I honestly didn’t think I had that much but once I really had a look I was a little bit shocked. Most of my shoes are leather, I own a down jacket and couple of leather pieces from Mulberry and Michael Kors; all of which were purchased before I even turned vegetarian. I’m not about to chuck all of this out though. I’ve thought about this long and hard and talked it out with vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters. And I’ve ultimately come to the conclusion that I won’t be buying anymore animal products to wear. That’s no wool, no leather, no down.

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I won’t be saying bye to my Clark’s leather loafers any time soon but I can assure you that’s a coconut milk flat white

I’m not, however, going to get rid of everything I already own primarily because I don’t believe in waste. I’ve just preached a more sustainable lifestyle to you all so it would be a bit contradictory to gather all my shoes that are in perfect working order and put them in a landfill. Another reason is some of these items have a lot of meaning for me. When I graduated from my undergraduate degree my Dad gave me a Mulberry handbag that I had swooned over for literally years as a reward and gift. Now to me that bag isn’t just a bag. It represents the blood, sweat and (a lot of) tears I put into getting my degree and it means a lot that it came from Dad. It was also gifted to me in a time of my life where I wasn’t thinking the way I think now and I believe that’s something I need to embrace. I know a lot of people won’t agree with that thought process but we’re all different and need to come to our own decision that sits comfortably with ourselves.

On that note if anyone has any recommendations for ethical and sustainable fashion over here in NZ or the UK (I’m headed back for a holiday in 3 weeks, woohoo!) they’d be very gratefully received.

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A very merry vegan Easter from the Mount

It’s funny how people and places can change your outlook and opinions on life so much. If there’s one thing I love about travelling it’s the impact that seeing all these news places and meeting all these new people can have on you. I’m undoubtedly a completely different person from the 21 year old who left the UK with a backpack headed for Thailand in 2015. Naturally a lot of this change comes with growing up, but I have absolutely no doubt as to how much travelling has shaped me into the (hopefully good) person I am today. It’s with all of this in mind that I find myself celebrating the Easter weekend with my old Queenstown housemates in Mount Maunganui on the North Island of New Zealand. I had never been to this part of NZ before but if it’s possible to fall in love with a place I’m pretty sure I achieved that over the weekend.

After two of my best friends left Queenstown (breaking my heart) for the warmer climes of the North Island I decided to take the positives from them moving onto their next adventure (and leaving me…not bitter about that at all…). Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or heaven forbid you don’t regularly read my blog, you will know that I now have a “adult job” which means I get actual weekends and public holidays off. I’m living the 9-5 dream some would say. This meant a four day weekend for me over Easter and a mini break to visit my girls up North.

Since NZ is so far away from everything else it often means holidaying in the same country. This however isn’t a problem for me at all because when you’ve been living on the South Island for 8 months (which has a relatively similar climate to the UK) going up to the North Island feels like you’re back in Asia. And I’m not even being dramatic. For some reason however I don’t always have the best luck though. The day before I was due to fly Cyclone Cook hit NZ. Everyone went slightly over the top and it felt like the country was on the verge of a breakdown. In the end it wasn’t that bad and by the time I was about the fly all air travel had resumed to normal. No cyclone was stopping me from getting to my vegan Easter.

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Life’s a beach

The amount of eye rolls I’ve had thrown at me when I’ve told people I was going to be celebrating Easter in a vegan fashion is enough to make anyone was to put their fist through a plywood wall. I’ve been vegetarian for a while now and the next logical step for me is to become vegan. Now there’s a number of reasons I think this and putting those ideas into writing on my blog seems like a pretty good way of getting them out there rather than getting into a verbal debate, which inevitably seems to happen when people find out I don’t want to eat animals or their products. Que the “oh no, but what do you eat?!”, “I feel so sorry for you, I couldn’t live without meat”, “You must eat a lot of salads, don’t you?”. Actually, you know what Susan, I very rarely eat a bloody salad. I love food. I eat a lot of food. I just don’t want to eat certain foods, ok?

I can hand on heart say I have absolutely zero judgement for people who eat animals or their products. I used to. I get it, we’re almost all brought up to believe this is the normal thing to do. Sadly this zero judgement policy doesn’t seem to go both ways. Veganism is somehow becoming portrayed as this negative, almost dirty thing which, I’m not going to lie, kind of perplexes me. Is it really going to effect you if I don’t want to eat turkey on Christmas Day? I’m quite happy with my Veggie Wellington thanks (shout out to Jo for her top Easter Sunday creation which was insanely yummy & Soph for the banoffee pie which was better than any dairy version I’ve ever had).

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Proving vegan eating ain’t boring

My reasoning for edging towards a vegan life is this; the more I read about the environment, sustainability, and the way animals are treated the more I simply don’t want to eat/wear/contribute to this industry. It truly is a can of worms. It can start with watching Cowspiracy and quickly develop into reading articles on how we could feed the entire world if we gave up meat at 2am on a Tuesday night. It’s not just about what you eat either. Once I began to read about sustainability I quickly started questioning a lot of my everyday choices; what clothes I buy, who made them, what are they made from? Trying to turn to a sustainable vegan lifestyle is most definitely not going to happen over night. It’s a process that can takes years, even a lifetime for some people. I own leather, I get on planes, I don’t always buy the most environmentally friendly toilet paper in the supermarket. But the power of educating yourself and making a few simple changes to your lifestyle can never be underestimated.

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We made it up the Mount

My weekend in the wonderful Mount Maunganui proved to me that you don’t need to give up things or miss out on anything to lead a vegan lifestyle. It also taught me you don’t need to beat yourself up if you aren’t the perfect vegan (is there even such a thing?!). Even as a vegetarian I’ve found that people want to catch you out, even more so if you’re a vegan. Despite this I’m really excited to start exploring the vegan world that I’ve dabbled in for a while now. Although I originally started this blog as a way to document my travels it seems logical that it’s developing into a way to showcase vegetarian and vegan lifestyle choices because it’s all that travelling that got me to where I am today.

On that note if you’ve got any tips for vegans in Christchurch, hit me up! (P.s. couldn’t recommend Mount Maunganui more if you’re travelling the North Island). Over and out. x

My New Zealand must do

Just when I start to think I can’t love this country anymore I go and get up close to Mount Cook. Even on a rainy, hungover day this place will blow your mind. As I made my approach to Mount Cook after turning off the main road between Queenstown and Christchurch I was in the company of three Kiwi’s and a Canadian. You’d think those who were used to seeing this marvelous sight and someone who is from the land of many mountains would take this view in their stride, but I can confirm there was a lot of “oh my god”-ing and “how lucky are we?” going on.

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Approaching Mount Cook.

As far as weekends away in NZ go I’m pretty sure you could go anywhere and have a great time (ok, maybe not anywhere but most places). My friends and I picked Twizel. It kind of started off as a joke because it’s often just a pit stop on the big drive from QT to Chch but it developed into a real, planned weekend as being roughly in the middle of the two it’s quite a good place to meet (logical, ay?). As expected when nine people in their early twenties get together we “celebrated” with alcohol. We did not however, succumb to it’s effects the next day. No, nope, nada. There was no stopping us, we were going on a hike whether it killed us or not.

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There’s always time for a quick photoshoot for Ben & Zaimon.

Ok, I use the term “hike” (or tramp as the Kiwi’s would say) loosely as the Hooker Valley Track is pretty flat and you most certainly don’t have to be a seasoned hiker to have a crack at this one. Nonetheless we all put on our active gear and got out there (at least we looked the part, right?). It’s roughly a 3 hour round trip so even though you’re not going to be out of breath you’ve still definitely earned that G&T at the end.

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The beginning of the Hooker Valley Track.

What really strikes me about the Hooker Valley is how flat everything is then all of a sudden these huge mountains shoot up out of no where. I genuinely think you’d be hard pushed to take a bad photo here, it really is like walking through a movie set.

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Smiling because it’s hard not to with those views.

My one complaint about this track (going to get it over and done with now) is that it’s a walk there and walk back kind of gig. The views going in are amazing but once you’ve got there you’ve already seen it all. Of course there is absolutely nothing that can be done about this as they’re mountains and we most definitely can’t move them. So all in all a pretty pointless complaint, but it’s a good heads up to anyone planning on doing this track!

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I know, I’m pretty impressed I took such a good picture too…

The Hooker Valley seems to have it’s own little eco-system as it was all blue skies and sunshine as we approached but once we were on the track the weather seemed to look a bit more menacing. Not that I minded too much though as it made for some pretty dramatic pictures. Although I’m not sure the woman we saw get knocked over by the strength of this wind would agree with me…

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Mount Cook, where r u?

So we made it! Feeling slightly dusty from the night before but we all pulled together and got to Mount Cook…which was covered by cloud…oh well! The track itself is beautiful and my mind was already blown by the giant bits of ice floating around (you can see them behind us in the picture above). It just means I’m going to have to go back again, what a shame. Big thanks to the wonderful gang for a top weekend and helping me discover more beautiful places in NZ. This place just keeps on taking my breath away.

How to Travel like a Millennial: 24 hours in Auckland

When I was thinking about writing a post on my 24 hour trip to Auckland my friend and I were half joking at how Millennial’s travel. But the more I thought about it the more our jokes started to actually ring true. We flew to Auckland from the South Island of New Zealand for 24 hours in order to attend a Justin Bieber concert. Now I know I’m going to have a hard job persuading you I’m actually quite a sensible, logical adult after this and my last post but I am (or at least I’m trying really hard to be…).

To cut a long story short, I’m not ashamed to admit to you that I’m a Bieleber. I’m a 23 year old female, it was bound to happen right? I was meant to see him back in London with three of my best friends but ended up falling in love with New Zealand and buying a one way ticket here (these things happen, ok?) and therefore missing my beloved Biebs. The day I was meant to be seeing him back in the UK (which technically I did because my friends FaceTimed me the whole concert…) tickets were released for ONE date in NZ. I know what you’re thinking; it’s fate. Even if it did mean flying to a different island.

Initially I had intended on making it into a bit of a holiday and using it as a chance to explore Auckland a bit more. I’d already been a couple of times but just as a fleeting visit or in transit so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to rectify that. However, as all too often happens, life got in the way. I got a new job (yay!), I moved city (woooo!), I became a Monday-Friday gal (now this is what I’m talkin’ ’bout), and therefore could only commit to 24 hours in the city (sad face).

There’s not much airline choice in NZ; you’ve got Air NZ or JetStar (which also has a rather rude nickname, which I won’t use because I’m a lady – duh). Air NZ have a rather attractive points system that can be used through other airlines as well, such as Etihad, and because I’m quite a frequent flyer I decided to opt for them. They usually cost a little more but there’s less risk of your plane not taking off on time and you missing your Bieber concert with these guys. Plus everything is done through their super easy-to-use App which makes the whole experience a lot easier.

And here I come to my first Millennial moment. I arrive at Christchurch International Airport and proceed straight to my gate. No security, no ID checks (because I’m flying regionally), and produce my boarding pass on my App moments after receiving a notification to tell me my flights boarding. Bang on time I’m up in the air and on my way to my connection flight in Wellington. By the time I’ve reached the capital city my Airpoints have uploaded onto my App and I now know I’ve earned 6 dollars to spend at a later date (wooohoooo, gunna go wild with those). A short wait and I’m on my way to Auckland where the weathers pretty nice apparently (the App tells you that too).

Once I’m in Auckland I wait for my friend Ben to catch me up, he’s flying in from Queenstown, so I do the only thing I can think of…head to the bar. Hey, I’m on holiday remember? He arrives and we hop in a cab to our AirBnb. This is my second experience with AirBnb and I just LOVE it. I think it’s a really healthy progression in the way we travel and see the world. I know it’s causing some problems and there’s a lot of debate around it but as a Millennial who is usually a little strapped for cash and wanting to see as many places as possible it’s pretty perfect (yeah, I’ll save that debate for another time). Ben booked the room after looking for places close to Mount Smart Stadium because it’s well known that Auckland isn’t the easiest place to get around. Even though it only has a population of about 1.2 million (teeny tiny to a Brit) it’s huuuuge, going on for miles and miles. Once the place was booked Ben was able to add me into the booking online seeing as I also have an AirBnb account so we can both access the reservation. Clever, huh? Our host was lovely and the location was perfect. But we were hungry…

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Neither of us know Auckland particularly well so I grabbed my iPhone and Googled “the best restaurants near me” and boy did Google provide. Phone’s were charged, an Uber was ordered, and within 10 minutes we were on our way to Mexico Ellerslie. I’m not kidding when I say this place was the best Mexican I’ve ever been to. Being a gluten free vegetarian means I eat a lot of Mexican but this place really was too good to be true. By some weird stroke of luck we seemed to arrive just before the place really packed out (lots of Beliebers were in there, I can tell ya). Naturally we (Ben) ordered way too much food which was all amazing. Super fresh and reasonably priced. The carafes of margarita and shots of tequila probably helped as well. But the entire atmosphere of the place was great and we had the nicest waitress. Sadly I didn’t catch her name (going to blame that on the margarita’s) but the service really was top notch and I couldn’t recommend this place enough.

Into our next Uber we hopped and we were off to Mount Smart Stadium for the main event itself; Bieber. I think I can safely say myself and Ben were probably the most casually dressed people there; Auckland most definitely has a different vibe to the laid back look of the South Island. Despite looking very out of place among the groups of young girls, kids with their mum’s, and random groups of guys who wouldn’t look out of place on Geordie Shore we were ready for Martin Garrix. Now this guy…what a show. The best support act I have ever seen, and I’ve been to quite a few gigs over the years. In all honesty I probably would have been happy if Martin Garrix was the main event…but let’s not forget the reason we’re here. Justin. Bieber.

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The time finally came. He sang “Sorry”. I screamed. The girl behind me screamed. My Snapchat story was inexcusably long. People said he was a little sick and wasn’t performing to the best of his ability. But that didn’t matter, not to me. I had one of the best nights ever singing banger after banger (’cause lets face it, he’s on a roll at the moment) and nothing was going to dampen my spirit. Watching back the videos I took still puts a massive smile on my face and if that isn’t value for money I don’t know what is.

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Mission Bay, Auckland or Oz?

The best thing about travelling is you meet all these amazing people from all over the world who you’ll keep bumping into from time to time, and that’s exactly what happened to us. We met up with Jess, a lovely Canadian, who we’d met in Queenstown and is now an Auckland local. We let her take the reins and headed to Mission Bay for brunch (my favourite past time on a Sunday) where I honestly felt like I was back in Oz; the weather was glorious, the food was just what I needed in my post-Biebs haze and there was a dog paddle boarding. Not even kidding. What more could I want? It was also nice to see a part of Auckland that wasn’t the city centre so if you can find yourself a local tour guide (no matter where you’re heading) I’d recommend following their lead, even if it is just for a morning.

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Flying over NZ will always be my favourite.

After this whirlwind of a 24 hours we were both feeling pretty tired and made our way to the airport. It’s safe to say without the use of my phone and the good ol’ internet my brief visit to Auckland would have been very different. I’ve always been a bit dubious about the use of the term “Millennial” and I didn’t really like being referred to as one. It’s often used in a bad context. I am, however, starting to view it in a much more positive light after last weekend. If it wasn’t for all those cliched “Millennial moments” that we were berating ourselves for it wouldn’t have been the top notch weekend (or 24 hours) that it had been. So there you have it. I’m converted to the Millennial’s way of travelling. Although I might wait a while before dropping anymore $$$ on a one night holiday again…

Meet the Quokka’s

You can call me crazy (I most definitely would) but me and my best friend, Jack, decided that on our way to New Zealand we would stop off in Australia for a few days. Yes, just a few days. Why you may ask? To see the quokka’s, naturally. And the only place you can do this is Rottnest Island, just off the west coast of Australia. Me being the scratchmap obsessed gal that I am jumped at the chance to scratch the state of Western Australia off my map seeing as I’d already gotten rid of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian National Territory, and Tasmania (I’m not showing off, I promise). Although I’ll definitely be heading back to revisit loads of places in Aus I’m pretty pleased with myself knowing I only have South Australia and Northern Territory to go.

Anyway, as it turned out three of us who used to work together in Topshop Newcastle were all in Perth at the same time (so that’s me, Jack, and the delightful Jordan) and we thought what better way to celebrate us all being in the same place at the same time on the other side of the world? A day of exploring the island followed by some pretty fab food at The Raw Kitchen back on the mainland in Fremantle (see my review here) and it was perfect.

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I mean would you just LOOK AT HIS LITTLE FACE.

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Yeah, he’s just after the crisps I reckon.

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The aim of the game? A quokka selfie. Trust me, it’s a thing…Google it. We enticed them with crisps, which I’m pretty sure is against the rules and will be very much frowned upon, but we got some great pictures out of it so to say I regret my actions would be a lie. These weird little hopping rat like creatures are quite frankly adorable and I can see why there’s such an obsession among backpackers to make the pilgrimage out to Rottnest and take a little snap with them.

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Rottnest

The scenery isn’t half bad either…

Of course the quokka’s aren’t the only reason to head over to Rottnest. Like a lot of Australia it’s going to offer you some pretty good opportunities to capture some blue skied snaps to send home and make your friends and family positively seethe as they peruse your Instagram feed while they enter their fifth day of drizzle. The island isn’t just for day trips from Perth though, lots of people come here as a holiday destination. It has a number of charming attractions like the little cinema, island museum, and Hotel Rottnest (it’s pretty swanky).

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I’m a sucker for a disposable snap. Pics by the fabulous Jordan Calvert.

Myself, Jack and Jordan pre-planned our day trip to Rottness by pre-booking our ferry tickets through Rottness Express a few months in advance. Tickets weren’t exactly cheap so if you know you’re keen to go meet the quokka’s my advice would be to plan, plan, plan. And yes, looking back it was a bit mad to spend all of that extra money on stopping off in Aus just for a few days but I’m a firm believer that money spent on experiences and making memories is not money wasted.

If you have any Rottness tips of your own let me know! It’s most definitely somewhere I want to get back to one day.

My Happy Place

For anyone who knows me you’ll know I’m not one to overly show my emotions too often. That’s why I feel it’s kind of a big deal I’m labelling somewhere as my “happy place”. If you didn’t catch my latest post “It’s been a while…” you won’t know that after 6 months living in Queenstown I’ve recently relocated to Christchurch to pursue my archaeological career. Although all this change is super positive I can’t help but feel like my time in QT was cut a little bit short. I don’t know what it is about QT but it’s the first place I can honestly say I’ve been 100% genuinely happy. Arguably this isn’t a place you could keep up this happiness long term; it’s a bit of a bubble and probably not the best place for your liver to thrive but nevertheless it will always hold a very special place in my heart. With this in mind I wanted to post about a few of my favourite things now that I’ve experienced QT as once tourist, then local, and now honourary Kiwi resident.

Ben Lomond

Remarks

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November 2016: Just me, my mate and a Kea.

If you’re looking for a day hike (or tramp as the Kiwi’s like to say) from QT then Ben Lomond is an absolute must. The round trip takes between 5-8 hours depending on your ability and how much time you will inevitably take to stop, completely gobsmacked and take in your surroundings. If you’re feeling a little lazy you can grab the gondola up to Skyline and start the walk from there but I’m an all or nothing kinda gal and wanted to do the whole hog. Make sure you take some warm layers because even in summer the summit is going to be a bit chilly.

I’ve got to admit that I felt a like a bit of an idiot when I did this hike. It’s easy to get sucked into QT life and forget that there’s actually a world beyond the mountains encasing Lake Wakitipu. As me and my friend Jo started to make the climb up to the summit you can see all these breathtaking mountains rolling for miles and miles that you never even think about because they’re sat behind the mountains you look at every day. The flight into QT is probably my favourite purely because of these mountains but in the few months of living here I quickly forgot they even existed.

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Bungy

August 2016: This is what they do for “fun” in Queenstown.

What best way to induct myself into the adrenaline junkie lifestyle? Doing the biggest bungy in Oceania, naturally. All 134 metres of it. That’s enough time to scream, run out of breath, fill your lungs, and start to scream again. I was actually really calm in the 45 minute drive from QT town centre to the bungy in a stark comparison to the 3 guys I was with. But admittedly as they sat me down and strapped me in the fear caught up with me. After a quick hop to the edge and a rather loud scream of “WHAT THE FUCK HAVE I DONE” I was hurtling towards the bottom of the canyon. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

In my opinion this was worth every cent (all $275 of it) and I’d recommend it to any tourist. In hindsight however if I had known I was going to be sticking around the area for a while I would have waited for one of the “locals days”. This is when all the QT locals (you don’t have to be Kiwi for this) get to enjoy some good ol’ discounts. These usually happen in the shoulder seasons when the tourist businesses aren’t too busy but it’s definitely something to take advantage of if you’re going to be hanging around a while and want to nab a bargain.

Bespoke Kitchen

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Bespoke

I’m had a real struggle picking from the many, many pictures of food I’ve taken at Bespoke (not even kidding…).

If you’ve known me during my time in QT then you’ll know I have a major obsession with this place. It’s brunching heaven. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on a morning off work then head to Bespoke for breakfast, some coffee, and read a good book. While you may think I’ve just aged 20 years within one sentence I challenge you to go try it then get back to me. Even just thinking about the food in this place is making me want to hop in a car and drive 6 hours. I’m talking last meal kinda good here.

Vudu in the centre of town is also ran by the same people but it’s smaller and much busier. The chilled out atmosphere of Bespoke is one of the main reasons I love the place so much.

Arrowtown

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January 2017: Sawpit Gully aka LOTR land.

Got a day to kill? Drive about 20km south to find Arrowtown. A massive regret of mine is not spending more time in this charming little place. Founded during the Otago goldrush this mining town has been amazingly preserved (that’s the Archaeologist coming out there…). My advice for the day would to be to head to Provisions for breakfast (their buckwheat pancakes are insane), then go for a walk through the Sawpit Gully to work up an appetite for lunch, once you’re back in town head for Slow Cuts (for the best veggie burger you’ll ever have), then off to Dorothy Brown’s boutique cinema where you can watch a movie whilst relaxing on their sofas with a glass of wine and a cheese board. If you’re not ready for home after that head to The Blue Door for a bev or two. Now that’s my kinda day.

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January 2017, Fernhill, Queenstown: How’s that for a Murder Mystery Backdrop? (Photo by Vicki Britnell)

Finally (this is going to be soppy, prepare yourself), if it wasn’t for the people I went to all these places with and did all these things with I don’t think I would have had anywhere near as much fun. As long as you’ve got the right people with you almost anywhere can be your “happy place”…but I think the mountains and those sunsets do help a little bit…

It’s been a while…

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Christmas Day 2016 Queenstown, NZ (I promise I wasn’t even posing for this pic)

There’s a few reasons why I haven’t posted in so long and why I am now. First and foremost life kind of got in the way. I moved to the other side of the world by myself and it was hard (who knew?!) so I was pretty much focusing all of my energy on settling into this new (a-mazing) country. And quite frankly I then started having way too much fun. Before I knew it I’d been living in Queenstown for 6 months and not posted on here in even longer. Oh, and my MacBook had given up on me so finding a means to even post anything became a challenge in itself.

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Queenstown, NZ: not the worst backdrop for a Murder Mystery

 

I’m sure you’ll all be very glad to hear though that I’m feeling re-inspired. Why I hear you cry? Well just over a month ago I began working as an Archaeologist here in New Zealand. This meant a lot of change in my life. Firstly, I’m finally living up to my blog’s name!! Secondly, I’ve had to relocate from Queenstown to Christchurch (maybe not as dramatic as my move from the UK but it’s nevertheless always hard to leave somewhere you’re happy). Thirdly, this means I can for the foreseeable future say I’m going to be living in NZ – something I’m majorly stoked about.

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Christchurch, NZ: my new home!

All of this means I’m going to be making a major effort to update this space in the hope I can inspire your travels and help anyone out who’s planning on moving to the other side of the world…no biggie!