That’s right!  In six days I will head to New Zealand, without a return ticket.  But I’ll get back to that in a minute, I promise.

Last year, I spent six months traveling with a backpack through Latin America.  I began in Guatemala (a country I fell in love with the year before) and got as far as Machu Pichu in Peru.  The longer I traveled, the slower I traveled and the more I enjoyed it.

The longer I traveled, the slower I traveled and the more I enjoyed it.  

Some of you know that I injured my right sciatic nerve during a 26 hour bus trip from Cali, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador.  Despite some local medical and chiropractic therapy, the pain persisted for the next two months while I continued to travel, hike, explore, meet wonderful people and blog about it all.

I would have doubtlessly continued southward, sans pain.  Instead, I decided to return to California for what I projected to be two to three months.  That was 7 months ago.  During that time I have:

  • Couchsurfed with a friend (2+ months-I think we’re still friends, ha ha)
  • Stayed in a nice hotel  (16 days)
  • Taken the Great American Road Trip (3 weeks)
  • House sat at the Santa Cruz Harbor (1 month)
  • Got a great deal on an off season vacation rental by the SC Harbor (2 months currently)

And that’s not all!  I treated with a chiropractor, a Chinese doctor, an acupuncturist and a physical therapist.  Finally I found an osteopath with which I have made rapid progress the last two months.

And that’s not all!  I reconnected with old friends, upgraded my camera kit, made some improvements to the back end of this website and did a huge mileage run with promotional offers I found on Flyertalk.

Well, I have been itching to get back on the road for awhile now, even if just for a couple months, something I would personally consider to be short-term travel.  I have wanted to visit New Zealand since the 1970s when I first heard tales of this backpackers’ paradise.  With some of my accumulated miles I have received a free business class ticket on Air Tahiti to New Zealand.  I have not yet acquired a return ticket, just the way I like it!

I have been itching to get back on the road for awhile now…

So off I go again.  I will fly to Auckland where I will couchsurf for three days.  Then I will meet up in Dunedin on the South Island with new old friends with whom I traveled in Panama and Colombia.  Following a short stay with their family, we plan to tour the country with a couple of camper vans for six weeks (or more?).

I am excited and you, dear reader, can follow all the fun right here.



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  1. Judie February 25, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Look forward to seeing and hearing about it all!!! You are in for another amazing and wonderful journey! Love to you dear heart buddy!

    • Philip February 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      Thanx & right back atcha!

  2. Endri February 26, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Cool! Have a nice journey! I look forward to hearing about it, especially for some outdoors in New Zealand!

    • Philip February 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Thanks Endri. Looks like there are some great places to trek in Albania. I hope to check it out one day.

  3. Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 26, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    That sounds awesome! I think a camper van tour would be the best way to see the country.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Foto of the Week from … The Island of Chiloe – Fishing Boats

    • Philip February 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie. Eventually I would like to do the same in Australia although it looks quite a bit more expensive there

  4. Molly February 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Congrats Philip!!!

    That’s going to be an amazing trip! New Zealand is going to be amazing!!! I can’t wait to follow your journey, especially since I want to find myself in New Zealand one of these days! 😀
    Molly recently posted..How You Can Get Off Your Butt & Start Living Life Again!

    • Philip February 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Thanks Molly. I am excited for your upcoming Peruvian adventure!

  5. jade March 8, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    This is awesome! Good luck and highly suggest the camper van route. We just did the camper van thing for Big Sur and Northern California and we loved it!
    jade recently posted..Longing for Summer & A $250 Expedia Giveaway!

    • Philip March 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      Yep Jade, looks like I am buying a Toyota camper van today for $1,500, considerably less than one month’s rental, plus I will probably get most of that money back in a few months when I leave. I am sure you had an awesome time touring my neck of the woods. I go to Big Sur often when I am home in Santa Cruz.

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