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Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

Huka Falls and Hot Springs in Taupo, New Zealand

I realize it’s highly unlikely you’re looking for another reason to visit New Zealand. You’ve probably already got a “pro” list longer than your arm — and if you ask me, it’s not too hard to see why. The last thing you need is another blogger to come along and rub your face in the fact that you’re not there right now. (Unless you are there right now, in which case: lucky you!) CONTINUE READING

How I Wound Up Living in the Netherlands

How I Wound Up in the Netherlands

As a foreigner living in the Netherlands, I’m asked quite frequently what I think of this country — often by people who don’t seem to like it all that much themselves.

In fact, the question I probably get more than any other is, “Why would you want to live here?” (Usually accompanied by a raised eyebrow and that generally unimpressed tone the Dutch have when they speak in English.) CONTINUE READING

Exploring Northland, New Zealand: Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach

I’m not gonna lie: some parts of my visit to the Northland in New Zealand are a bit fuzzy.

I mean, this was my very first weekend in NZ — in other words, my very first weekend as a solo traveler in a foreign country. I probably still had jet-lag, not to mention I’d left a blizzard in Minnesota and arrived to incoming summer. Everything was kind of a mess. CONTINUE READING

Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump in Queenstown

Bungy Jump - Queenstown

If I’m going to give anyone advice about bungy jumping at Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, let it be this: do not do it if you’re hungover.

Of course, we all handle our hangovers in different ways. I prefer to drink copious amounts of Coca-Cola and stay as still as possible. Other people might like to hang upside down over rushing water, slowly spinning in circles, waiting for people to release you from a giant rubber band and take you back to solid ground. Whatever. As the kids seem to say these days: do you. CONTINUE READING