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New Zealand Travels Come To A Close

With this, I close the book on New Zealand … until next time.

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People in a car basking in privacy on the boat launch of the parking lot in Katikati where we stayed the night.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand- So that’s it. New Zealand travels 2017 have come to a close. I’m sitting in the parking lot of a mall in Auckland right now as my wife finishes cleaning up the campervan before we return it.

Our last night of camping was spent out in some far flung parking lot outside of Katikati. It appeared to be a place of ill-repute, one could say, where cruisers, adulterers, and kids smoking dope go at night to do their thing in the privacy of their own cars. Each vehicle that was lined up seemed to have some kind of illegitimate shit going on inside of it — a rather fascinating place to spend a night.

But that’s all for New Zealand. These travels have come to an end and with this blog post I’m closing the book on the country … until next time.

My family takes one little jaunt of travel per year that could be called a vacation, where we move around an appealing place doing some rec travel. This contrasts sharply with our usual modus operandi – which looks something like: wife and kids in some Asian city and me traveling to the middle of nowhere to collect content for my stories.

(Although I have to admit here that it’s looking like we may have taken two “vacations” this year. In the spring we were on the beaches of Puerto Rico.)

This stuff is never planned. I had absolutely no intention of coming to Australia or NZ when we landed in Taipei a couple of months ago. I was coming back to Asia to work — not to play around in Oceania.

But this playing around in Oceania was some of the most enjoyable travels that I’ve done in a while — probably since Puerto Rico, in fact.

So how to top off this jaunt of New Zealand travels?

New Zealand can best summed up with a single word: beautiful. It’s just the word that everybody keeps saying about the place, over and over again the entire time they’re here. So I’m just going to leave it at that.

Beautiful. It’s a beautiful country.

So that leaves us moving on to Kuala Lumpur, where I will get back to work. I still need to put the finishing touches on the New Silk Road book and then ship out entire slates of articles. I’m behind this month and anxious to concoct some kind of ad hoc command center and start working again. Three weeks of just traveling around blogging was nice, but this lifestyle has a natural limit. Now it’s time to disappear into a deep, deep cycle of work.

But, of course, I love this stuff.


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Filed under: New Zealand, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

2 comments… add one

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  • Lyn June 16, 2020, 10:22 am

    How can you possibly say you’ve seen New Zealand when you’ve only seen half of the North Island and none of the South ??? What !!! You say NZ is beautiful but you haven’t even seen the real beauty yet , it’s in the South. Why bother coming all this way for a few days and only seeing part of the country , it doesn’t make sense to me. Come back and see the rest , please , and write about it too.

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    • Wade Shepard June 19, 2020, 11:12 am

      “Why bother coming all this way for a few days and only seeing part of the country …”

      Because I wanted to.

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