We are half way (3 weeks) through our current “holiday of a lifetime”. It began with 5 days in Fiji (Bula! Bula!) – a ‘well’ land indeed.
Just 2 weeks in New Zealand (with 3 more to go) has confirmed that this country possesses a special “wellness”. New Zealand is small: the size of Colorado or the UK + Ireland, but has only 4.4 million inhabitants – and, yes, far more sheep! It is everything it is cracked up to be and more, much more.
On our bucket list for many years, we finally turned the dream that became a goal into a plan, a commitment, and here we are.
Why has NZ been on our bucket list for so long? For all the right reasons: glowing reports from friends, meeting Kiwis (who speak like Aussies, but have something … special), loving the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit films – these are just a few.
What does this have to do with “Wellness”? Everything! Wellness is a whole state of mind and body that exudes vitality, joy and ‘joie de vivre’ (or as we say ‘living life to the plus’). New Zealand empowers this state of wellness – for tourists like us and for the Kiwis themselves.
In Christchurch, devastated by the earthquakes of 2011 (the third anniversary of ‘the big one’ was 3 days ago), the spirit of wellness pervades the people and the place – even though they have 20 years of rebuilding and restoration to look forward to.
JRR Tolkien’s books and his mythical stories could have been written for and about NZ. Even the Kiwis themselves possess something of the Hobbit spirit. The countryside is exactly what Tolkien imagined. An excellent Lord of the Rings locations guidebook, purchased in Christchurch, gives deeper insights into Peter Jackson and his crew’s choice of locations, filming and experience all over this amazing country.
Having Vegemite on toast most mornings is my gesture towards NZ nutritional ‘wellness’!
I will return to this subject in a few weeks with more observations; but, for now, here are some of the adjectives Jenny and I have listed to describe NZ and the Kiwis: majestic, mythical, civilized, unhurried, savvy, simple, vibrant, verdant, … all (you might say), elements of ‘wellness’.
Each day we post a selection of photos (to keep our friends and family informed and to keep our memories fresh). We are so grateful and blessed that we can hike and fully enjoy this amazing country at our age: another marker of ‘wellness’.
Jenny has started her NZ Journal…
This was us on Valentine’s Day (Mt. Cook in the background). Today we are on the other side, on the Coast (west coast of South Island).