North Island, New Zealand

We made it! Since our arrival to Auckland, we caught up on much needed sleep for the first few days. Not so much from the sixteen hour time difference but from a lack of sleep over the last few months. Planning for a life transition was a full-time job and we had our fair share of late nights, early mornings and a whirlwind of tying up loose ends before leaving Rochester and catching up with our friends and family. We needed life to slow down. Conveniently, we decided to be tourists for the first week before settling into our nomadic lifestyle as digital natives.

New Zealand is a beautiful country beyond words with equally beautiful people. Besides the hobbits and dragons, there aren’t any real predators which is incredibly odd considering all of the dramatic landscapes. It also makes hiking even more desirable knowing that there aren’t any bears, tigers or any other large animal on the coast or inland. In the last week in a half, we met some really cool people including Isabell and Nishant, fellow travelers who gave us our first taste of New Zealand beach life to Jacinda, Arrianna and Ruth that we met at a church we attended and many others through various social settings. We even climbed a few volcanoes! The hospitality in New Zealand is incredible as people welcomed us into their homes and we found ourselves with a pretty lively social life. Before gearing up for the stranger danger talk, while we have met quite a few welcoming individuals, we are aware of our surroundings in a new country and exercise discretion. For the most part, the warm welcome is reminiscent of small town hospitality on a much larger scale.

Kawakawa Bay

Along the east coast of Auckland’s suburb, we stopped at Maraetai at Kawakawa Bay.

Kawakawa Bay

Fish & Chips at Bach'n

Off the beaten path we stopped at Bach’n to eat Fish and Chips like a Kiwi while overlooking the beach.

Later in the week, we got an early start with new friends to go beach hopping as Isabell navigated the incredibly windy, hilly and death-trap feeling roads along the coast. The car swelled with the smell of baguettes, chocolate chip cookies and other lunch items as set out to explore the coast. Throughout the day, we swapped travel stories, jokes and experiences in our home countries of Morocco, France, Canada and the US.

Piha Beach, New Zealand

Piha beach is absolutely breathtaking as there are no words to describe it.

Piha Beach, New Zealand

We embarked on a hike to get a better view of the coast line that didn’t disappoint. As majestic as the picture is above, it still doesn’t capture the beauty of New Zealand. Between the height of the cliff and the breath taking views it all seemed very surreal.

Can you spot Lucas? Hint: He’s on the left.

After lunch, we headed to Bethells beach where Taylor Swift was known to freak out because of its scenic beauty while shooting her video a few months ago. Apparently it was the most beautiful beach that she’s ever been on in her life. Taylor, I have to agree.

Bethells Beach, New Zealand

Between the two of us, we have more pictures than we know what to do with them. Check out our Instagram profile for a few more pictures to feed your wanderlust.

Watch our “How We’re Living” video of our retro caravan! 

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