Wish You Were Here

For the past 18 days, we’ve been driving through the South Island of New Zealand. I have to say, it really lives up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Mountains, lakes and waterfalls, rolling green hills dotted with hundreds of sheep, unique birds, winding roads lined with colorful wildflowers – it’s just pure natural beauty everywhere all the time.

This is what it’s like to live inside a postcard.

It’s very rural and very green, and the people are warm and friendly. In those ways it reminds me of Ireland. The mountains, farms and fields take me back to my summers in Wyoming.

Online sites and social media channels like YouTube make it so easy to virtually view and understand a place, and yet there’s no substitute for first-hand experience. I’m reminded of the first time I visited New Orleans, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. It was the experience of being there that brought into focus what is so special about it and why it’s so important to preserve it, even in the face of illogical geography. Similarly, my time in New Zealand has provided a renewed appreciation for our environment and why it’s so important to protect and preserve it.

I’m not sure the photos even do it justice, but here are a few of our favorites so far.

Lake Wanaka near Makarora

Haylocks Bay near Akaroa

Diamond Lake, Otago

Ducks on Lake Wanaka

Franz Josef Glacier

Akaroa Harbor

Wildflowers by the side of the road in Otago

Lake Hawea

Beach in Greymouth