Kia ora. I just had the best start to the year. A wee trip over the ditch to NZ for a wedding (Em and Jez) and a road trip around the North Island (with Liz). As well as the usual giggles to be had over their pronunciation of ‘six’ and ‘fish and chips’(fush and chups is sex dollars please-hee hee), the kiwis had some great things to share with their Australian cousins (and a toothbrush fence).

Positive attitudes all round: Everyone was so friendly. Like out-of-their-way friendly. Starting from the gal we sat next to on the plane over who gave us travel tips and was so excited on our behalf. People in shops smiled and chatted (!) and even a homeless person in Auckland had a sunny outlook. “What a beautiful day!” she exclaimed as we walked by (it was rainy and overcast). “You ladies look splendid. Enjoy!” Being on the receiving end of this friendliness, encouraged me to be more friendly which in turn attracted more friendliness. What a lovely loop.

Natural wonders: Wow-wee is NZ beautiful. This Peter Jackson guy had a good thing going with the range of scenery on display in the little movies he filmed here. Snow capped mountains, crystal clear lakes, lush rainforests, rolling green hills, gushing waterfalls, soft sand beaches, thermal pools and more. All this was a feast for the senses and a constant reminder of the importance of connecting with and appreciating nature. It was a dream come true for me to ‘swim in a bath’ at the Wairakei thermal pools and experience beach meets rainforest meets countryside in coastal Raglan. Hiking is called ‘tramping’ here and after seeing some of these wonders (and some choice kiwi boys), I am inspired to tramp all around NZ and beyond!

It takes a village: The importance of community infused the wedding with family and friends from near and far coming together to celebrate. Everyone had done their bit to create the atmosphere of love and joy. Likewise, the sense of community was evident all around; in the Art Deco town of Napier which had been rebuilt and maintained by locals after an earthquake in the 1930’s, in the Maori words which pepper the language and in Hobbiton where a group of hobbits and friends risked their lives to destroy a ring (my precious).

On the road again: I let my hair down a bit and deviated from my monk-like routine. I ate the blue cheese and the wedding cake. I didn’t set an alarm. But I did try to listen to my body and make the best in-the-moment choice for me. There were lots of Paleo-legal options (fresh as fish and veg) and modifications that could be made (there were a few fines issued but no arrests were made by Pete Evans). Once again, the kiwis were happy campers when it came to requesting gluten-free bread or no cheese please. Exercise wise, I took the Kayla Itsines workout poster from her latest book and we did a workout every 2nd day and lots of walking and swimming. It was so great to feel energised after a holiday and not hung-over and lethargic.

Back in Melbourne now and attempting to bring a slice of the Kiwi pie home with me by being friendly to all, seeking out nature, contributing to communities and making the best choice for me based on how I feel. Seriously considering another trip to NZ again soon (and South Island too next time) as it was sweet as!

Love and light and who rocks the party? New Zealand rocks the party! Xxx Yvette

Thermal pools:




Kayla book:

Flight of the Conchords “Toothbrush fence”: