It Turned Out to Be a Lifetime Relationship – Part 1

Our relationship with the places we visit doesn’t end with the sojourn…we stay there for a while but they stay with us forever, in our mind, in our heart …

However, before landing their ranking on the mere memories versus cherished memories chart, there is something common to all those visited places: the first timer’s feeling… I look forward to it,always..I absolutely relish the suspense surrounding the discovery process before the expectations-versus-reality factor splits them on the cherished memories’ chart.

Yet, 2 places are in a category apart…

1️⃣ New Zealand – the longest “hubbyless” touristic venture up to then.

Hole in the Rock, Bay Of Islands – 6 April 

I still remember that day in 2004, when I read in the WIAD (Women in Abu Dhabi) newsletter that one of the members – Diane – was organizing a ladies trip to her homeland New Zealand. I was super excited but unfortunately my excitement didn’t last long…The trip got canceled due to the lack of participants: too expensive. Four years later Diane tested the water with a revised proposal hoping the ladies might have changed their minds..Some did, however this time she was met with a quite unlikely response : two ladies along with their husbands – one French couple and one Tunisian. I wasn’t keen on going solo but my husband pragmatically persuaded me and I overcame my hesitation with his sound logic : “It’s a busy period for me, I can’t take two weeks off to accompany you; NZ is on the other side of the world, I don’t see myself going there in the future. It’s either now or never, believe me, don’t miss this opportunity”. That was enough…I was convinced…and Diane would be my roommate..

Situated on a hill with a breathtaking view, the modern B&B we stayed in on our second night was above everyone’s expectations, out of a Hollywood movie!

The view from the B&B- 6 April

I’ve never stayed in a B&B before and was pleased with the charm of this concept which allows for some warm interactions with your hosts. I just loved it and wished my husband was with me. This place ticked all his boxes: sea view and boats, boats and boats everywhere…I knew he would’ve loved it too, and well… After the meet and greet, we sat for tea. However, when my friend Beya, teapot in hand, asked me whether I’d like some tea, I couldn’t replyshe looked at me and noticed the battle going in my head, on my face : this emotion-fueled moment I was shyly trying to suppress was revealed by two shiny dots down my cheeks…

So although I was convinced to go alone, deep down I still wished my husband was with me. It was just a normal feeling considering he selflessly encouraged me to take part in this beautiful adventure; he truly gave me the wings to fly so far from home and at that moment I wished I could share this spectacular view with him, I wished I could share my room in this beautiful place with him, and I promised myself that I will come one day with him…

PS : Eleven years on and we still haven’t made this trip together …

Moral of the story : you snooze, you loose ..never hesitate …if you really want it, you go for it

PPS : I recently read a study which found that the Bay of Islands has the second bluest sky in the world after Rio de Janeiro. This is definitely a destination I’m going to do with my husband during the Carnaval…it’s been on my bucket list for years, and I’m not settling on going solo…

Wellington 15 April & Bay of Island 6 April 


Auckland -– 8 April 


A palette of colours – North Island & South Island


Tamaki experience –  10 April


Auckland –  8 April


Polynesian spa, Rotorua – 10 April 


Ancient Kauri Forest 7 April – Bay of Islands 6 April – Pukekura Park in New Plymouth 13 April


Kiwifruit farm – 11 April 2008


Queenstown, South Island – 17 April 2008

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