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.

Bay Of Islands – Hole in The Rock

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 Hollywood movie!

The view from our B & B

I’ve never stayed in a B&B before and was pleased with the charm of this concept which allows some warm interactions with your hosts. I just ❤️ 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..it’s been on my bucket list for years, and I’m not settling on going solo…

Wellington – Bay of Islands

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Auckland

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A palette of colours – North Island & South Island

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Tamaki experience 10 April

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Auckland 8 April

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Polynesian spa, Rotorua

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Ancient Kauri Forest – Bay of Islands – Pukekura Park in New Plymouth

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Kiwifruit farm

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Queenstown South Island

Come On Baby Light My Fire 🌋

2018, Costa Rica, Rincon de la Vieja -1,916m. It has 9 craters and a large number of fumaroles and hot springs on its slopes. The name means “ The Old Woman’s Corner”, a reference to a local legend about a girl whose lover was thrown into the crater by her father. She became a recluse living on the mountain, and was credited with powers of healing.


 

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     2018, Costa Rica, Arenal -1,670m. This conic volcano has a crater 140 m in diameter. We made it in time for the sunset 🌅 👌


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2017, Hawaï, Big Island, Kilauea-1,247m.We were lucky it was active. The hotel concierge advised us to take our chances and head there instead of calling the monitoring center to inquire about the volcano’s activity because that may be misleading as by the time we reach there the eruption might be over. Later on, we followed some other tourists’ recommendation and biked, then hiked in a pitch black night to observe the incandescent lava flowing into the ocean…😲

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2017 Hawaï, Maui, Haleakala crater- 3045m. This massive shield volcano forms more than 75% of the island. The western 25% is formed by another volcano.

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2015 Guatemala, lake Atitlan’s famous trio San Pedro’s-3,020m-, Atitlan-3,535m-,& Toliman -3,158m.

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2015, Guatemala, Antigua, Agua– 3,760m. This almost perfect cone is covered with a thick vegetation like many other volcanoes in Guatemala. On the right side, the volcano Fuego (3,763) is constantly spewing small ash clouds- last major eruption was in 1974.

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2015 Japan Honshu Mount Fuji– 3,776m. This iconic conic snow-topped volcano is the highest mountain in Japan, and a World Heritage site since 2013. Majestic despite the works beneath 🤷🏻‍♀️

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2010, Indonesia, Bali, Mount Batur – 1,717m- is an active Volcano. We left the hotel at 3:00 am; after around 2 hours hike we reached the caldera and along with another friend, I resumed the last leg up to the peak- another half hour. From our promontory we watched silently the sunrise bringing life to the still life around us.

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2008, New Zealand, Auckland, Mount Eden-196m. Thisdormantvolcanic cone overlooks Auckland and offers one of the best views of the city.

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1985, Canary Islands, Tenerife, Mount Teide – 3,718m. According to hubby the honeymoon turned out to be more like a boot camp…day tours and night shows: barely few hours sleep🤷🏻‍♀️🙈😂