And finally, without any warning, we emerged quite suddenly from the picturesque landscape of the New Zealand coast into the bleak city outskirts of Auckland Airport. With trepidation we made our way to the rental car company, unwilling to leave the country or return our quirky and lovable, although bare bones, trusty steed.
Mitsubishi Lancer, you did us proud. You served your purpose with grace and spunk, never failing to get us where we needed to be. You held our mounds of maps and travel supplies, you gave us a home, you never complained when we made you traverse steep and daunting terrain. Sure, you weren’t fancy, but neither were we, and we couldn’t really ask for any better.
2,815.6 kilometers. 1749.53 miles. That’s how far we took you, and you never failed.
What a journey. What an experience.
It has been magical, life changing, confusing, exhausting, stressful, and rewarding. It is much more than there are words to describe it.
We are now in a coffee shop in Chicago, jetlagged out of our minds, blankly staring at computer screens and trying to readjust to America. We have free, unlimited wifi here. We have iced coffee, and giant, American-sized cups of coffee. But we are also lacking in stunning scenery, polite peoples, and open roads. There are tradeoffs at every turn. Now is the time for readjustment and acclimation.
New Zealand, it’s been a joy, it’s been an adventure, it’s been a wild ride. We’ll be back, I have no doubt. We haven’t even seen the South Island, and every Kiwi we’ve met has told us that the North Island is really quite shit, you’d better get to the South Island if you want to see anything really amazing. Our minds are reeling… how can this be beat?
I guess we’ll just have to come back and find out.