After Christchurch, we made our way up the South Island, rode the ferry back to Wellington and drove back up through the North Island. With a few coffee breaks, seal watching stops and beach time we made our way back for one last afternoon at Piha Beach and one more night in Auckland. 

 Sandy,  back at at Piha .
 Sandy glowing, from a healthy mix of sunshine, red wine and steak. 

Sandy glowing, from a healthy mix of sunshine, red wine and steak. 

Covering two islands in three weeks with only one speeding ticket, we celebrated a successful road trip with dinner and drinks at Chapel in Ponsonby. It was such an adventurous but also relaxing journey and it was so, so nice to kick off my time in NZ with one of my best homegirls. The next morning we returned our beloved campervan and I hugged Sandy goodbye as she hopped in a cab to catch her flight back to Boston.

This whole round-the-world trip of mine was purposefully unplanned but I did have 3 things planned when I left Boston in September:

1) a flight from Boston to London

2) a flight from London to Auckland (both from frequent flyer mile points!)

3) a road-trip with Sandy in New Zealand

Now that the last was complete... I'll admit that there was a moment of panic as I laid on the top bunk in a terrible hostel in Auckland, realizing that I needed to start a life here now, from scratch.

Before I could get too melodramatic, I perked up remembering the words of a wise woman "...every few years one needs to shake ones life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth that it is."

With that in mind... I called my Mum, bought a cappuccino and got to work on a starting a new little life in the Southern Hemisphere.