Where’s Walton’s ‘One month Travel Update’

Hello!! After a few days of writing ‘how to’ blogs on saving money to travel and travel guides to Scotland, an Utlimate guide to West Canada and Wanaka, I felt like writing something a bit more personal. So this is an update on how everything’s going, how I’m doing/feeling and my own little Q&A at the end. 🙂

Myself and the tall human (Stu) are one month into our 6 months of full time travelling and full time unemployment and so far we are having a great time in New Zealand. It’s a bit confusing to most when we’re saying we’re ‘travelling for 6 months’, when we’ve been away ‘travelling/working away’ over a year now. I admit the trip does keep extending and changing but I guess that’s part of the fun of it all.

Stu and I hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

I’m also trying to get to grips with writing as a ‘we’ rather than an ‘I’. It will flick between the two at times but to be honest, I like my blog being just my own thoughts and opinions even if I am enjoying travelling as a duo.

Where are we now?

This morning, I’m currently sat in the ‘Shire’s Rest Cafe’ which is just outside the Hobbiton Movie Set in the north island of New Zealand. We have only 2 more weeks in New Zealand. Today Stu woke up super excited to do the Hobbiton tour and I was also looking forward to having some alone time to write (since I’ve done the tour before and I’ve still never seen a single Hobbit or Lord of the Rings movie and I’ve not read the books – shameful I know).

This is me pretending I know all about Hobbiton -February 2016

I’m actually really loving this cafe, there’s free WiFi (so this blog is getting posted straight away) and they’re playing 80’s power ballads.

On a more general note, I’m really glad I decided to come back to New Zealand again. I almost left Stu to it whilst I found somewhere new to explore but it’s been so worth while. Travelling NZ by car is just so easy and there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. So if you’re thinking of visiting (no matter your age) I think you should definitely do it. We’ve been at hostels with parent’s with babies, school trips, as well as people in their 80’s!

What’s next?

2 more weeks of NZ, 5 days of Sydney, 24 hours in the UK to unpack and repack then to Mexico and Guatemala for 6 weeks…

I’m actually feeling really nervous at the moment with the anticipation of going to Mexico and Guatemala, for a few reasons.

  1. Stu and I have travelled a lot together, but mainly straight forward road trips (Iceland, Scotland, Canada and New Zealand).
  2. We don’t speak Spanish. 
  3. I’ve not planned anything yet, not even booked the first hostel
  4. “Mexico is so dangerous, I can’t believe you’re going there” – comments like this

I’m also feeling really excited about Mexico, for a few reasons:

  1. Sarah and Averil (two fabulous ladies we met in Vancouver) are joining us for the first 9 days. Yaaaaay!!! 
  2. It’s a new country I’ve never seen before, it’s a new challenge
  3. I’m going to learn/practice Spanish whilst there and who knows how much I’ll be able to speak when I leave
  4. “Mexico is so beautiful and the locals are so friendly, you’re going to have a great time” – comments like this. 

So if I just read back the last 4 points to myself, it should cool my nerves. If you have any tips or recommended places to see whilst exploring Mexico or Guatemala then please let me know.

Q&A/Travel Update (with the aim to update every month):

Favourite town so far:

Kaikoura (it was a toss up between this coastal town and Wanaka (one of my favourite places in the world)), but this place seems to hold a special place in my heart. You can read all about my experiences in this town here and here.


Favourite hostel so far:

YHA Mount Cook – this is mainly because the staff there were AMAZING and so welcoming and because we instantly hit it off with some lovely new friends. It’s a tiny town (no supermarket) and surrounded by mountains and the night sky just comes alive. We did encounter some very strange locals who were there to hunt goats, and we did have 50/50 weather but the whole place is just breath taking and a destination I didn’t see on trip 1.

Starry sky in Mount Cook (photo skills by Matt-eo)

Worst hostel so far:

YHA National Park – don’t get me started on why, it’s just not a pleasant place. It’s a shame because I do recommend YHA/HI hostels and we’re even members, but this place just wasn’t ‘on brand’ I guess.

Best achievement so far:

Climbing Roy’s Peak at Sunrise. It was a challenging walk for me but I still look back at the photo’s and I feel like I climbed Mount Everest (faaaar from it I know, but that’s just how I feel).


Biggest surprise of the trip so far:

Swimming with Wild Dusky Dolphins. I expected to love it, I did not expect to spend the first 5 minutes hyperventilation from the pure shock of the experience.


Music of the moment:

Weirdly, a lot of musicals and Disney. After meeting Brittany from US and sharing an upbringing of musicals it got me back into listening to some old classics and it’s what was in my ears when hiking the Tongoriro Crossing.

Film/TV show of the moment:

Luther – I’m only on Series 1 and oh my goodness, this show is intense.

Podcast(s) of the moment:

Whilst on our road trips we always stick on ‘They Walk Among Us‘ a British True Crime podcast and it’s so well written and well presented. We’re on season 3 and it just get’s better and better! Another really good listen is ‘Court Junkie‘.


What do I want to achieve in the next month:

Learn to speak Spanish!!

If anyone does read this or any of my blogs, do let me know with a ‘like’ or comment.

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