© 2015 JTP Norder

Epilogue cycling journey New Zealand

It has always been a childhood dream to make an overseas journey. I was wandering what it would be like to be on your own, to get to know a different culture and to meet inspiring people. After I finished my study Civil Engineering I had to chance to make this dream come true. I counted my savings and took a half year off. The next question was where am I going and how am I going to travel? One can travel to many destinations and in many ways. However, for me two things were fixed; I wanted to go outdoors and I wanted the freedom to go wherever I want. I went to a bookshop to gain inspiration. There a book called “Cycling New Zealand” caught my interest. Following the book it was possible to cross the country on a bicycle. This opened a new door, maybe it was possible to combine my cycling hobby with traveling in a country that is often referred to as a walhalla for outdoor minded people (If you watched the movies of The Lord Of The Rings you will understand). From the moment I bought the book, my plan was clear: I wanted to explore this amazing country by bicycle. I gave myself a month to prepare for the trip. I started reading a book on how to cycle on a touring bike, I spoke with friends who had experience with bicycle touring and with friends who travelled in NZ before. I gathered my equipement and contacted a bike shop in NZ who offered me a deal to buy a touring bike which they would buy back at the end of the journey, a good option for me since I had not a touring bike yet, and I did not have to take it on the plane. I mapped out my route – the initial plan was to cycle at least 3000 km – and booked the ticket. The 4th of October 2014 was the day that I landed on Auckland airport and started the adventure.

Three months later, when I came back in Auckland, the distance traveled on my bicycle computer was 4300 km. I had reached my goal; I cycled through a country with world’s most pristine and varying landscapes, with quiet and mellow country sides, with Maori’s and their traditions that are still anchored in their daily lives and the country with its friendly and easy-going locals. Was it easy? No. Was it rewarding and an adventure that I will never forget? Yes, the steep hills have challenged my stamina, downhill’s have tested my nerves, headwinds have drained my spirit and heavy rain has dampen my soul. Despite the testing times during the journey I can say that it was the best choice I could have made; having set a physically and mentally challenging goal, completing it and coming back with travel experiences that enriched my live.P1040397 (640x480)

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