Hello! Welcome to Jude and Glynn's travel blog. We're a pair of newlyweds freshly back from a wonderful year spent traversing the globe and about to embark on our newest adventure - emigrating to New Zealand!
About us: Glynn's 34, a Batman fanatic and graphic novel afficionado, a Warehouse Supervisor when he has to be and a general all-round nice guy. Jude is 33, a hardened gig and festival goer, a Lecturer dabbling in IT, Literacy and German and a general all-round nice girl.
We met in 2004 over the internet and were married in Feb 2006. We've so far been to Japan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Easter Island, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina not to mention a couple of locations in the UK and Germany but I guess it's just not enough! We loved New Zealand so much, we're leaving the grim old UK to try and settle there permanently - provided they let us back in!!
So, throwing caution to the wind we have sold everything (yes, EVERYTHING!) in readiness. We've sold our cars, house and virtually all our possessions and quit our jobs. With nothing more than a few boxes tucked away at a storage depot and just the contents of our packs to our names, phase 2 of our new lives is about to begin...
December 17th 2011
Hello and welcome back to the blog! It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly four years since we arrived in New Zealand. That also means it’s been almost four years since we’ve had a big adventure. Aside from a couple of visits across the ditch to Australia on my part and travels in our adopted homeland, it’s been fairly quiet of late. And so it is with much excitement that we’ve dusted off our backpacks, crammed our vacuum bags full of winter clothes and booked ourselves a trip to Germany! Our two-day journey began with an 11 hour Air New Zealand flight to Tokyo. As ever, the in-flight service, food and entertainment was fantastic (all eight Harry Potter movies – yay!!) and we even got three seats to ourselves after the elderly Japanese man seated ... read more
November 7th 2010
Well our first fully fledged UK visitors are here! My friends Liam and Danny from Swindon, who got married in June this year, decided to choose New Zealand for their honeymoon and landed in Auckland on Saturday afternoon. We whisked them away to One Tree Hill for a view across the city but the cold breeze and lack of warm clothing meant we didn't linger too long. Still, we wanted to introduce our friends to the sights of our home city before taking them home to Takanini. It's been almost 3 years since Glynn and I came to New Zealand and since we last saw Liam & Danny. Funny how time barely seems to have passed when you catch up with old friends! Saturday night saw us attending an excellent quiz night with our sci-fi group. ... read more
October 25th 2010
Recently there has been a spate of new websites in NZ offering adventures and experiences at hugely discounted prices. One of the recent deals on www.grabone.co.nz was catching the ferry to Rangitoto Island for just $13 (half price). It's been 2 years since Glynn and I were there but our Kiwi friends Sharon and Alex had never been. With the public holiday scheduled to be a scorcher, we bought our tickets and booked our day out. We boarded the 12.15pm ferry and arrived on the shores of Rangitoto volcano just before 1pm. The boat ride was fabulous in the sunshine, with stunning views of the CBD as we headed out into the harbour. We disembarked along with a huge crowd of daytrippers and beagn making our way up the rocky path. The baking sun was beating ... read more
October 24th 2010
Last year's Auckland Armageddon expo was my first ever 'geek convetion' experience. I had such a good time that I couldn't wait to go back again for this year's event. The expo takes place over 3 days and we opted to go on the middle day, when it's traditionally a little quieter than on opening day. It was scheduled to begin at 10am and I'm glad we got there early as the doors were already open at 9am! Glynn was super-keen to check out the graphic novel stands as usual and I was excited to meet some more TV and movie celebrities to add some autographs to my collection. Three stars from the Dr Who tv show were doing photos and signing autographs early on in the day so I headed there first of all, leaving ... read more
July 30th 2010
Let me start by saying Happy Birthday Glynn! For his birthday this year, we took the day off work and Glynn got to make use of the present I gave him last birthday - an all-expenses paid trip to Auckland's indoor snow arena, Snow Planet, for some snowboarding. The drive to north Auckland took nearly an hour owing to the tail-end of rush hour and a patchy, heavy fog that one minute let in brilliant sunshine and the next shrouded the world in a dense white pea soup. It was particularly eerie approaching the Auckland Harbour Bridge which was almost entirely immersed in fog so that only the merest tip of iron curve could be seen. The view from the bridge looking back towards Auckland CBD was equally ethereal, with the Sky Tower peeking up through ... read more
July 21st 2010
So here I am, off on another adventure but this time I'm all by myself. Today I travelled to Wellington to apply for a new passport from the German Embassy while Glynn stayed up in Auckland and went to work as usual. It was cloudy leaving Auckland so I didn't expect to see much out of the window. What a nice surprise it was to peer outside halfway through my flight and see the snow-capped crown of Mount Egmont poking up through the dense clouds. As we reached the bottom of North Island, the plane banked hard left. Through the window I spied wind turbines and isolated little houses dotted about the wild, rocky coastline. Not sure I would want to live there! When the pilot announced that Farewell Spit and the Marlborough Sounds were visible ... read more
July 20th 2010
Having had a successful day at the embassy yesterday, I was free to enjoy today however I pleased. As is often the case in Wellington, it was a very windy day so I didn't really fancy spending too much time outdoors. The solution? Spend the day at Te Papa - the national museum of New Zealand! It was around 10am when I said my goodbyes to one of the Steve's who had stayed home from work due to illness. I stepped out into the cool breeze and made my back back to central Wellington on foot. On the way, I passed a big tripod sculpture that had been erected to commemorate the success of Weta Workshop, the special effects company who worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Further down the road I spied the ... read more
May 22nd 2010
Saturday morning brought with it blue skies and bright winter sunshine. The weather couldn't have been more different from the yesterday - nor more welcome. We started our day with bike ride through Pauanui town and across to an area of canal-like waterways that looked interesting on the map. We came to a stop at a wooden octagonal showroom which had a sign offering free views across the canals. A lady sitting inside the sales office came out to say hello and instead of giving us an unwanted sales pitch, she kindly produced a bunch of maps and leaflets about the area for us to take away. She suggested we bike along the boardwalk nearby which we hadn't seen on any maps but sounded like a grand idea. The road to the boardwalk took us downhill ... read more
May 21st 2010
One of the most popular destinations for Aucklanders going on holiday is the Coromandel Peninsular, a large jut of moutainous land sticking up to the east of the Auckland region. Despite the fact that it's so close to Auckland, Glynn and I have never made it over that way - mainly because it is always so popular and we tend to shy away from crowded holiday destinations. With winter fast approaching though, it shouldn't be too busy at all. We left Auckland on Thursday afternoon and arrived in the little resort town of Pauanui around 1.5 hours later. The road was easy going up until the rickety old Kopu Bridge, a single lane wooden structure that links the Auckland region to the Coromandel. One way in, one way out. The government recently announced a replacement bridge ... read more
May 7th 2010
You may recall that last year, I flew over to Australia to spend a week with my aunt, uncle, cousins and my nan. Well, everyone was back in Sydney again so I decided to hop on a plane and join them, although this time just for a long weekend. My nan had her original flight disrupted by the Icelanic volcano which meant she arrived in Oz 2 weeks later than planned but happily this meant I would be able to spend Mother's Day with her during my visit. I flew into Sydney on Friday evening and was one of the first people to make through baggage claim and into the arrivals hall. I must have been a bit too quick though as my uncle Kev was still 15 minutes drive away! It transpires that my aunt's ... read more