Currently, I’m sitting at Sacramento International Airport. Having just landed from my just about 25 hour trip from Auckland to Sydney to San Francisco to Sacramento, I’m reflecting on my time in New Zealand.
When I first landed in New Zealand I wrote about my first impressions of living in the country. Two months in, I wrote a second. And later, a third.
This is my final installment of the impressions of the New Zealand series. Well, never say never, right?
From Cape Reigna and the 90 Mile Beach in the north to Milford Sound and the Caitlins Coast in the South, there is so much to see. Nearly everyone you meet at these famous places is doing some form of a road trip around the North or South Island. From city to city, there are festivals and activities for the whole family across the country. People from all over the world come to visit these places and soak in the culture of New Zealand. During this post covid time, tourism is down. However, the locals of New Zealand have stepped up and began touring their own country!
As lockdowns happen across the world, it’s easy to see people’s commitment to keeping one another safe. When the lockdown was announced people pulled together. Despite the uneasiness of the unknown and the potential of losing jobs and businesses, people gave to one another. They helped the elderly get food without risking them in the process. They stayed away from each other while out for walks. They used the tracer app and sign in and out of locations if they didn’t have the app. People helped each other. It wasn’t perfect, but they tried their best for one another.
It’s not perfect. By no means is it perfect. However, they are a solid representation of their residents making decisions that are keeping their people safe. Their decisions also affected thousands of those on working and holiday visas, including myself. Their decisions are a part of the reason why I am now sitting in this airport rather than sitting in New Zealand. Despite me being thousands of kilometers away, I’m quite pleased with the government and what they’re doing.
My final impression of New Zealand is the people I interacted with daily. The tourists who were stuck with me during the government-mandated lockdown. I enjoyed myself so much with each of these people, creating so many memories that will not soon be forgotten. I enjoyed the ups and downs of life in New Zealand. I cherish the dance parties, the dinner outings, the early morning hikes, the beach hangouts, and all the in-between.
My overall impression of New Zealand is the love I shared with many friends, many of who became my family.