To Travel Is To Live

Our personal adventures to New Zealand; March 2016

We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us
— anonymous

I cannot believe it has been over a month since our incredible trip to the beautiful country of New Zealand! I wanted to share just a few photos (yes, these are just a few!) that I took while out on this wonderful adventure. I fell in love with this country and all of its magnificent beauty. I truly felt that this was Mother Nature's platform to really show off and show her very best work. The variety of terrains were simply incredible and the scenery at each location was even more awe inspiring than the last.

We had the greatest advise from some of our dearest friends to rent a camper van instead of staying in hotels. That way you have the freedom to sleep in any beautiful place you find or stay in a campground where you can meet people from all over the world. It was the best advise because we drove close to 2,200 miles in 9 short days and we met so many incredible travel bugs like us. Even with all the driving, there was still plenty of time to hike, bike, and visit each place. My favorite part of the whole trip is that we had no phone/internet access. I loved how time seemed to pass much more slowly... no distractions or busy agenda. There was a calm in the air that way... I felt at peace dipping my feet in the glacier water, the wing blowing quietly, and the warm sun hitting my back. It is those quiet moments that energize my soul. 

I could ramble on about this trip but I'll let you enjoy the photos. I added a little commentary to some photos so you know a little backstory. ;) Overall, I praise God that He gave Alex and I the means to travel so far and enjoy the trip of a lifetime. This was the ultimate adventure and I am so thankful I have a husband who has a heart for travel as I do. I know we have a lifetime of travels ahead of us and I cannot wait to see what unfolds from each of those adventures. Stay tuned! :)

Our amazing camper van!

Our amazing camper van!

Alex drove most of the time and did a great job on the opposite side of the road (and wheel on the right side of the car). You know he is happiest when he whistles. ;)

Alex drove most of the time and did a great job on the opposite side of the road (and wheel on the right side of the car). You know he is happiest when he whistles. ;)

This was a peaceful place... 

This was a peaceful place... 

Sun has set and we are taking in the area in which we would sleep that night. Right by this gorgeous glacier water. 

Sun has set and we are taking in the area in which we would sleep that night. Right by this gorgeous glacier water. 

I woke up around 3am and looked out the window of the camper van to see the stars. I knew they would be gorgeous but man, they were spectacular! I rushed to get my camera & tripod and laid on the dry clay ground for 30 minutes capturing stars. 

I woke up around 3am and looked out the window of the camper van to see the stars. I knew they would be gorgeous but man, they were spectacular! I rushed to get my camera & tripod and laid on the dry clay ground for 30 minutes capturing stars. 

Oh yes, this is his happy place... 

Oh yes, this is his happy place... 

I love photographing movement in water... it is relaxing and beautiful.

I love photographing movement in water... it is relaxing and beautiful.

There was something about this tourist that I had to photograph her... I found her hat cute.

There was something about this tourist that I had to photograph her... I found her hat cute.

Yes, yes. This is truly the color of the water. No alterations. Real icy glacier water!

Yes, yes. This is truly the color of the water. No alterations. Real icy glacier water!

Thanks for taking this, Alex. xo

Thanks for taking this, Alex. xo

When driving through this area, I was literally moved to tears (just a few now, haha). But really, I was really in awe of how God has created this Earth. It was powerful.

When driving through this area, I was literally moved to tears (just a few now, haha). But really, I was really in awe of how God has created this Earth. It was powerful.

Sleeping under Mt. Cook at a campground. We had to move our camper van next to some short trees to avoid the strong winds hollowing through the night. It was really cool to experience.

Sleeping under Mt. Cook at a campground. We had to move our camper van next to some short trees to avoid the strong winds hollowing through the night. It was really cool to experience.

Morning 5 mile hike to a melting glacier. Alex always had his fishing rod, just in case.

Morning 5 mile hike to a melting glacier. Alex always had his fishing rod, just in case.

I loved the milky water with a hint of blue. So unusual and beautiful.

I loved the milky water with a hint of blue. So unusual and beautiful.

Our first time seeing a melt glacier in person... a lot of contemplation of a real world problem.

Our first time seeing a melt glacier in person... a lot of contemplation of a real world problem.

Back on the road...

Back on the road...

One of my favorites of Alex.

One of my favorites of Alex.

A little evening fishing at our campground for the night. 

A little evening fishing at our campground for the night. 

We are more in the jungle area now... love the mysteriousness of these trees!

We are more in the jungle area now... love the mysteriousness of these trees!

I took this photo since it felt symbolic...

I took this photo since it felt symbolic...

Try to spot the bird basking in the sun toward the bottom. That bird flew in right as I started taking photos and I felt like he was posing for me. :)

Try to spot the bird basking in the sun toward the bottom. That bird flew in right as I started taking photos and I felt like he was posing for me. :)

We finally made it to Milford Sound and we take a post sunset bike ride. We had no idea the treat ahead of us...

We finally made it to Milford Sound and we take a post sunset bike ride. We had no idea the treat ahead of us...

... at the end of the ride, we were able to approach and walk on the Milford Sound as the tide was low. It was just Alex and I and the whole Milford Sound. Just the 3 of us alone. Unreal feeling.

... at the end of the ride, we were able to approach and walk on the Milford Sound as the tide was low. It was just Alex and I and the whole Milford Sound. Just the 3 of us alone. Unreal feeling.

Morning in Milford Sound after a huge tropical thunderstorm...

Morning in Milford Sound after a huge tropical thunderstorm...

... the waterfalls were at full force due to the storm. It was as if someone turned on all the faucets in the whole jungle area. It incredible not only see but to hear!

... the waterfalls were at full force due to the storm. It was as if someone turned on all the faucets in the whole jungle area. It incredible not only see but to hear!

More driving and simple stops along the way. 

More driving and simple stops along the way. 

Heaven.

Heaven.

Parking to rest and enjoy the view. 

Parking to rest and enjoy the view. 

This was the BEST story. Alex and I went to the beach to "freedom camp" there. No need for a campground since we had all supplies. We found two French guys on the beach but they were screaming for us not to drive closer in the sand. We looked further and realized their van was stuck in the sand. We helped them push their van out of the sand and to thank us, they offered us beer and great conversation for the rest of the evening. We talked about careers, life changes, and the joy in traveling. We talked all while the sun was setting... just perfect. 

This was the BEST story. Alex and I went to the beach to "freedom camp" there. No need for a campground since we had all supplies. We found two French guys on the beach but they were screaming for us not to drive closer in the sand. We looked further and realized their van was stuck in the sand. We helped them push their van out of the sand and to thank us, they offered us beer and great conversation for the rest of the evening. We talked about careers, life changes, and the joy in traveling. We talked all while the sun was setting... just perfect. 

Attempting more star photos again... so awesome!

Attempting more star photos again... so awesome!

This was an awesome capture... one of the French guys had a head lamp that was red and it flashed only for a second during my 10 second exposure... it ended up looking like this. Cool!

This was an awesome capture... one of the French guys had a head lamp that was red and it flashed only for a second during my 10 second exposure... it ended up looking like this. Cool!

For our 5 year annivesary, Alex and I took a Heli Hike on Franz Jospesh glacier.

For our 5 year annivesary, Alex and I took a Heli Hike on Franz Jospesh glacier.

My explorer :)

My explorer :)

Since 2008, Franz Josef Glacier has been in a period of retreat, and has lost around 800 metres of length.

Since 2008, Franz Josef Glacier has been in a period of retreat, and has lost around 800 metres of length.

Franz Josef Glacier is a highly sensitive glacier.  So, in theory a few massive snowfall years could trigger another period of advance

Franz Josef Glacier is a highly sensitive glacier.  So, in theory a few massive snowfall years could trigger another period of advance

On our last day, we explored these beautiful rock formations. I felt like I was in the Hobbit movie.

On our last day, we explored these beautiful rock formations. I felt like I was in the Hobbit movie.

We had to pass through Sydney before returning home so we made sure to see a theatre show in the Sydney Opera house before heading home.

We had to pass through Sydney before returning home so we made sure to see a theatre show in the Sydney Opera house before heading home.