Traveling in Style

When did I become a little old lady when it comes to travel? We are about to go off on an 8 day adventure in New Zealand and I have been obsessing on what and how to pack. I don’t want to travel with too much stuff and I don’t want to buy more along the way. 

I am perplexed on what to pack as I can’t get a handle on the weather or the variety of activities we have planned. Overall I know that it will be cooler in New Zealand than in Melbourne, but temperature range is 77’ to 47’. Our activities will include: hiking, swimming, hot-tubbing, an overnight cruise, a dinner cruise, touring and of course wandering. Where is a packing list? Why is this so hard for me?

Some of you might not realize it, but I am the woman who drove across the country with three friends looking for and finding the Rainbow Family Gathering in 1979. We stayed for 4 or 5 days at the encampment and then I hitchhiked to Taos, New Mexico with a friend. Along the way we spent the night at a truck stop, sleeping under an 18 wheeler—really, I did! So how did I become so damn fussy when it comes to traveling now?

Fast forward to 2014, and I want to make sure I have what I need. I now travel with vitamins and umbrellas and extra contact lenses. I remember boiling my lenses in 1979 over campfires. Now I will pack hiking boots, walking shoes and nice sandals. Then I had flip-flops and mostly went barefoot. Along with our rental car, we have reserved a GPS, back then we stopped along the way and asked for directions at rest stops. We now have hotel reservations knowing where we will sleep on which nights.

This is definitely a different kind of traveling experience: less spontaneous, but much more comfortable. This way we know we are going to see the sights we want to see and meet up with the people we want to meet. On this trip we are staying with distant relatives of David and seeing two long-time La Leche League International friends of Heidi.

We will spend two days and a night cruising on the New Zealand fjords, have dinner on Lake Wakatipu at Walter Peak, relax in a hot tub overlooking the Shotover River Canyon, and explore the albatross and penguins of Dunedin. And then back to Melbourne for more Aussie adventures.

So while the face and flavor of my traveling style has changed a lot in the last 35 years, I am who I am and this is the way I now roll!







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4 thoughts on “Traveling in Style

  1. beth

    We were all just a little more spontaneous when we were younger. We went to Vermont to ski once (back when we were there every weekend in a share house) and it rained and there wasn’t any snow. We got in the car with our ski industry duffle bags (Olin and Kneisel) and our pillows (we were a little fussy about those) and drove north to Canada to explore. Didn’t need passports to cross the border back then, just a US drivers license. Without any reservations, we arrived in Montreal, went to a payphone and started calling hotels we found in the local telephone book (back before cell phones, forget smartphones) and looked for a place with room service because we thought it was more romantic (it was also before kids). We ended up in the Four Seasons. We checked in looking like, “who did it and ran” and went up to our room. After perusing the room service menu we decided we didn’t want to eat a $20 hamburger in bed and walked around until we found a great sushi restaurant in the neighborhood. Since we were at the Four Seasons, we couldn’t afford a second night out, so the next morning we had breakfast and headed back to Vermont. Ohhh, those were the days…
    Nowadays I’d be online for days on eight different websites trying to find the best deal at the cleanest hotel and them double check the ones I liked against the bed bug registry. Unless it was urgent for us to be somewhere, by the time I finished the research, we’d probably just stay home…

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      You and I are a lot alike. I spent way too much time looking things up obsessively. Now that we are here I have to say how wonderful it is!

      They are having a cooler summer than usual, but we timed it right as it has been almost perfect weatherweather since we got here. I brought too many long sleeve shirts, but might still need them on the overnight cruise through the fjords and/or Dunedin. We’ll see.

  2. Gail Sirna

    Heidi . . .

    You WILL want to but pay things along the way. I bought two sweaters, only slightly because I was chilly, but more because they have won
    Nderful merino/ possum sweaters in NZ. Have a great time.

    1. Heidi BK Sloss Post author

      You are right, bought a beautiful teal light weight merrino wool sweater and a cool stitching book while running around New Zealand yesterday!


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