Photo Diary Stories & Essays

Christchurch: A City in Progress

Christchurch Earthquake: Six Years Later

In September 2010, a 7.1 earthquake hit the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Just a few months later, in February 2011, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, destroying most of the city’s buildings and infrastructure. It did not, however, destroy the city’s spirit.

It’s been over six years since the fatal earthquakes, but just by looking at the city, you’d think only a year or so had passed. Christchurch is still very much a work-in-progress, with construction sites and crumbling buildings everywhere you turn. Gates and warning signs surround historic structures. Gravel lots outnumber operating buildings, amplifying the emptiness left behind by the quake.

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Staying in a Camper Cabin Between Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Headwaters Lodge is the perfect accommodation between Grand Teton & Yellowstone. The camper cabins are a fun option for camping in Grand Teton National Park.

When I was working in Jackson Hole, Wyoming a couple of years ago, my friend and I went on a little weekend getaway to Yellowstone National Park. Even though we were living just outside of Grand Teton, we wanted to actually get away from the ranch and stay somewhere between the two parks. Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch was the best option.

Accommodation near Yellowstone and Grand Teton is very expensive, especially if you want to book last minute. We considered camping, but we didn’t have a tent. Overall, the camper cabins at Headwaters Lodge were exactly what we were looking for. We got a little bit of the outdoors without sleeping on the ground, and renting one out for the night wasn’t too expensive.

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Featured Posts Travel Tips

The Best Way to Transfer Money Overseas with Transferwise

As a traveler, I often have to transfer money overseas. I spent last year in New Zealand on a working holiday, so I had to transfer money back and forth between my New Zealand bank account and my home bank account multiple times.

At first I was really nervous about the whole process. I didn’t know how to transfer my money safely, and I didn’t know how to transfer it without paying high fees. As a backpacker, every dollar counts, so the thought of paying $50+ just to move my money from one country to another was out of the question. I searched the internet for the best way to transfer money overseas, and I found a way to do it that I’m really happy with.

I came across Transferwise before flying from the U.S. to New Zealand. It seemed like a great option, so I tried it out. Of course I was still nervous in the beginning, but now I trust the service 100%. I’ve used Transferwise a few times now, and I’ve been so happy with my experience.

Use my link to get a FREE transfer up to $500

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A Quick Guide to Oamaru, New Zealand

Explore 19th century Victorian architecture in Oamaru, New Zealand. Walking through Oamaru's historic district takes you right back to the Victorian era with preserved limestone buildings & cobblestone streets.

Oamaru is mostly known for a few things: the blue penguins, the Victorian architecture, and the Steampunk culture.

This seaside town is located on the Eastern coast of New Zealand’s South Island, between Christchurch and Dunedin. Most people visit mainly to see the blue penguins return to shore in the evenings, but Oamaru draws a lot of attention for its architecture as well. A local limestone was used for most of the commercial buildings in the late 19th century, and many well-preserved Victorian-era buildings still stand today. This Victorian setting has become the perfect place for Steampunk artists and enthusiasts to gather.

Outside of the three main draws of Oamaru, there is still plenty to see and do. Wandering through the Victorian Precinct is a lot of fun, and it’s a chance to pop into some interesting shops and see the local galleries. There are some beautiful parks and gardens, as well as hiking trails nearby. It’s a great town to spend a day or two on your way down the east coast.

Here’s a quick guide to help you plan your stay in Oamaru, New Zealand.

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15 Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

I've spent a lot of time in Grand Teton National Park so I compiled a list of 15 of the best things to do in Grand Teton

A few summers ago, I lived and worked right outside of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. I spent a lot of time exploring the park, hiking the trails, and stopping at every scenic overlook on the map. There are so many fun things to do in Grand Teton National Park, and I’m glad I was able to experience most of it.

Grand Teton is best known for its namesake mountain range, the Tetons. Once you’ve seen the jagged ridgeline of the Tetons, you’ll recognize it instantly in any photo. People ski nearby in the winter, but summer is an even better time to see the Tetons. Grand Teton is a popular spot for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking.

Among the many things to do in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find serene hiking spots, historic buildings, incredible viewpoints, and an abundance of wildlife. This park is definitely an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy biking, walking, and climbing.

However, if you don’t have much time to spend in the park, you can still see and do a lot. There are plenty of things to do in Grand Teton National Park in just one day. Maybe you don’t want to do a big hike or gear up, but you can still check out all of the sights and cool spots around the park.

Most of these are easy stops off the main park road.

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Featured Posts Travel Inspiration

Travel Reading List: 8 Books I Read in New Zealand

I love to read when I travel so I put together a list of the books I read while I was in New Zealand

What you read while you’re traveling can have a big impact on how you perceive the place you’re visiting.

I didn’t read nearly as much as I would have liked during my 10 months in New Zealand. Considering I spent a total of 6 months in one place, I really could have read a lot more. Actually, I ended up reading more when I was moving around and staying in hostels than I did when I was sat still with a job and my own place.

I read quite a few good books during my time in New Zealand so I wanted to share some of those with you guys. I love reading when traveling, and reading about traveling, so I’m planning to write a lot more about books here in the future.

Here are the 8 books I read while in New Zealand and what I thought about them.

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