I'm leaving for New Zealand in just over a month, and while I'm fairly resolute that it's only the first of many adventur-tastic journies, it's certainly the longest and largest and most badassedest trip I've been on to date, and there is a certain amount of planning involved in a trip of this magnatude. In fact, I've done some rough, back of the envelope calcuations, and the amount of planning falls somewhere between the amount of time Britney Spears spends thinking of ways to not totally embarrass herself (zero minutes) and the amount of time that Fox news spends presenting fair and balanced views of how John McCain is more qualified, less black, and less womanly than all of the democratic primary candidates combined (23,569 minutes to date).
To be perfectly honest, the trip is a little intimidating. There is so much unbelievable scenery in New Zealand, and so many thrilling activities that I'm concerned I won't plan right and will end up blowing the whole thing by doing something like spending 2 weeks getting boozed up at a pub in Auckland with a group of Irish tourists. Well... maybe this wouldn't be that bad. Are they mostly chicks? Hot chicks? Like maybe an Irish cheerleading squad who are all mad at their boyfrieds, vulnerable, and bi-curious? I'm just sayin', there are worse ways to spend a vacation..
Whatever, I digress. Whenever I start to get these worries, I pull up a picture like the one below, and I know that if I spend just one hour of the entire trip gazing blank-eyed like special-ed kid in AP Calculus at this type of scenery, that it will be worth all the scratch I spend to get over there.
Yes, I know, it's pretty unbelievable.
So anyhow, planning is in full swing. I've bought an 80 liter backpack to allow me to carry all my junkage around on my back, of all places(!!) and to "tramp" at will. (that's New Zealish for "hike" - those crazy kiwis sure do have some silly words!) I've bought a 2 gig memory card for my trusty camera, which if I understand correctly should allow me to take approximately 3,000,000 high-resolution pictures before I even need to worry about memory space. This is good because I've been known to be quite the shutter-bug at Irish cheerleader orgies. I bought a Lonely Planet guide to NZ that will tell me the best spots to rest my frame and get my grubbage on. I have not found the red lights district chapter yet, but I'm guessing it's just indexed weird so I'm not really worried yet.
There are still things left that I need to pin down in detail like my skydiving, bungi jumping, glacier climbing, spelunking, and hiking tour up the west coast of the south island, but it's all underway. I've also got to get some sort of rough game plan for my smash-and-grab tour of Sidney, Australia on my 12-hour layover there. I'll be good-goddammed if I'm going to spend that in an airport bar drinking stale Rolling Rock and listening to some Finnish douche-bags discuss the rise and fall of Portugese soccer.In case it's not obvious, I can't wait!