Wonderful Trip to New Zealand
Never had I imagined I would travel to the land known for kiwis, Maoris and the Lord of the Rings all for free. It was in November of 2015 when I received one of Nuffnang’s blast e-mail regarding Globe Telecom’s #Wonderful Blog Competition. They had an app I had to use that will source information about my faves through my Facebook post. (READ: The #Wonderful World Of Mayon)
It was at the beginning of 2016 when I learned that I was one of the lucky six winners (three through blog posts and another three for the Instagram posts) of the competition. It seems that after 12 years as a post-paid user and 3 or 4 years on prepaid, my being a Globe subscriber has paid off, although not for my loyalty to the brand but being a subscriber to make me eligible for this contest.
I got word of my fortune through a co-winner who messaged me through Twitter. I was doubtful at first so I checked Globe’s Facebook page and found a graphic with my name on it. Weeks later, the official communication via e-mail came. And the coordination began. (Special shoutout to Benedict Opinion and Arianne Munar for arranging everything.)
The day, rather night, we left for Auckland, four of us who were on the same trip were excited to see each other for the first time after months of communicating online. Four strangers bound by this awesome twist of fate enjoyed this #wonderful trip of a lifetime.
It was also quite a coincidence that we traveled during my birthday month, or should I say, OUR birthday month because three of us in this four-man trip were born in the month of June. This reminded me of my US trip seven years ago (READ: First-time to see Michelle Obama and some Hollywood stars) wherein I spent my birthday 23 hours in Manila, 16 hours on air, and 4 hours in San Francisco. It was my longest birthday ever! And it was almost all-expense paid as well as I was sent there to attend a conference with no less than former US Lady Michelle Obama as the guest of honor. Incidentally, we were also in New Zealand in time for the Queen’s Birthday celebration.
Going back to my recent journey, New Zealand has left quite an impression on me. Here are the things I have observed and found out during this trip:
- Work-Life Balance – New Zealand has plenty of open spaces where families converge. Though we stayed in the city centre, people were not on a rush, unlike in the other cities I visited. People have time to take their kids around, bike in the city, or have a picnic at the park.
- Beautiful Trees – Our guide mentioned that there was a time when trees were cut down in New Zealand. The government saw to it that trees were replanted. And you get to see them everywhere, both in the cities and the countryside. Even trees without their leaves look majestically beautiful. There were just so much flora and fauna that seem to be endemic in New Zealand.
- Four Seasons in a day – So we arrived in a winter season. The temperature could drop to up to 3°C. Though it doesn’t snow in Auckland, the closest I got to winter was the frost in the upland portion going to Rotorua. But when the sun comes out, it can get warm just like summer. As you cruise through the countryside, you’ll see trees with red or fallen leaves that portray of autumn side by side with full blown flowers that remind you of spring.
- Co-habitation and Harmony – Man seems to have learned to live side-by-side animals and nature. You get to see birds in the city. Dogs walk without leashes. Traveling around New Zealand is literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air for me.
- Preserved Architecture – Our hotel was a historical structure. So were the hundreds, or maybe thousands, of buildings sprawled around Auckland. It was good to the eyes seeing how they immaculately preserved old buildings and use them for modern purposes.
There are so much to see in New Zealand. Read through my succeeding posts so you can get a single glimpse of my trip to this wonderful country.
Travel PAL and Fly to Auckland
First-time in Grand Windsor Hotel Auckland
A Journey to the Shire: The Land of Hobbits
Into the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
First-time in Mt. Eden
Garden Hopping in Auckland
Beach Loving Mission Bay and Devonport
Queen’s Day at Quay St, Wynyard Quarter and Queen St.
Geyser Watching at Te Puia, Rotorua
Lakes and Redwoods of Rotorua
10 Things To Do in Auckland
10 Things To Do in Rotorua
This trip is a prize won by this blogger through Globe Telecom’s #Wonderful Blog Competition, co-sponsored by Philippine Airlines and Agoda Philippines.
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