Sunday, May 11, 2014

Checking Off My #1 - New Zealand

This post is dedicated to those with adventurous hearts and Sage for helping me live this dream.

I’ve been back from New Zealand for quite a while now and have yet to write about most of the trip. Where does one even begin to starting writing about the adventure of their dreams? And honestly, I’m not sure if my words are better than pictures for this.

I first realized I wanted to go to New Zealand sometime in high school. Honestly, I never really thought about New Zealand until someone mentioned it to me.  At that age, exploring nature for hours at a time and travelling across the world to do so was a foreign concept to me. I knew I had an explorer’s heart, but I didn’t know what to do about it. It just wasn’t a common thing where I grew up. So when I first heard someone talk about New Zealand, an interest sparked. I researched more about it, and that was it. New Zealand was number one on my list of places I wanted to travel to. Going to see all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies with my dad and Rachel only increased my longing to go!

After graduating college and having one crazy summer solo adventure, I completed one year of service through AmeriCorps at the Boys & Girls Club of Buena Vista. While living in Salida, I was exposed to many world travelers and they influenced me to get my working visa for New Zealand so I could spend a year living there. I was set on it. I had nothing holding me back… well except for the money to get there. Unfortunately a “year of service” doesn’t help you save a lot of money.

Here’s my lesson from the Universe: If something you want doesn’t work out the way you wanted, it’s only because the Universe has a MUCH better plan for you. However, you have to be open to it. If you’re sulking over things not working out the way you wanted, you’re probably going to miss the much better plan awaiting you… at least that’s the way it’s been constantly working out for me. It’s also been a common theme of other people’s stories that I have been reading recently.

So (as many of you know) I picked up a second job in exchange for a place to live and moved to Buena Vista. I really missed Salida, but thankfully, Buena Vista is on the way to the Grand Canyon from Boulder, and that’s how I met Sage. As he was making the drive to run the R2R2R, he wanted to stop to get a run in and contacted me to show him a good trail. I’m sure you know the story from there, but remember I originally wanted to be in New Zealand at that time, and I certainly would have missed that opportunity to meet Sage if I had gone.

In 2013 I learned more about New Zealand through Sage when he went to race Tarawera 100k and I knew then that I’d be joining him the next year. I had no idea how, but it was going to happen.

This past Christmas, my wish came true due to a very loving man and some other very wonderful people. My gratitude for this still sometimes feels like it may burst from my heart.

This is where my words leave me. I should have inspiration bursting out of my fingertips as I talk about the actual trip, yet all I can feel right now are my emotions from the trip, all words are lost.

Maybe pictures are better here, but I will share this thought. After years of suffering from depression and self-hate, New Zealand and that past few months have taught me that life is meant for us to be happy. Following our happiness is the best way to be of service to the world, despite the people telling us to be “realistic” and our dreams are to remain only dreams. Dreams can come true if you learn to believe that. It’s pretty damn hard to truly believe that, but fully worth the effort.


Heading towards Roy's Glacier (Thanks Grant Guise for this picture and some of the pics following!)


The stunning town of Wanaka- loved it here!

Gertrudes Saddle

I was very happy to find fresh veggie/fruit juice all over NZ

Milford Sound

Twin Rocks

Wine tasting in Northburn- I know nothing about wine but had a blast!

Milford Sound

Cathedral Cover- best beach I've been to so far! Awesome hike to get to it and fun things to explore!

Gertrudes Saddle

Rotorua Geyser

"Where you invest your love, you invest your life." -Mumford and Sons


  1. Glad you enjoyed it here Sandi. Us Kiwis are alway ridiculously desperate for tourists to love the country!

  2. Charity is the best way to express your personality Please go to and help needy people to grow, Thanks.

    Do a charity even a single penny, so your charity could change a life.

  3. Maybe too late maybe not but, as you're both runner you may have seen this guy Jez that ran the Te Araroa trail in NZ, could be something for you to think about doing in the future
    Anyway, I came across this blog from one of your running videos and as I pretty much love NZ I though I'd leave the comment... Cheers!


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